DEC Announces May 1 Opening of Turkey Hunting Seasons – NYS … – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Thursday, April 21, 2022
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that spring turkey season opens on Sunday, May 1, in all of upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. In addition, DEC's annual youth turkey hunting weekend will take place on Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24. The youth turkey hunt for junior hunters ages 12 to 15 is open in all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.
"May is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the fantastic turkey hunting opportunities throughout New York State," Commissioner Seggos said. "The gobble of a tom turkey keeps hunters going afield year after year to chase these popular game birds."
The spring turkey harvest in New York averages approximately 19,000 birds and varies based on the number of participants and turkey productivity in the previous few spring seasons. This spring, DEC biologists expect hunters to take more turkeys than last year. Hunters prefer to take toms (birds older than two years) over younger male jakes, so typically wildlife managers see a two-year lag between summer productivity and spring take. Overall, turkey populations are lower than a few years ago due to below-average reproductive success in two of the last three years. However, improved turkey productivity in 2020 will mean a greater proportion of toms available to hunters this spring compared to last year.
While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made each year. Every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and DEC encourages hunters to use common sense this season and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunter Education course:
DEC also encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink when moving between hunting spots to make themselves more visible to other hunters. A blaze orange or blaze pink vest or other material can be hung in a nearby tree when you are set up and calling birds so other hunters are alerted to your presence.
A hunter education class is required for all new hunters. To find a hunter education class in your area, visit DEC's Hunter Education Program webpage or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).
For more information about getting outdoors and protecting public lands, go to DEC's Love Our NY Lands webpage and learn how to be prepared, Leave No TraceTM, and other tips to be outdoors safely.
Sporting licenses may be purchased online at any time (leaves DEC website), and privileges can be used immediately by simply carrying the transaction number (DEC-LS#) while afield. Anglers, hunters, and trappers may also use the HuntFishNY mobile app to display an electronic copy of their license. The HuntFishNY app is available for download through the Apple App or Google Play stores. Back tags and carcass tags must still be mailed, and customers should allow 10-14 days for receipt of their tags. Please visit DEC's website for more information about sporting licenses.
Turkey hunters can record the number of ruffed grouse they hear drumming while afield to help DEC track the distribution and abundance of this game bird. To get a survey form, go to DEC's website or call (518) 402-8883. To participate in DEC's Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey or other wildlife surveys, visit the "Citizen Science" page of DEC's website.
Turkey hunters are reminded that DEC is accepting public comments through June 5, 2022, on proposed regulations that would expand turkey hunting opportunities beginning this fall, changing the minimum shot size from #8 to #9, and establishing a spring turkey season in Suffolk County in 2023. More information about these proposals can be found on DEC's website.
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