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Less than one week remains in state’s spring turkey hunting season


The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va.  — West Virginia hunters have until Saturday to bag their turkeys.

Each hunter in the state is permitted to kill only one bearded turkey per day and two total during the spring season, which runs April 17 through May 13.

Turkey hunting is limited to the hours of “half an hour before sunrise” and 1 p.m.

According to statistics from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources more than 64,000 hunters purchased turkey hunting licenses and brought home 10,369 birds in 2016.

Mike Peters, a game bird biologist with the DNR, said the best places to hunt for turkeys are in forests and fields.

“Some people hunt strictly in forests, and others hunt more in field areas,” he said. “Some combine the two, sitting right on the edge of a field and forest area.

To attract turkeys, Peters said hunters will use a combination of methods.

“Most people will at least call,” he said. “And for the spring gobbler they will usually have some kind of decoy.”

Perry said it is illegal to hunt turkeys using dogs, using any sort of bait or with electronic calls.

Capt. Steve Antolini, of the DNR’s District 1, said this season has gone “pretty well in our area.”

Interest and popular hunting grounds very from county to county, but Harrison County hunters have also been “pretty active,” Antolini said.

This spring’s weather can affect interest, he said.

“It depends on the hunter,” Antolini said. “The rain and cold weather kind of slows them down a bit.”

Antolini said he expects fewer turkey hunters to be outdoors this week due to weather.

This spring’s weather has not been ideal for turkey hunting, Perry said.

“Most guys prefer warm, mild days,” Perry said. “A little rain is OK. It seems like it gets the turkeys out in the field a little more.”

Statistics for the this year’s turkey season will be complied after the season is over, Perry said. They are complied annually through the DNR’s “Spring Gobbler Survey.”

Interested hunters are invited to download and fill out a spreadsheet from the DNR website.

The survey asks hunters to track not just the turkeys they kill, but also to track sightings of several other species including deer, squirrels, foxes and bobcats.

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