Get Ready for Spring Gobbler Season

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages
hunters to get their gear ready for the upcoming spring gobbler
hunting season. The four-week season opens Monday, April 27, and
closes on Saturday, May 23, according to Bill Igo, the DNR wild
turkey project leader. Hunters may kill two bearded turkeys during
the season but are allowed only one per day.           

A special one-day, youth spring gobbler hunt is open Saturday,
April 25. Youth participating in this hunt must be at least eight
years of age and no more than 14 years old on the day of the
season. The youth must be accompanied by a licensed adult of at
least 21 years of age, who cannot carry a gun or bow and must
remain close enough to render advice and assistance to the
youngster. The only legal firearm that can be used by a youth
hunter is a shotgun with shot sizes 4, 5 or 6. The bag limit is one
bearded turkey.

Last year, youth hunters harvested 385 toms during the one-day
youth spring gobbler season. “This special youth hunt provides an
ideal opportunity for seasoned hunters to introduce young people to
the joys of spring turkey hunting,” said Igo. “In addition to
having a great day afield, these adult mentors pass along their
hunting knowledge, create great memories and keep the fine hunting
tradition alive for the next generation of hunters.”

Igo recommends spring gobbler hunters make sure they are
prepared with proper clothing, a shotgun that is appropriately
patterned, and adequate hunting gear (e.g., turkey calls, knife,
rain gear, compass/GPS unit, matches, maps and a pencil for
completing field tags). He urges hunters not to wear clothing with
the colors of red, white or blue – the colors of a mature gobbler’s
head and neck area.

Igo also advises hunters to be aware that radio transmitters
and/or leg bands have been placed on some gobblers. These marked
birds are part of a statewide gobbler survival study to determine
causes of mortality, effects of hunting and to gather more
biological data designed to assist the DNR in its efforts to wisely
manage the state’s wild turkey resource. Hunters harvesting a
banded or radioed bird should contact a DNR District Office or the
Elkins Operations Center.

Hunters must be out of the woods by 1 p.m. during either season.
After putting their firearms or bows away for the day, sportsmen
may want to grab a rod and reel to go fishing for trout, which are
stocked in more than 100 waters in the spring, or warmwater fish,
which become more active as temperatures rise.

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