Saturday, April 24, 2010

Turkey Season Opens May 1; Youth Weekend Begins

The 2010 spring turkey season opens on May 1 and the annual Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend is this weekend (April 24-25). For more information about turkey hunting in New York, visit the “Turkey Hunting” pages of the DEC website.

An analysis of the 2009 spring turkey take, including a county-by-county breakdown, can be found on the DEC website; the numbers for the 2009 fall turkey season are also online.

Do you have photos from a spring turkey hunt you would like to share? DEC has created a Hunting and Trapping Photo Gallery for junior hunters (ages 12-15), young trappers (under age 16), and hunters who have harvested their first big or small game animal. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a junior hunter, or if you are an adult who would like to share your first successful hunt, visit the photo gallery.

To participate in our Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey, Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey, or other game bird surveys visit the “Citizen Science” page of the DEC website.

To be eligible for this year’s Youth Turkey Hunt, hunters must be 12-15 years of age, and holding a junior hunting license and a turkey permit. Youth ages 12-13 must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or a relative over 21 and with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth ages 14-15 must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or an adult over 18 and with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter (including calling), but may not carry a firearm or bow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt.

Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day. The bag limit for the youth weekend is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular season bag limit of 2 bearded birds. A second bird may be taken beginning May 1. All other wild turkey hunting regulations are in effect.

Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2010:

• 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 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.

• 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 GAMERPT) or report harvest online.

• Hunters who take a bird with a leg band are encouraged to call the “800” number listed on the band, in addition to reporting their harvest via phone or Internet. Hunters will find out when and where the bird was banded and the information will help DEC staff better manage wild turkeys.

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