RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – More than 24,000 turkeys were harvested during Virginia’s 2023 spring turkey season, setting a new record.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) announced in a release Friday that 24,447 turkeys were harvested, far and away surpassing the previous record of 20,580 in 2015. DWR’s executive director, Ryan Brown, said the state’s turkey population has not been negatively impacted.
“Turkey populations remain healthy and abundant across most of Virginia, enabling hunters to enjoy a record-setting turkey season,” Brown said.
The release states DWR biologists predicted a high harvest total in 2023 due to “above average brood survey results in 2021.” The agency stated that 2-year-old turkeys are exceptionally responsive to hunter calls and are typically more vocal and thus easier to find.
The DWR also credits favorable hunting weather in the 2023 spring as a factor in breaking the record.
Percentage-wise, 92% of the 24,447 gobblers harvested were adults, and the remainder were juveniles, known as “jakes.”
In Southwest Virginia, Scott County had the highest total number of turkeys harvested in 2023 with 392, which was higher than the county’s 2021 and 2022 totals. You can see a full harvest summary by county by clicking here.