Mary Jo Casalena, Pennsylvania Game Commission wild turkey biologist, prepared the following report on spring gobbler hunting prospects for each Wildlife Management Unit.
The Game Commission shortened the fall season to two weeks in
2005 to help increase the population in this WMU that began declining in
2002, and spring harvests have increased since 2008. Spring harvests in
this unit have consistently been well above the statewide average. Expect
the 2012 spring harvest to be similar to, or slightly lower than last year
due to the below-average reproduction since 2007, which provided a smaller
proportion than normal of older gobblers. The key here is to scout prior to
Expect harvest to be below average, which is similar to last year, but harvests will remain above the statewide average. Due to below-average summer reproduction during the last three summers the proportion of adult gobblers in the population will be lower than normal, but the turkey population is still above the statewide average so huntingopportunities abound, especially for hunters who scout.
With the shorter fall season here in place since 2007 and
above-average reproduction for the last two summers, expect above average
harvests, which also will be well above the statewide average.
This WMU is difficult to predict because of the lack of public
land. For hunters who secure access to hunting areas, prospects are
excellent. The population of juvenile birds (jakes) is well above average
so don’t hesitate taking one of these tasty birds.
The population and spring harvests have been improving since the low in 2006 and should continue to increase this spring due to a combination of the shortened fall season length since 2004, and generally above average reproduction since 2006, which have provided an abundance of the older age-classed gobblers. These vocal longbeards are what the
majority of Pennsylvania turkey hunters seek. Although spring harvest
densities (harvests per square mile) remain below the statewide average,
expect harvests to be above average for this WMU and similar to the past
Expect another excellent spring harvest in 2012, which again
will be above the statewide average. Spring reproduction has been above
average for the past three years, providing a high proportion of juveniles
(jakes) and the more sought after and highly vocal two- and three-year-old
gobblers. The fall turkey season here was shortened in 2009 to help the
population increase to its previous high levels, and the strategy appears
to be working.
Prospects are good for harvesting three-year-old gobblers, but below-average reproduction during the last two summers means fewer jakes and the vocal two-year-old gobblers. With the two-week fall turkey season since 2004, spring harvests have been improving, and expect this spring’s harvest to be above average for the sixth consecutive year.
Thanks to above-average reproduction from 2008-2010 and a two-week fall season from 2007-2009, older gobblers abound. Even though reproduction in 2011 was below average, expect spring harvest to be similar to last year. Harvest density (harvest per square mile) continues to be below the statewide average. However, there are ample public hunting lands
for hunters to scout in this WMU.
Below-average reproduction in 2011 and 2010 translate to less jakes and the vocal two-year-old gobblers, but there should still be ample older gobblers from 2009. Because of this expect spring harvest to be similar to or slightly below last year’s harvest. Spring harvest densities (harvest per square mile) continue to be below the state average. However,hunters continue to enjoy hunting the extensive public lands in this WMU.
Below-average reproduction, since 2008, means fewer older
longbeards in the population. Therefore, expect overall harvest to
decrease, but success remains above the state average.
Below-average reproduction in 2011 and 2010 translate to less
jakes and the vocal two-year-old gobblers, but there should still be ample
older gobblers from 2009. Because of this, expect the spring harvest to be
similar to or slightly below last year’s harvest, but to remain above the
Although the 2012 spring harvest is expected to be below the record harvests of 2009 and 2010, expect the harvest to decrease only slightly from last year, but remain above the state average. There remains higher than average proportions of three-year and older gobblers, and these present the most challenging age classes to harvest, so pre-season scouting
will improve hunters’ opportunities this spring.
Expect a harvest similar to the last two years, which were
slightly below average for this WMU, but above the statewide average.
There are ample two-year-olds due to above-average reproduction in 2010, so
gobbling activity should be good. However, the below average reproduction
last year and in 2009 means fewer jakes and the those wary and prized
Although hunters in this WMU may not see the record harvests of
the past four years, prospects remain above average if enough
three-year-old gobblers remain in the population. The below-average
reproduction during the last two years is the reason harvests are expected
to decrease. The shortened fall season since 2004 most likely helped this
Expect spring harvests to be similar to last year, about average
for this WMU. Last year’s exceptional summer reproduction means there is an
abundance of one-year-old males, so hunters shouldn’t pass up this harvest
Although we don’t predict a record harvest, expect another great
season due to the nearly record spring 2009 reproduction and above-average
reproduction in 2010 and 2011. The abundance of adult gobblers should
provide plentiful gobbling, especially early in the season. This WMU
continues to maintain one of the highest spring harvest densities in the
Spring harvests have been steadily increasing since 2006 to
record levels during the last two years. Although this year’s spring
harvest is not expected to reach another record (due to below average
spring reproduction during the last two years), expect the harvest to be
another good year and remain above the statewide average. Hunters who scout
preseason should have good luck locating older gobblers.
Like WMUs 1A and 4C, this continues to be a turkey hotspot,
boasting the second highest spring harvests per square mile in the state
last year, with WMU 1A the leading unit. This year’s harvest, although
still well above the state average, is expected to decrease due to below
average reproduction during the last two summers. Hunters who scout
pre-season should still find ample three-year-old gobblers.
Expect the harvest to continue to be above average for this WMU,
although far below the statewide average. The closed fall turkey season
from 2003-2009 aided in this population’s increase throughout the WMU, not
just in the forested mountain portions. The above average reproduction in
2010 and 2011 produced an abundance of the vocal two-year-old gobblers, and
The data set for this WMU is minimal because spring harvests and
summer turkey sightings are some of the lowest in the state. However, from
the above-average spring 2009 reproduction, hunters can expect an average
harvest if they scout for those older, quieter three-year-old gobblers. ****
The above average reproduction during the last two summers in
much of this WMU, should provide an above average harvest due to the
abundance of two-year-old gobblers, which typically comprise the majority
of the harvest. The fall season was closed in 2010 to help the population
Data set is too small to predict harvest. The fall season was
closed in 2010 to help the population increase.