Turkey hunters encouraged to participate in Spring Gobbler Survey

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) announced today that turkey hunting will return to West Virginia on April 15 when the spring gobbler season opens across the state.

“As a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman, I am thrilled to announce the opening of West Virginia’s spring gobbler season and promote the springtime beauty and abundant natural resources of our incredible state,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “I want to encourage both residents and visitors to get their hunting license, grab their gear and head into the woods for a turkey hunting adventure.”

During the season, which will run for five weeks until May 19, hunters may harvest one bearded bird per day with a season bag limit of two. All hunters 15 and older are required to have a valid West Virginia hunting license, unless they are hunting under resident landowner privileges, and must carry a valid form of identification while hunting. A West Virginia hunting license can be purchased at WVhunt.com.

“With the changing season and challenge of calling in a gobbler, the upcoming spring turkey season is one of the most exciting times of year for hunters in West Virginia,” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion. “As hunters prepare for their hunts in the coming week, we want to urge them to take advantage of the youth season because it’s a great opportunity to introduce young ones to the joys of hunting and make lasting memories with loved ones.”

West Virginia’s two-day youth spring gobbler season is set to open April 13. During the season, youth hunters ages 8–18 may harvest one bearded bird, which counts towards their season bag limit of two. Youth hunters 8–14 must be accompanied by a licensed and unarmed adult, who must remain close enough to render advice and assistance. Youth hunters 15–17 must comply with all licensing requirements.

DNR officials remind sportsmen and women that hunting turkeys over bait and killing hens without beards are illegal during the spring season. Turkey hunters are encouraged to report any such activity to their local Natural Resource Police Officer or call 911 to report the violation. In addition, the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation pays a $100 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone killing a turkey illegally.

Spring Gobbler Survey

Gov. Justice also encouraged hunters to participate in the WVDNR’s spring gobbler survey, which helps the wildlife biologists gather information for managing the state’s wild turkey population. The survey will run for the duration of the spring gobbler season. Hunters have the option to complete the survey by filling out a paper form or online through the Survey123 mobile app. To learn more about the survey, visit WVdnr.gov/surveys.

For more information about the youth and regular spring gobbler seasons, check page 42 of the West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, available to download at WVdnr.gov/hunting-regulations.