New York Spring Turkey Season Opens May 1

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Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2010

  • * Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.
  • * Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license.
  • * Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
  • * Hunters may take 2 bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only 1 bird per day.
  • * Hunters may not use rifles, or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.
  • * Successful hunters must fill out the tag which comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • * Successful hunters must report their harvest within 48 hours of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online.
  • * Hunters who take a bird with a leg band are encouraged to call the "800" number listed on the band, in addition to reporting their harvest via phone or Internet. Hunters will find out when and where the bird was banded and the information will help DEC staff better manage wild turkeys.

For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2009-10 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit and look for the "Turkey Hunting" pages of the DEC website.

Results from 2009:

An analysis of the 2009 spring turkey take, including a county-by-county breakdown, can be found on the DEC website. Take figures for the 2009 fall turkey season and county-by-county breakdown can be found at the website also.

Hunter Safety:

New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters, largely due to the annual efforts of over 3,000 dedicated volunteer Sportsman Education instructors. With 26 hunting-related shooting incidents, 2009 was the safest year since such records have been maintained. Of this total, eight were related to turkey hunting (all from the spring season). Even one incident is too many, so be sure to follow the cardinal rules of hunting safety: (1) assume every gun is loaded; (2) control the muzzle; (3) keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; (4) be absolutely sure of your target and what may be beyond it; and (5) Don't stalk! Set-up with your back against a large tree and call birds to you.

Participation Opportunities:

Do you have photos from a spring turkey hunt you would like to share? DEC has created a Hunting and Trapping Photo Gallery for junior hunters (ages 12-15), young trappers (under age 16), and hunters who have harvested their first big or small game animal. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a junior hunter, or if you are an adult who would like to share your first successful hunt, visit the photo gallery on the DEC website.

To participate in our Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey, Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey, or other game bird surveys visit the "Citizen Science" page of the DEC website.

Commissioner Grannis also encouraged all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp, an optional stamp that helps support the DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation. This year's stamp features a drawing of a pair of playful red fox. Buying a $5 stamp is a way to help conserve New York's fabulous wildlife heritage. More information about purchasing a Habitat Stamp is available. Coverage about the many species and habitats the stamp and other DEC initiatives help protect, as well as important environmental issues affecting the state can be delivered to your doorstep through a subscription to DEC's Conservationist magazine.