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Turkey Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

General Information

  • You may buy only one turkey permit per year.
  • If you have filled your bag limit, you may call turkeys for another hunter, but you may not carry a bow, crossbow, or firearm. You may call turkeys to aid another hunter only if you are licensed to hunt wild turkey in New York and have a valid turkey permit.
  • If you have taken a turkey that is unfit for consumption, authorized DEC staff may issue a special permit to take another. You will have to surrender the carcass. Call your wildlife or law enforcement office.

Manner of Taking

  • You must carry your hunting license and turkey permit while you hunt.
  • You may hunt with a bow or crossbow; however, crossbows may not be used to take wild turkeys in Westchester or Suffolk counties.
  • You may hunt with a shotgun or handgun only when using shot no larger than #2 and no smaller than #8.
  • You may not take a turkey with a rifle or air gun, or with a handgun firing a bullet.
  • You may use a muzzleloading shotgun.
  • You may not hunt with a dog during the spring season. You may hunt with a dog during the fall season.
  • You may not use bait to hunt turkey.
  • You may not use an electronic calling or amplifying device to locate or hunt turkeys during the open season.
  • You may use decoys.
  • A scope of any type is allowed.

Tagging and Possession

  • Immediately after taking a wild turkey, you must fill out the appropriate carcass tag in ink, mark or cut out the date and month of kill, sign the back, and attach it to the carcass.
  • The carcass tag must stay attached to the turkey carcass until it is prepared for eating.
  • You may give your turkey to another person.
  • You must attach a tag with the following information to the turkey carcass:
    • Your name
    • Your address
    • Your hunting license number
    • Turkey permit carcass tag number
    • The recipient’s name
    • The recipient’s address
  • You must report your harvest within 7 days via phone (1-866-GAMERPT) or online (www.dec.ny.gov).

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:

  • E-mail us at wildlife@dec.ny.gov and type “Grouse Drumming Survey” in the subject line, or
  • Call 518-402-8883, or
  • Visit www.dec.ny.gov and search for “drumming survey.”

Reward

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.

1-844-DEC-ECOS

Fall Turkey Season

  • You may take a bird of either sex.
  • There is one carcass tag for the fall season and it may be used in any fall turkey hunting zone. Immediately after taking a turkey, you must fill out the carcass tag in ink and attach it to the bird.
  • If you take a turkey, save one of its legs. You will receive instructions about what to do with the leg when you report your harvest. The legs are used for age and sex information.

Spring Turkey Season

  • In the spring, you may take two bearded birds. You may only take one bird per day.
  • Fill out the carcass tag and attach it to the bird.
  • You do not need to save and send in turkey legs in the spring. You do need to take careful spur, beard, and weight measurements for harvest reporting.
    1. Spur measurements: Spurs should be measured from the tip of the spur to the base of the spur, where it emerges from the scaly part of the leg. Measure to the nearest ¼ inch. Do not measure to the forward edge of the leg, only to the base of the spur.
    2. Beard measurements: Beards should be measured from the tip of the beard to the base, where it emerges from the skin. Put the end of your ruler against the base of the beard and extend the beard along the body of the ruler. Measure to the nearest ¼ inch.
    3. Record the weight of the turkey to the nearest pound.

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.

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

Successful turkey hunters sit and call.

Don’t wear red, white, blue or black.

Most turkey hunting injuries happen when one hunter stalks another hunter. DON’T TRY TO STALK TURKEY!

Assume anything that sounds like a
turkey is a human (calls, footsteps).

If you see another hunter:

  • Don’t move, or wave or nod.
  • Don’t make turkey or animal sounds.
  • Do speak up clearly, saying “STOP.”

If you see a turkey:
Be 100% sure of your target and beyond. Avoid using a turkey “reaper fan” to prevent another hunter from mistaking you for a gobbler.