The number of turkeys hunters checked during the spring season was up six percent from last year. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk to Missouri Department of Conservation Resource Scientist Jason Isabelle:
“Most of the increase we saw this year in the spring harvest was due to the good hatch we had throughout the state last year,” says Jason Isabelle,” If you look at the breakdown of the harvest, hunters shot substantially more jakes this year, which are one-year-old male turkeys. They made up a larger proportion of the harvest than they did in 2011.”
Regular spring turkey harvest totals 40,447
Youth weekend adds 4,319 for an overall spring 2012 total of 44,766.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – Hunters checked 40,447 turkeys during Missouri’s regular spring turkey season, up by 2,120 from 38,327 last spring, or about one percent. The harvest of 4,319 turkeys during this year’s spring youth weekend, March 31 and April 1, brought the 2012 spring turkey harvest to 44,766, up about one percent from 2011. Youth hunters harvested 3,893 turkeys during the 2011 spring youth weekend for a 2011 spring total of 42,220.
Top harvest counties during the regular 2012 spring turkey season, April 16 through May 6, were Franklin with 852, Texas with 803 and Greene with 698.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recorded four non-fatal firearms-related turkey hunting incidents and no fatalities.
The bulk of birds taken during both this year’s youth weekend and regular spring season were adult gobblers with 31,813, or about 71 percent. Juvenile male turkeys (jakes) comprised almost 28 percent with 12,445 birds. Bearded hens made up one percent with 508.
Turkey harvest totals by county are available online at mdc.mo.gov/node/17396.