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WV 2018 spring turkey harvest

The Free Press WV

According to preliminary data gathered by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, turkey hunters in West Virginia harvested 12,274 gobblers this spring, which is a 15-year high and a 6 percent increase over 2017.

This year’s harvest also is more than 10 percent above the 10-year average, said Mike Peters, Game Bird and Small Game Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

All but two DNR districts reported an increase over 2017 harvest figures. Districts 4 and 5 were the only two districts with fewer harvested birds this year. Counties in District 1 harvested the most birds again this year with 3,416, followed by District 6 (2,651), District 5 (1,811), District 4 (1,515), District 3 (1,805) and District 2 (1,076).

The five counties with the largest harvest were Preston (553), Mason (468), Jackson (460), Harrison (440) and Marshall (417).

Youth hunters harvested 431 turkeys during the one-day youth season on April 14.

Those numbers, along with county totals, are included in the table below.

West Virginia Spring Gobbler Season Results

County

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Barbour

178

127

165

204

250

Brooke

84

67

78

100

174

Hancock

110

89

98

106

87

Harrison

264

247

286

327

440

Marion

149

170

192

256

330

Marshall

220

174

207

255

417

Monongalia

174

199

197

266

346

Ohio

91

109

111

113

145

Preston

344

333

371

475

553

Taylor

87

72

101

135

189

Tucker

88

82

90

97

89

Wetzel

203

168

196

244

396

District 1 Subtotal

 1,992

 1,837

     2,092

   2,578

    3,416

Berkeley

112

124

115

147

162

Grant

129

131

161

145

160

Hampshire

138

156

170

184

166

Hardy

135

116

132

132

150

Jefferson

57

82

79

114

115

Mineral

96

118

134

132

148

Morgan

62

64

54

64

64

Pendleton

95

94

88

112

111

District 2 Subtotal

     824

    885

         933

   1,030

    1,076

Braxton

175

194

197

209

307

Clay

68

83

101

120

142

Lewis

180

194

211

249

286

Nicholas

164

213

330

311

287

Pocahontas

130

145

144

143

113

Randolph

186

225

250

248

207

Upshur

229

231

228

303

334

Webster

113

114

156

150

129

District 3 Subtotal

 1,245

 1,399

     1,617

   1,733

    1,805

Fayette

244

239

292

278

247

Greenbrier

245

242

308

269

224

McDowell

215

218

200

177

132

Mercer

170

161

176

192

150

Monroe

212

181

184

192

182

Raleigh

214

231

283

279

213

Summers

209

199

219

209

170

Wyoming

255

257

320

262

197

District 4 Subtotal

 1,764

 1,728

     1,982

   1,858

    1,515

Boone

159

138

157

157

125

Cabell

80

110

114

176

125

Kanawha

231

227

285

319

308

Lincoln

178

169

215

228

158

Logan

181

172

181

165

157

Mason

293

314

378

448

468

Mingo

93

91

131

143

106

Putnam

150

181

210

268

235

Wayne

103

108

139

186

129

District 5 Subtotal

 1,468

 1,510

     1,810

   2,090

    1,811

Calhoun

135

128

145

164

190

Doddridge

126

118

137

160

216

Gilmer

147

124

132

143

170

Jackson

293

264

302

408

460

Pleasants

73

71

80

89

122

Ritchie

245

218

216

263

327

Roane

232

210

231

256

279

Tyler

136

144

182

181

250

Wirt

177

153

174

206

230

Wood

271

248

328

380

407

District 6 Subtotal

 1,835

 1,678

     1,927

   2,250

    2,651

State Total

 9,128

 9,037

   10,361

 11,539

  12,274

West Virginia Officials to Show Off 50 Elk Caught in Arizona

The Free Press WV

Officials in West Virginia are set to introduce 50 elk that were captured in Arizona.

Governor Jim Justice and the state Division of Natural Resources are scheduled to hold a ceremony Tuesday at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area near Logan.

The governor’s office says in a news release the elk have been in a 5-acre holding pen since March to comply with federal disease testing guidelines.

The pen is on reclaimed coal mine property, where grasslands have been cultivated and are considered key for sustaining elk.

They’ll join 35 other elk previously acquired from Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

The elk from Kentucky were first reintroduced in West Virginia in December 2016.

Before that, elk herds hadn’t roamed the state since 1875.

Officials are touting the elk’s potential to help tourism.

West Virginia’s whitetail hunting season extended to 2019

The Free Press WV

West Virginia wildlife officials have stretched the state’s 2018 whitetail hunting season by creating a new season and extending an existing one.

The new season proposed by Division of Natural Resources officials is called the “Mountaineer Heritage Season.“

It will span from January 10 to January 13, 2019.

It is open to people willing to use primitive weapons including muzzle-loading flintlock rifles or recurve bows.

The officials also proposed splitting the state’s existing archery-and-crossbow season for urban deer into two parts, with one starting in mid-January 2019.

The Natural Resources Commission approved both proposals at a meeting in late April.

Some other changes include splitting wild boar hunting season into two segments and consolidating archery-and-crossbow season for black bears.

West Virginia deer hunt expansion draws outcry from some

The Free Press WV

More than 20 three-day managed deer hunts will take place in 10 West Virginia state parks this fall, a significant expansion that’s drawn sharp criticism from wildlife consultants and biologists.

The head of the state’s Parks Section, Sam England, tells news outlets that the increase from recent years’ single-day hunts in one or two parks is aimed at protecting the parks from deer. He says all 10 parks have an overabundance of deer, threatening native species.

That assertion is disputed by Chief Logan State Park’s longtime wildlife consultant, Dr. Scott Siegel, who says the deer population has “dramatically” decreased in the park. He recently presented a petition with more than 1,600 signatures from hunters and non-hunters protesting the decision to Department of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel.

Siegel says McDaniel said he might reconsider the Chief Logan decision.

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