Turkey Hunt Goes Statewide

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Vermont was the first New England state to re-establish wild turkeys when it stocked 31 birds in 1969 and 1970. The Green Mountain State has an estimated 40,000 turkeys and it is one of the top-producing New England states in the number of turkeys taken by hunters. Now, Vermont has another first in New England wild turkey management.

Vermont just announced gobbler hunting will be held statewide for the first time this spring during the May 1-31 hunting season.

A turkey hunting license with two spring tags for bearded wild turkeys may be used in any of Vermont’s 24 wildlife management units. There is no lottery application, hunting is allowed on Sunday, and finding a place to hunt merely requires some preparation ahead of time.

Hunters have taken more than 3,000 gobblers in each of Vermont’s last five spring turkey hunting seasons. Last year, 3,694 turkeys were taken in the spring season.

Prospects for this year’s May turkey hunting season are excellent, according to Doug Blodgett, the biologist who chairs Vermont’s turkey management team.

“We are seeing good-sized flocks of turkeys in good habitat as far north as the Canadian Border,” said Blodgett. “Having the hunting season open statewide is a great achievement, especially considering that this bird is on the northern fringe of its range in North America. Now, there is plenty of room for hunters to locate good hunting areas.”

Vermont’s wild turkey restoration program is a tremendous wildlife management success story funded entirely by hunters through the sale of hunting licenses and a federal tax on hunting equipment. Now, hunters are reaping the benefits by seeing excellent turkey hunting in Vermont. And, all Vermonters are enjoying watching the big birds as they roam hillsides they had been absent from for almost a century.