CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — The National Agricultural Statistics Service in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture reported today, September 27, 2022, the numbers in reference to our West Virginia turkey population.

The statistic report stated turkeys raised in West Virginia is forecasted to be 3.6 million birds, unchanged from the forecast given in 2021. While the turkey population remains unchanged in West Virginia, the United States is facing a decrease in 2 percent of the overall turkey population.

Virginia’s report stated they are up 1 percent from the previous year at 14.6 million turkeys.

At this time, there are only a couple opportunities throughout the year where turkey hunting is legal in West Virginia. In the Spring, there is a Spring General Season which is slated to run from April 17, 2023 to May 21, 2022, where only bearded turkeys can be killed. A Spring Youth Season will be open to hunters from ages 8 to 17, running on April 15 and April 16, 2023.

Coming up in October, the Fall General Season for wild turkey hunting opens. There will 34 out of 55 counties in WV open to a one-week fall turkey season running from October 8, 2022 to October 16, 2022. Seven of these counties will also be open to a split two-week season, running within the dates above and also from October 24, 2022, to October 30, 2022.

Only 14 counties in West Virginia are open to a split four-week season. This extended season will run in two different stages. The first running from October 8, 2022, through October 16, 2022. The second split will run from October 24, 2022, through November 13, 2022.

As a reminder to all hunters across the Mountain State, baiting for turkeys during both the Spring and Fall season is illegal.

For more information, go to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website!