The 2023 spring harvest of turkeys in Virginia sets new record
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Department of Wildlife Resources announced a harvest of 24,447 turkeys during the 2023 spring turkey season. This represents the highest spring turkey harvest ever recorded in Virginia. The previous record was 20,580 set during the 2015 spring hunting season.
“Turkey populations remain healthy and abundant across most of Virginia, enabling hunters to enjoy a record-setting spring turkey season,” said Ryan Brown, DWR Executive Director.
Bedford County led the harvest with 691. Among local counties, Louisa had the highest number with 308, while Albemarle had 272 and Nelson had 186.
DWR biologists anticipated the spring turkey harvest would increase during the 2023 season as indicated by above average brood survey results in 2021. In addition to the increased availability of gobblers, favorable hunting weather contributed to a great season for many Virginia turkey hunters. Temperatures remained relatively cool and dry providing an ample amount of ideal hunting weather.
Although many states within the region are reporting declining spring turkey harvests and populations, Virginia seems to be a bright spot regionally. Four of the top 5 turkey harvests have occurred since 2020, indicating that populations appear to be robust. However, there are several areas of the Commonwealth where objectives to increase turkey populations are not being met. DWR biologists continue to monitor these areas for potential management solutions.
For harvest by county information please visit the DWR wild turkey webpage: dwr.virginia.gov/wildlife/turkey.