Manner of Taking
Tagging and Possession
Turkey Hunters Needed For Grouse Survey
DEC is seeking spring turkey hunters to participate in a survey to help monitor grouse populations.
For more information:
Protect Wild Turkeys against illegal hunting. Their future depends on you!
The National Wild Turkey Federation is offering a $200 reward to anyone giving information and testimony leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally hunting or killing a wild turkey in the State of New York.
The season alternative that best balanced a desire for higher turkey populations with hunter satisfaction was the same for all geographic regions — a two-week season with a bag limit of one bird of either sex.
As DEC biologists, hunters, and other wildlife enthusiasts have noted over the past 15 years, wild turkey populations have declined dramatically since their peak around 2001. Reasons for this decline include changes in habitat, a more abundant and diverse predator community, and poor reproductive success in extremely wet springs. Certain parts of the state with a better mix of habitat types (e.g., forest, agriculture, and “early successional” habitats such as old fields, young forests and shrublands) can buffer some of the negative effects of habitat loss, predation and weather, but most regions of New York have fewer turkeys today than in the past.
Since 2012, DEC biologists and partners at SUNY ESF and Cornell University have been working to better understand the biological and social factors associated with turkey management. Efforts have included:
The goal of these projects was to develop a thorough understanding of wild turkeys and the people who enjoy them so fall hunting seasons could be set based on current environmental and social conditions. The data collected enabled evaluation of a range of fall harvest alternatives, from a conservative season (2 weeks, 1 bird bag limit) to a liberal season (7 weeks, 2 bird bag limit), to identify the optimal season framework for different regions in New York that best balances turkey populations and hunter satisfaction. On average, fall turkey hunters spend four to six days afield, regardless of season length. In addition, surveyed hunters indicated that the most important factors in their satisfaction were hearing and seeing birds and having the chance to go afield. They valued having a season that includes two or more weekends and that does not overlap with the regular deer season. The optimal season alternative that best balanced the turkey population with hunter satisfaction was the same among all geographic regions — a two-week season with a bag limit of one bird of either sex.
The new fall hunting season structure (see above) is part of a four-year research program. DEC staff banded over 1,000 hens in 2013 and 2014, affixing satellite radios to a portion of these to assess survival rates and harvest rates under the current fall season structure. Staff will continue to band and track hens in 2015 and 2016 to evaluate the impact of a modification to the fall season on harvest and survival. This information, in addition to the abundance, productivity, and hunter survey data collected annually, can be used to offer sustainable fall harvest opportunities that reflect environmental conditions and current trends in turkey populations.
Spring Turkey Season
Spring Youth Hunt
Eligible hunters are 12–15 years of age and hold a Junior Hunting License and a Turkey Permit.
All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, as required by law for a Junior Hunting License (see General License Information).
The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and Turkey Permit. He/she may assist the youth hunter (including calling), but may not carry a firearm, crossbow or bow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt. Crossbows may only be used by licensees who are 14 years of age or older.
The bag limit for the youth hunt is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken beginning May 1.
All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.
Turkey Hunting Tips
If you see another hunter…
If you see a turkey…Be 100% sure of your target and beyond.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.