Hunting safety tips and essential gear to help you enjoy turkey hunting in West Virginia.
Get ready for fall hunting adventures! West Virginia’s 2023 fall turkey season is set to open on Oct. 14. While the fall turkey season might not generate as much excitement as the spring gobbler season, turkey hunting in the fall has plenty of thrills and plenty of opportunities to bag a bird worthy of your dinner table.
If you went turkey hunting in the spring, you should have everything you need to bag a fall bird, though you may want to change your tactics, adjust your approach and maybe even use a trained dog. Here’s a few tips to help you enjoy a successful fall turkey season.
When is West Virginia’s fall turkey season?
West Virginia’s fall turkey season is split into one, two, and four week counties.
One-Week Counties (Oct. 14-22)
- All 55 Counties
Two-Week Counties (Oct. 30 to Nov. 5)
Four-Week Counties (Oct. 30 to Nov. 19)
What to expect during fall turkey season
Wild turkeys are one of the most wary game birds in North America and notorious for their keen senses and elusive nature. So, be ready to have your hunting skills tested. Our advice is to be patient, be stealthy and be able to call and mimic the calls of a wild turkey.
If you hunt turkey in the spring, you’ll need to change your tactics in the fall because turkeys don’t behave the same way year round. For starters, you likely won’t be able to hear or call in gobblers, who are more vocal in the spring as they attract mates. One advantage you do have during the fall season is that hens are legal.
Two methods of fall turkey hunting require some leg work. First, one can scout areas looking for signs of scat and scratchings. A good place to start are those areas that produced a lot of mast. Set up in these areas in anticipation that birds will pass through the area again, calling occasionally to lure them in.
Another method is locating flocks and scattering the birds by either you or your dog running towards them. Once the birds are scattered, set up and use calls to bring the flock back together.
Fall turkey season essential gear
Having the right gear is critical for a successful fall 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 possibly a blind.
Other essential gear for the fall turkey season includes quality turkey calls for luring in your quarry and getting them into range. We also recommend carrying a good pair of binoculars for scouting and spotting distant birds, a comfortable and sturdy pair of boots and socks for navigating the terrain and a hunting vest or backpack to keep your gear organized and easily accessible. A hunting knife, range finder and a good pair of gloves are also recommended. Last of all, you need a West Virginia hunting license, which is available at WVhunt.com.
Hunting safety tips to remember during fall turkey season
When it comes to hunting during the fall turkey season, safety should be a top priority. It is crucial to always identify your target before shooting and to be aware of other hunters in the area. This means taking the time to make sure you are aiming at a turkey and not at another hunter or animal. Additionally, always wear appropriate safety gear and follow all regulations and laws to ensure you are hunting safely and legally.
Hunting with a friend or family member is also a great idea, as it can provide an extra layer of safety. If you go hunting alone, make sure you let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to return. Lastly, staying alert and aware of your surroundings is important, and always practice firearm safety. By following these safety guidelines, you can help ensure you’ll have a safe and hopefully successful turkey season.
Fall turkey season rules to remember
Wild turkey may be hunted with shotguns, rifles, air rifles .22 caliber or larger, handguns, muzzleloaders, bows or crossbows with arrows or bolts equipped with a point having at least two sharp-cutting edges measuring in excess of 3/4 inch wide. The use of hunting dogs is legal during the fall turkey season, but it is illegal to use electronic calls or bait. Shooting hours are a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.
You may harvest one either-sex turkey during the fall season with one of the following base licenses or license combinations:
- Class A-L
- Class AB-L
- Class X
- Class X3
- Class XP
- Class XP3
- Class XJ
- Class AHJ
- Class XS
- Class A+CS+BG
- Class AH+CS+BG
- Free License (Military, Disabled Veteran, former POW, Class DT or Senior Citizen)
- Class E+CS/LE+WW
- Class E-L+WW-L or WW
- Class XXJ+CS/LE
- Class AAH+CS/LE+WW
- Class AAHJ+CS/LE
- Class DT
All hunters 15 and older are required to have a valid West Virginia hunting license, which can be purchased at approximately 160 retail agents around the state or online at WVhunt.com. To learn more about turkey hunting regulations, check pages 41–42 in the West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.
Fall Turkey Season Adventures Await!
Make sure you’re ready for fall turkey season. Get your gear together, brush up on your turkey-calling skills and prepare for an unforgettable experience in the beautiful hills and valleys of West Virginia. Get your license today while there’s still time during this year’s fall turkey season.