Home Nearly 22K turkeys harvested during robust spring season in Virginia

Nearly 22K turkeys harvested during robust spring season in Virginia

turkey farm
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The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources announced a harvest of 21,988 turkeys during the 2024 spring turkey season.

This represents a 10 percent decrease from the record harvest in 2023. However, it remains one of the highest harvests in Virginia history.

“The continued high harvests over the last several years is a great sign for the future for Virginia’s hunters and wildlife enthusiasts,” said Ryan Brown, DWR executive director. “Further, numerous reports of hens with young poults already this spring provide hope that 2024 will be a year of strong productivity in Virginia’s wild turkey population.”

By the numbers

  • More birds were harvested east of the Blue Ridge (68 percent) than west of the Blue Ridge (32 percent).
  • Adult gobblers (as defined in harvest records as those with a beard at least 7 inches in length) made up 91 percent of the total harvest, while juvenile gobblers, known as “jakes” (beard less than 7 inches in length), accounted for only 8 percent of the harvest.
  • Turkey harvests occurred overwhelmingly in the morning (92 percent) versus the afternoon (7 percent).
  • The majority of the spring turkey harvest took place on private lands (93 percent). Public land hunters (both federal and state) accounted for 7 percent of the total spring harvest, which was an increase from the prior two years. National Forest lands accounted for the majority of public land harvests.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.