Things to Know for Fall 2023 Turkey Hunting in West Virginia
The 2023 fall turkey season is here in the Mountain State. West Virginia is one of the most forested states in the United States, which makes this a hotspot for game birds like wild turkeys. These birds are known for their stealthy behavior and keen senses, so this season will test your hunting skills and patience.
With all the essential gear and knowing the best tactics, you will set yourself up for what is hopefully a successful fall turkey hunting season in Almost Heaven. You can purchase your hunting license from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources at WVhunt.com. Here is your guide to fall turkey hunting in West Virginia.
West Virginia’s Split Fall Turkey Season by Week
One-Week Counties (Oct. 14-22)
- All 55 counties
Two-Week Counties (Oct. 30 to Nov. 5)
Four-Week Counties (Oct. 30 to Nov. 19)
Fall Turkey Season Rules
Wild turkey may be hunted using shotguns, rifles, air rifles .22 caliber or larger, handguns, muzzleloaders, bows or crossbows with arrows or bolts equipped with a point having at least two sharp-cutting edges measuring in excess of 3/4 inches wide. The use of hunting dogs is legal during the fall turkey season, but it is illegal to use electronic calls or bait. Shooting hours are a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.
You may harvest one either-sex turkey during the fall season with one of the following base licenses or license combinations:
- Class A-L
- Class AB-L
- Class X
- Class X3
- Class XP
- Class XP3
- Class XJ
- Class AHJ
- Class XS
- Class A+CS+BG
- Class AH+CS+BG
- Free License (Military, Disabled Veteran, former POW, Class DT or Senior Citizen)
- Class E+CS/LE+WW
- Class E-L+WW-L or WW
- Class XXJ+CS/LE
- Class AAH+CS/LE+WW
- Class AAHJ+CS/LE
- Class DT
All hunters age 15 and older are required to have a valid West Virginia hunting license, which can be purchased at approximately 160 retail agents around the state or online at WVhunt.com. To learn more about turkey hunting regulations, check pages 41–42 in the West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.
Get Your Gear Ready
For a successful fall turkey season, ensure your gear is in tip-top shape. Along with your trusted shotgun, check if you are stocked up on ammunition and adjust your scope as needed. You must also remember that turkeys have stellar eyesight, so wearing camouflage clothing is a must.
With temperatures sometimes dropping near freezing starting in November, wearing a good pair of gloves, socks and an extra layer of clothing may be beneficial. Wear a proper pair of hunting boots for trekking the terrain and pack a hunting knife, turkey call, range finder, blinds and a pair of binoculars. Of course, your West Virginia hunting license is needed.
Tips and Tricks
Turkeys behave differently in the fall than they do in the spring, so knowing how to be patient and stealthy is key. You will likely hear no gobbling this time of the year since turkeys attract mates in the spring, so you should check areas for signs of scratchings. Check for areas that are plentiful in dry fruit from woody plants, such as samara from maple, ash and elm trees. Chances are good that birds will pass through these spots.
If you plan to stalk a turkey or two, take steps during a gust of wind so your footsteps aren’t as easy for the target to pick up. You can also “bust up” a flock of turkeys and then try calling some of them back.
In hunting, safety comes first. Ensure you are always aware of your surroundings in the woods for other hunters. Take time to identify your target and make sure that you’re aiming at a turkey and not another hunter, animal or pet.
Always practice firearm safety and know everything needed to operate yours. Follow all safety gear laws and regulations to ensure your fall turkey season is safe and hopefully successful. Hunting with a friend or family member will also provide you with an extra set of eyes for safety in case of an emergency.Purchase Hunting License
This post was last updated on October 25, 2023