Turkey Hunting Season Opens May 1

DEC asks hunters to also count ruffed grouse

The spring turkey season opens May 1 north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and continues until May 31. Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license, and 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. They may hunt only with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow. Successful hunters must fill out the tag with their permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.

Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days. Call 866-426-3778 or visit dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8316.html.

A tom turkey struts across a field in Oswego County. (Photo by Nancy Weaver Bookheimer)

A tom turkey struts across a field in Oswego County. (Photo by Nancy Weaver Bookheimer)

The DEC suggests hunters follow the cardinal rules of hunting safety: assume every gun is loaded, control the muzzle, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, be absolutely sure of your target and what may be beyond it and don’t stalk. Set up with your back against a large tree and call birds to you. To find a sportsman education class, visit  dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7860.html or call 888-486-8332.

The agency also is asking turkey hunters to take part in a ruffed grouse survey. Hunters can record the number of grouse they hear drumming while afield to help DEC track the distribution and abundance of the game bird. To get a survey form, go to dec.ny.gov/animals/48169.html or call 518-402-8886.

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