Reward for Turkey Poaching Information

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In an effort to curtail illegal activities associated with wild turkey hunting in West Virginia, the Division of Natural Resources will once again cooperate with the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation's program to pay rewards to persons reporting poaching or other illegal practices relating to wild turkeys, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.

The West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will pay $200 cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons who illegally kill or possess a wild turkey. The public is urged to contact their local conservation officer or call 1-800-Net Game, if they see someone illegally killing a turkey or know of a person possessing an illegal turkey. The informant's identity will remain confidential. By reporting poaching, the public can make a significant contribution to West Virginia 's wild turkey management program.

The baiting of wild turkey is also illegal in West Virginia. The West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation pays a cash reward of $100 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons attempting to kill wild turkeys through the use of bait during the months of April and May or who willfully destroy the nest or eggs of a wild turkey. Unfortunately, baiting has become one of the most common hunting violations reported in the Wildlife Resources Section's Annual Spring Gobbler Survey.

“Baiting turkeys is not only illegal, it creates dishonor and disrespect for the great sport of gobbler hunting,” said Taylor . “I encourage turkey hunters to report any such activity to their local Conservation Officer.”

The West Virginia spring gobbler season runs from April 26 through May 22, 2004.