Virginia 2012-2013 Fall Wild Turkey Harvest Summary
In Virginia, 4,432 turkeys were harvested during the 2012-13 fall turkey season. The 2012-13 season total was the highest fall harvest reported over the past 5 years. This harvest was 28% above last year's reported kill (3,470). The harvest increased 37% in counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains (1,734 vs 1,267). Counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains increased 21% percent (2,673 vs. 2,203). Botetourt led all counties with a harvest of 151 birds. Most of the harvest was reported on private lands. Sixty birds were harvested on the Youth Fall Turkey Hunt Day.
The 2012-13 was the second year for the January season. Virtually all of the comments received on the January season were positive. The harvest during the January season was 245 birds. The highest harvest during the January season was the last Saturday of the season.
In counties east of the Blue Ridge more birds were taken the holiday week that included Christmas. In contrast, more birds were taken during the first week of the season in counties west of the Blue Ridge. Statewide, about 11% of harvest was taken on Thanksgiving Day. This year also marked the second year fall turkey kills could be checked using the phone or on the internet. Hunters reported more birds (65%) by phone or internet.
The increase in the harvest was expected because it appears that reproduction in 2012 was higher than average, although the increase was not uniform across all regions. Turkey reproduction is typically highly variable and may be influenced by many variables; the greatest influence is believed to be inclement weather during the 2 weeks following hatching. Juvenile birds typically make up a majority of the fall harvest, so a good hatch can add to the fall take. Above-average reproduction likely contributed to the harvest increase.
Top 10 Counties