Spring Gobbler Season Kicks Off April 27
Saturday, April 25 is a big day across West Virginia. Youth Spring Gobbler season gets underway, and on Monday, April 27 it's open to all licensed hunters in the state until May 22. Hours are from 30 minutes before sunrise until 1 p.m.
80,000 hunters are expected to take part in spring gobbler season and 10,000 turkeys are expected to be harvested.
"It's a great first time for all of the hunters to get out," said Chris Ryan, West Virginia DNR. "You can hear all of the pretty birds singing. You can see a gorgeous sunrise and you can go chase a gobbler through West Virginia's hills."
Equipment is key. Shotguns and bows are permitted but you can't hunt with dogs or use bait. Decoys, like fake hens, can help lure the gobblers to you. If you've never gone before, your best bet is to bring along a buddy because one of the most important things about turkey hunting is woodsmenship.
"If you can be someone that knows how to walk in the woods and knows where the turkeys go that's really more important than actually turkey calling," Ryan said.
Calling is important though and there are several different methods. From push calls, to box calls, to slate calls. One of the most effective methods is the mouth call because that frees up your hands.
"Turkeys have extremely good eyesight so if they see any movement what-so-all they're going to stop and they're going to look at that and a lot of times they're going to go the other way and they won't come in so you have to sit extremely still and most of the time be completely camouflaged," Ryan said.
There is a two bag limit and you can only take one bearded turkey a day. Don't forget, the gobblers must be checked.