MDC reports nearly 7,000 fewer turkeys were harvested this season

Local News

In this Monday, May 4, 2020 photo, a wild turkey crosses a field in Freeport, Maine. States around the country are encouraging hunters to hunt turkeys this spring despite social distancing rules. The hunt will look different than usual because of concerns about the virus. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.- The Missouri Department of Conservation released preliminary data on how the 2021 spring turkey hunting season went.

According to MDC, 34,593 turkeys were harvested during the season, which lasted from April 19 through May 9. The top harvest counties were Franklin with 710 birds telechecked, Texas with 666, and Callaway with 639.

Included in that total are 2,795 birds harvested by young hunters. In 2020, MDC says young turkey hunters harvested 2,724 birds, and hunters harvested 38,734 totaling 41,458 birds.

“Spring turkey harvest was down this year, which can partially be explained by a decline in hunting participation,” said MDC Turkey Biologist Reina Tyl. “Last year we saw a big increase in the number of permits sold, and there was a subsequent increase in turkey harvest. This year, the permit sales total was closer to what was observed before the 2020 season. When turkey hunting participation declines, we expect to see a subsequent decline in turkey harvest.”

MDC does note there was a non-fatal hunting incident that occurred during the 2021 season.

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