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Turkey Hunting

Spring 2009 Turkey Forecast

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The NYS DEC recently released their 2009 Spring Turkey Forecast which indicates an average season for New Yorkers. Based on brood surveys over the last two years and harvest data, the spring 2009 season has the potential to be about the same as 2008 and close to the five-year average spring harvest (about 29,500 birds). An above-average 2007 hatch combined with a decent late-season hatch in 2008 should provide hunters with opportunities to harvest two-year-old birds as well as quite a few jakes. There is a lot of variation among regions of the state and even within a region. Northern New York, in particular, received above-average spring rainfall in 2008, so production was worse there than in other parts of the state. Unfortunately, that’s two straight seasons with poor production in DEC Region 6, likely driving down spring harvest there. DEC Regions 4 and 7 have had consistently good production the past few years, so harvest should be similar to or slightly better than last year with both young birds and adult birds available. The rest of the state may be similar to, or slightly below last year’s harvest.“the spring 2009 season has the potential to be about the same as 2008 and close to the five-year average spring harvest of 29,500 birds”

The regular spring season opens on Friday, May 1, and continues through Sunday, May 31. Important details of the 2009 spring turkey hunting season include:

  • Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.
  • Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license.
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
  • Hunters may take 2 bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only 1 bird per day.
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns. Hunters may hunt only with a shotgun and shot sizes no larger than # 2 or smaller than # 8, or with a bow and arrow.
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag which comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within 48 hours of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online.
  • Hunters who take a bird with a leg band, in addition to reporting their harvest via phone or Internet, are encouraged to call the “800” number listed on the band. The information help DEC staff better manage the wild turkey resource.
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Turkey Hunting

Spring Turkey Season Opens May 1 in New York

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Bowhunters take to the woods this spring after weary old gobblers in New York.

It’s my favorite time of year after deer season – the spring turkey season (probably because it’s the only other time I’m out hunting with my bow). Following suit of previous seasons, the 2014 spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and the annual youth turkey hunting weekend is April 26-27. The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.

Not nearly as popular as deer hunting, there only 100,000 turkey hunters expected to head afield this spring. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can’t get excited about calling to a bird and have it respond and watch it work its way in. It’s a very interactive hunt.

According to the DEC, hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license (if purchased before Feb. 1) or hunting license (if purchased after Feb. 1).

  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
  • Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.
  • Crossbows may not be used for the spring 2014 turkey season.
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird.

One thing that caught my eye is that the state’s enacted 2014-15 budget includes language authorizing the use of crossbows for hunting under certain circumstances. So while hunters cannot use crossbows to take wild turkey during the 2014 spring season, they might be able to in 2015. It will be interesting to see if the changes go through for next year and what affect that would have on the number of hunters taking to the field for turkey hunting.

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Turkey Hunting

Bowhunting Turkey in New York

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Teresa took this big longbeard on the opening day of the 2012 Spring Turkey Hunting Season in Orange County, New York. This is Teresa’s first turkey kill and she got the job done with a heart-pounding 23-yard shot. Congrats to Teresa on an awesome longbeard!

Did you have success this spring? It was tough with the warm weather we had in April before the opener.

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Turkey Hunting

NY Bowhunter Takes Turkey During Fall Archery Season

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Last Friday morning my cousin Ken had the day off to enjoy a day afield. He was set up in his tree well before first light, but the morning was really slow and Ken only saw one deer. The tall spike came down the hill 50 yards to his right and kept on walking to wherever it was that he was going.

With no rubs or scrapes in the general area, Ken and his father Nick decided to hunt a different area that afternoon. On the drive to their hunting spot that afternoon they spotted a flock of turkeys and ten deer out in a field just a few door down from where they would be hunting.

Ken headed to his stand at the top of the hill and waited in anticipation for the deer and turkey to leave the field and move back into the hardwoods. Around 5:00 pm the woods exploded with noise and movement and the deer and turkey came barreling through the woods. Shortly after, Ken heard a lady yelling at her dog who must have decided it would be fun to chase the deer and turkeys out of the nearby field.

Then Ken heard a single turkey coming towards him from the bottom of the hill. Ken got ready and drew back with the bird at 20 yards. The bird took two more steps and Ken made a chirping sound to stop it and let the arrow fly. The bird only made it a few more yards before going down.

Congrats to Ken on taking a turkey with the bow, that’s never an easy thing!

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