The West Virginia DNR would like to remind everyone of several turkey hunting safety tips for the upcoming W.Va. Spring Gobbler Season, which runs from April 22 through May 18.
-- Always positively identify your target from tip to tail. A harvested turkey must have a visible beard in the spring season to be legal.
-- Never assume you’re alone in the woods. Assume every sound you hear is another person until you positively know otherwise.
-- If you see another hunter, don’t move. Remain still and call out to the hunter in a loud voice. Remain still until the hunter acknowledges your presence.
-- Never carry harvested turkeys or decoys in the open. Completely conceal them or wrap them in blaze orange.
-- Never wear the colors red, white, blue or black. These are the predominant colors of wild turkeys.
-- While it’s not a legal requirement, unless a deer firearms season is in, consider wearing blaze orange while entering or leaving your hunting spot or stand. When you get set up to call, you can remove it.
-- If you wear camouflage, cover your entire body, including your face and hands.
The West Virginia DNR would also like to remind people to report any violations to them at the Beckley office at 304-256-6945. They would also like to remind everyone that there are cash rewards available for information leading to the conviction of anyone with turkey violations. These rewards are sponsored in cooperation with the W.Va. Wild Turkey Federation.
Common violations include:
-- Hunting over bait.
-- Hunting before season.
-- Hunting after hours. Hunters may not have an uncased firearm or bow in the woods after 1 p.m. during the spring season.
-- Exceeding the daily limit of one or season limit of two turkeys.
-- Using electronic calling devices.
-- Failure to field tag or check in turkeys or having someone else check in the turkey of another hunter.
-- Killing turkeys that have no visible beard.