Hunting safety tips, essential gear and best hunting locations to help you enjoy turkey hunting in West Virginia

Spring is just around the corner in West Virginia, and soon, the forests will come alive with the sights and sounds of nature waking up and the all-too-familiar gobbling of tom turkeys calling their mates.

With the spring gobbler season set to kick off in April, it’s time to gear up for one of the most exciting seasons on West Virginia’s hunting calendar. The season kicks off statewide with a two-day youth season on April 13–14, and the regular season opens statewide on April 15, giving hunters five weeks to test their skills and enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

So, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the turkey hunting scene, this guide is your go-to resource for making the most of the season.

What to expect during spring turkey season

If you’ve never hunted during the spring turkey season or are coming back after a few years away from the hunt, be ready to have your hunting skills tested. Wild turkeys are notorious for their keen senses and elusive nature, making them a challenging quarry for even the most experienced hunters.

Successfully hunting wild turkeys requires patience, stealth and the ability to call and mimic the sounds of a real hen turkey. It’s a thrilling experience to see a wild turkey respond to your calls and come into range and it’s a testament to the skills and knowledge that hunters have honed over years of practice and experience. So, if you’re looking for a challenge this spring, grab your gear and head out into the woods. And remember, the 2024 spring turkey season starts April 15.

Best hunting locations for spring turkey season

The best hunting location is the one you’re familiar with. So wherever you go, scout the location and plan your hunt accordingly. Get started with West Virginia’s online hunting map at

If you’re looking for a new place to hunt or need a change of scenery, consider hunting at one of West Virginia’s Wildlife Management Areas. WMAs offer ample hunting opportunities and are conveniently located around the state, so you’re always close to a great place to enjoy a hunting adventure. Plus, WMAs are managed to provide the best possible hunting opportunities, with many areas specifically managed for wild turkey populations. So, if you’re looking for an affordable, convenient and rewarding hunting experience this spring, consider heading out to one of West Virginia’s many WMAs to see what the season has to offer.

Spring turkey season essential gear

By investing in quality gear and taking the time to prepare properly, you’ll increase your chances of having a safe and successful spring turkey season.

Along with a reliable shotgun, you’ll need camouflage clothing to blend in with your surroundings and avoid detection by these wary birds and a turkey call for luring in your quarry and getting them into range. Other gear that can improve the hunting experience includes:

  • A ground blind
  • Turkey decoys
  • A good pair of binoculars for scouting and spotting distant birds
  • A comfortable and sturdy pair of boots for navigating the terrain
  • A hunting vest or backpack to keep your gear organized and easily accessible
  • A hunting knife
  • A good pair of gloves

Hunting safety tips to remember during spring turkey season

Like any hunting season, safety should be a top priority when you’re in the woods during the spring gobbler season. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always identify your target before shooting
  • Be aware of other hunters in the area
  • Always wear appropriate safety gear
  • Follow all regulations and laws to ensure you are hunting safely and legally

When it comes to safe hunting, going with a friend or family member is also a good idea. If you decide to hunt alone, let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to return.

Spring turkey season rules to remember

For spring turkey hunters, the rules are simple: 

  • You may harvest one bearded bird per day with a season bag limit of two.
  • During the youth turkey season, hunters under the age of 18 can harvest one bearded bird, which counts towards their season bag limit of two.
  • Hunters are permitted to hunt from a half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m.
  • Hunters cannot have an uncased firearm, bow or crossbow in their possession in the woods after 1 p.m.
  • There are several different calls hunters can use to attract turkey, but electronic calls are prohibited.

There are even more guidelines and suggestions to ensure spring turkey season is as safe and successful as possible. For full guidelines and regulations, check pages 41–42 in the West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

Upgrade your hunting experience. Buy a physical license card today.

Before you set out on your hunting adventure, there’s one final thing you need to do — make sure you have a current hunting license. All hunters aged 15 and over must have a valid West Virginia hunting license, available for purchase online at

This season, take the opportunity to enhance your hunting experience by choosing a new physical license card with your 2024 hunting license. This collectible license card not only looks good but stands as a symbol of your dedication to the sport and the conservation efforts essential for its future. Opting for this small yet significant upgrade ensures you’re fully equipped and ready for whatever the spring turkey season brings your way.

Here’s to a safe, successful, and memorable spring gobbler season in West Virginia!