Turkey Hunting Regulations
Resident and Nonresident Turkey Hunting License Privileges
Three wild turkey may be taken by hunters who possess one of the following valid base licenses or license combinations: resident license (Class X, Class X3, Class XP, Class XJ, Class AHJ, Class XS, Class AB-L, Class A-L, Classes A+CS+BG , Classes AH+CS+BG); or a free license (Military, Disabled Veteran, former POW, Class DT or Senior Citizen); or nonresident license (Classes E+CS/LE+WW, Classes AAH+CS/LE+WW, Classes XXJ+CS/LE , Classes AAHJ+CS/LE or Class DT). Class DT license holders must be accompanied by a properly licensed parent, guardian or other designated competent adult 21 years of age or older. Underage residents and resident landowners hunting on their own land may take three turkeys without a license. Two bearded turkeys may be taken in the spring and one either-sex turkey in the fall. No more than one turkey may be taken per day.
Additional licenses must be purchased:
- to hunt on national forest lands: Class I (required for Class E or Class AAH).
- to hunt with a handgun: Class A1 (must be age 21 or older, required for all hunters except resident landowners hunting on their own land).
Resident Landowner Privileges:
West Virginia resident landowners may hunt on their own land without obtaining a license.
Resident landowners hunting on their own property without a license can take the same number of turkeys as a licensed hunter. A hunter (licensee or landowner) cannot take more than the number of turkeys allowed in the respective seasons.
Firearms, crossbows and bows legal for hunting wild turkey:
Wild turkey may be hunted with rifles, handguns, muzzleloaders, shotguns, 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 (see exception for Youth Spring Gobbler Season).
Following are the most common violations observed by Natural Resource Police officers during the turkey hunting seasons:
- Hunting over bait
- Hunting without license
- Improper license
- Making false application for license
- Exceeding the limits
- Loaded gun in a vehicle
- Failure to field tag turkey
- Illegal possession of wildlife
- Hunting without permission
Reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of person found guilty of:
- illegally killing a turkey – $200
Sponsored by: WV Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation.
Field Tagging, Checking and Transporting
Each person killing a turkey must either attach a completed field tag to the turkey or remain with the turkey and have upon their person a completed field tag before removing the carcass from where it was killed. A person who does not possess a field tag must make one. This tag must bear the hunter’s name, address, hunting license number (if required) and the date, time and county of kill. Immediately upon arriving at a residence, camp, hunting lodge, vehicle or vessel, the field tag shall be attached to the turkey and must remain on the carcass until it is electronically registered and a DNR-issued 13-digit game check number, the hunter’s name and address are attached.
The carcass of each turkey shall be electronically registered and legally tagged before it is either skinned or transported beyond the boundaries of the county adjacent to that in which the kill was made and within 72 hours from when it was killed or 24 hours from the close of the respective season, whichever comes first. The DNR-issued game tag number and the hunter’s name and address shall remain on the bird until it is dressed for consumption.
No person may transport or possess wildlife killed by another hunter, unless the wildlife or parts thereof are accompanied by a paper tag filled out legibly bearing the signature, address, date of kill, hunting license number (if required) and the DNR-issued game tag number (if required) of the hunter who killed the wildlife. The tag shall also specify the species and quantity of wildlife.
2022 Fall Season
Season Limit: 1
October 8-16 andOctober 24-30
October 8-16 and October 24-November 13
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
Only one either-sex turkey may be taken during the fall hunting season with either bow, crossbow or gun.
The use of dogs is legal during the fall turkey season.
IT IS ILLEGAL:
- hunt with an air rifle less than .22 caliber
- to use electronic calls.
- to hunt with the use of bait
2023 spring Gobbler Season
Season Limit: 2 bearded turkeys
Statewide: April 17-May 21, 2022
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1 p.m.
IT IS ILLEGAL TO:
- have an uncased firearm, bow or crossbow in your possession in the woods after 1 p.m.
- hunt with dogs
- use electronic calls
- hunt with the use of bait
- take more than one bearded turkey per day
- hunt with an air rifle less than .22 caliber
Spring Gobbler Survey
The Division of Natural Resources conducts an annual Spring Gobbler Survey. Spring turkey hunters interested in participating in the survey should contact Mary Elliott at:
The Game Management Services Office Elkins Operations CenterP.O. Box 67 • Elkins, WV 26241 (304) 637-0245.
Youth Spring Gobbler Season
A special two-day youth spring gobbler season will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and 16, 2023. Class Q/QQ and Class XS license holders are not eligible.
The bag limit is one bearded turkey, and the harvested bird will count toward the hunter’s annual bag limit. Only shotguns, 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 are legal.
- must be at least 8 and less than 18 years old; youth hunters age 15-17 must comply with all licensing requirements.
- between the ages 8-14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult who cannot carry a gun, crossbow or a bow and must remain close enough to render advice and assistance.
and, if a nonresident,
- possess a Class XXJ license + CS/LE stamp or Class AAHJ+CS/LE stamp.
Nonresident adults accompanying youth hunters must possess Class E+WW+CS/LE licenses and if hunting on National Forest lands, a Class I stamp.