West Virginia game officials say turkey harvest down
South Charleston, W.Va. (AP) - Game officials say West Virginia hunters harvested 8,332 bearded turkeys during the spring hunting season.
That's a 10 percent decline from the 2011 harvest and a 15 percent decline from the previous five-year average. The 2012 spring kill is the lowest since 1989, when 7,245 birds were taken.
Biologists say the brood counts two years prior are reasonably accurate predictors of harvest since most of the kill is composed of two-year-old birds. Brood production in 2010 was 28 percent lower than the previous year, so the spring 2012 harvest was lower because fewer birds were available.
Brood production was higher in 2011, but still below average.