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WV hunters harvest 1,126 fall turkeys in 2010

From the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

-- Preliminary figures for the 2010 fall turkey hunting season show a harvest of 1,126 turkeys which made the harvest 7 percent lower than the 1,208 birds checked in during  the fall 2009 season.  

"Fall wild turkey harvests are highly influenced by annual reproduction and hard mast conditions," according to Paul Johansen, assistant chief of game management for wildlife resources.  

"The record acorn crop of 2010 had birds widely dispersed, many in remote, hard-to-access places which negatively affected the harvest in all of the traditional counties," he explained. "Although 15 additional counties were open to fall hunting in 2010, the harvest was still below the 2009 tally. Biologists had hoped the additional open counties would slightly increase the harvest, however, abundant mast conditions prohibited hunters from achieving the 2009 harvest."      
Top counties for 2010 were Greenbrier, with a take of 92; Preston  with 80, Monroe with 59, Randolph with 58, and Pocahontas with 47.  

Traditional fall hunt counties, including Preston County, the Eastern Panhandle, and Mountain regions of the state, accounted for 57 percent of the total fall kill.  The harvest was down 20 percent in these counties.  There were 231 turkeys or 21 percent checked in on the opening Saturday of 2010, compared to 19 percent in 2009.  The opening week tallied 44 percent of the total harvest, the same as 2009.