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Fall Turkey Take by County

As described in DEC's Wild Turkey Management Plan (PDF, 283 KB),DEC estimates the total turkey harvest based on surveys of approximately 12,000 turkey permit holders after the close of the hunting season. This results in a calculated harvest based on estimated reporting rates. This provides a more accurate harvest estimate and a more realistic assessment of the status of New York's wild turkey populations.

Fall Wild Turkey Harvest Estimate 2007-2017

The estimated harvest for fall 2017 was 1,278 birds. This is well below 2016 (2,316) and below the five-year and ten-year average fall harvest (3,900 and 6,300 birds, respectively).

Only seven counties saw an increase in the estimated harvest from fall 2016 to fall 2017, and six of the seven were in DEC Regions 8 and 9 in western NY (Seneca, Niagara, Genesee, Wayne, Wyoming, and Erie counties). The top counties for estimated harvest were Suffolk, Erie, Jefferson, and Cattaraugus, with Chautauqua and Herkimer tied for 5th.

Much of the decline in harvest below the long-term average can be attributed to poor production during summer 2017. The estimated poults/hen was 2.5, the lowest value for this index since summer 2009. In addition, in areas with good hard and soft mast production, turkeys could restrict their foraging movements so were less vulnerable to harvest.

Of the estimated 1,278 birds killed during the fall hunting season, about 31% were adult males, 21% were adult females, 28% were juvenile males, and 20% were juvenile females. Fall 2017 continued the trend of a decline in the percentage of hens in the fall harvest. Whether this is due to changes made to the fall season structure prior to the 2015 season remains to be seen.

Fall take has been on a downward trajectory, which is partially a reflection of a decline in turkey numbers, but is also a function of declining fall hunter numbers, which has been occurring for almost 20 years. Fall participation has been declining steadily over the past two decades, but this decline seems to be leveling off since around 2013. The fall season currently has between 30,000-40,000 hunters. The modification of the fall season structure beginning in 2015 to a statewide 2-week season with a 1 bird bag limit does not appear to have significantly impacted hunting participation.

New York State Estimated Fall Turkey Harvest
County 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Albany 125 42 160 65 121 33 76 13 18 6
Allegany 391 201 254 152 123 122 98 73 63 40
Broome 382 176 262 91 194 81 113 48 37 9
Cattaraugus 546 290 352 170 193 229 163 66 118 63
Cayuga 232 102 124 75 135 67 79 26 24 7
Chautauqua 617 298 480 226 279 236 196 105 116 58
Chemung 106 50 50 40 41 52 27 29 32 6
Chenango 598 298 406 111 309 79 172 51 62 20
Clinton 7 47 19 26 12 15 22 7 30 6
Columbia 219 93 124 77 145 62 100 53 43 8
Cortland 283 139 185 53 108 37 76 29 30 7
Delaware 796 427 569 140 394 131 440 133 109 29
Dutchess 271 100 138 150 124 98 116 36 48 17
Erie 125 217 220 84 122 19 74 69 59 74
Essex 0 20 10 14 27 2 19 34 27 3
Franklin 33 44 36 44 14 12 60 14 66 6
Fulton 66 67 45 14 43 15 28 19 21 15
Genesee 21 34 33 21 17 3 3 10 6 14
Greene 164 48 116 39 161 67 137 26 48 6
Hamilton 3 33 7 7 23 2 25 3 30 3
Herkimer 230 348 160 110 123 39 203 43 69 58
Jefferson 265 408 248 203 188 176 212 42 87 65
Lewis 85 145 81 63 70 71 91 20 66 31
Livingston 94 30 38 34 27 30 54 22 39 6
Madison 344 199 243 81 174 52 94 21 26 17
Monroe 38 54 44 51 51 8 47 17 29 22
Montgomery 137 99 185 36 154 71 79 40 48 20
Niagara 56 47 59 38 43 8 27 10 19 48
Oneida 197 257 193 124 95 100 110 32 53 34
Onondaga 374 226 157 144 167 69 143 29 22 6
Ontario 160 59 75 58 61 74 44 37 37 22
Orange 464 184 264 168 207 144 158 58 54 26
Orleans 32 22 11 25 11 1 0 10 8 4
Oswego 157 144 128 117 65 14 58 24 41 30
Otsego 598 256 301 122 315 119 297 92 58 30
Putnam 125 21 36 17 27 29 6 21 8 2
Rensselaer 194 100 155 71 121 40 97 26 36 18
Rockland 0 0 11 0 13 4 12 3 2 0
St. Lawrence 124 233 167 103 144 78 196 48 77 37
Saratoga 66 74 69 47 83 37 81 30 43 18
Schenectady 51 29 47 18 24 17 24 3 10 3
Schoharie 335 114 160 93 247 75 236 58 50 33
Schuyler 58 41 63 16 27 26 31 10 14 11
Seneca 24 37 37 29 32 8 30 5 4 14
Steuben 387 221 295 161 164 56 153 95 59 48
Suffolk n/a 102 104 101 110 30 36 87 81 124
Sullivan 313 135 174 60 197 37 125 40 39 6
Tioga 434 194 257 101 177 60 158 36 41 6
Tompkins 434 159 188 71 142 40 85 31 28 12
Ulster 210 122 207 131 132 104 103 43 30 23
Warren 3 20 12 10 31 5 13 19 32 15
Washington 327 213 179 83 234 42 152 71 41 11
Wayne 75 47 44 38 40 11 37 19 19 34
Westchester 43 15 14 15 33 8 15 3 8 3
Wyoming 89 50 82 31 38 41 64 27 21 32
Yates 106 73 85 74 70 70 78 29 30 12
Total 11,614 7,204 8,164 4,243 6,422 3,256 5,373 2,045 2,316 1,278