2005 Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Season Opens May 4

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The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds outdoorsmen that the 2005 Connecticut spring wild turkey hunting season will run from May 4-28. This year will mark the 25th year that sportsmen have hunted turkeys in Connecticut during the modern era. The statewide turkey population is estimated at approximately 40,000 birds. Last spring, over 7,300 hunters took 2,081 bearded turkeys.

"During the past 24 years, spring turkey hunting has become an activity that many look forward to on an annual basis. Connecticut has some of the finest turkey hunting in New England," said Michael Gregonis, a Deer/Turkey Program biologist for the DEP Wildlife Division.

During the 2005 spring season, two bearded turkeys may be taken on state land and three on private land. Hunting is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise until noon each day. All turkeys harvested must be tagged immediately and reported to the DEP on mandatory report cards within 24 hours. The highest wild turkey densities exist in the northwest and northeast corners of the state. However, good numbers of turkeys can be found in woodlands throughout the state.

As you head outdoors this spring, DEP hunting safety experts recommend the following safety precautions:

  • Become familiar with two or more areas to hunt, so if someone is already hunting in one of those areas, you can move to another site.
  • If another hunter is encountered in the woods, remain still and speak in a loud clear voice to announce your presence.
  • Eliminate the colors red, white and blue from your hunting outfit. These colors are associated with a gobbler’s head and could be mistaken as such.
  • Hunters must be sure of their target and what is beyond it, prior to taking a shot.

"Common sense and patience are required for maintaining a safe hunting experience and harvesting a gobbler," added Gregonis. "Spring turkey hunting requires preparation. Scouting, calling and hunting techniques unique to this effort can be learned by attending seminars, reading articles, watching videos and talking with experienced turkey hunters."

Written landowner permission, on forms provided by the DEP, is required of all turkey hunters on private land. Hunters may obtain only one permit type during the spring season. State land no-lottery or private land permits may be purchased by following instructions in the 2005 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, which is available at town clerks’ and some DEP offices; the hunting guide can also be accessed on the DEP’s website (www.dep.state.ct.us). The DEP Licensing and Revenue Office must receive applications at least three weeks prior to the season to ensure delivery by opening day. Permits may also be purchased over the counter at the Licensing and Revenue Office, 79 Elm Street, Hartford.