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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.

Estimated Fall Turkey Harvest/100 Days Effort

Estimated wild turkey harvest during fall 2015 was 2,045 birds, a roughly 60% decrease from the fall 2014 estimated harvest. This reduction in the estimated take was anticipated based on the changes made to the fall season structure for 2015. In the Northern Zone, where the season length was reduced by one-third and the bag limit was reduced to one bird, we observed a decline in estimated take of 64%. In the Southern Zone, where the season length was reduced by one-half (western NY) or two-thirds (southeastern NY), we observed a decline in estimated take of roughly 63%. In Suffolk County (Long Island), where the season went from one week to two weeks, the reported take more than doubled but was still relatively low.

As expected, based on the reduction in season length and bag limit in many counties, we observed a decrease in estimated harvest is most counties from fall 2014 to fall 2015. That said, we observed an increase or no change in harvest between years in eight counties including four in western New York (Orleans, Genesee, Chemung, and Erie counties), two in northern New York (Essex and Warren counties), and two in the southern part of the state (Putnam and Suffolk counties). The counties with the highest estimated take in fall 2015 were Delaware, Chautauqua, Steuben, Otsego, and for the first time, Suffolk County (Long Island).

The estimated number of fall turkey hunters decreased about 23% from 2014 to 2015, which was anticipated based on the changes made to the season length. When we control for changes in participation and effort, the estimated take/100 days effort increased on Long Island from 2014 to 2015, was similar between years in western New York, and declined in the rest of the state. The declines in take/100 days effort were likely the result of harsh winter conditions in 2015 and a slight decline in reproductive success from summer 2014 to summer 2015. In addition, in areas with abundant hard and soft mast, birds did not have to roam far and wide in search of food, making them less vulnerable to harvest.

Changes adopted in fall 2015 are being evaluated as part of a four-year research program. DEC staff banded and radio-tracked hens in 2013 and 2014 under the previous fall season structure and continued to band and track hens in 2015 and 2016 to help evaluate the effects of fall season changes on hen harvest and survival. This information will be used along with information on turkey abundance, productivity, and hunter activity and harvest data collected annually, to determine future fall harvest opportunities that are sustainable under current environmental conditions and trends in turkey populations.

Estimated Turkey Harvest/100 Days Effort, Fall 2014 and 2015
Region Fall 2014 Fall 2015 Change in Season Structure
2014 to 2015
Long Island (Suffolk Co.) 5.0 6.6 1 week, 1 bird to 2 weeks, 1 bird
Lake Plains 0.7 1.0 No change
Western NY 1.1 1.0 4 weeks, 1 bird to 2 weeks, 1 bird
Adirondacks/Tug Hill/
Champlain Valley
1.7 1.0 3 weeks, 1 bird to 2 weeks, 1 bird
St. Lawrence Valley 5.1 3.5 3 weeks, 2 birds to 2 weeks, 1 bird
Southeastern NY 2.5 1.4 7 weeks, 2 birds to 2 weeks, 1 bird
Statewide 2.0 1.4
New York State Estimated Fall Turkey Harvest
County 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Albany 156 153 125 42 160 65 121 33 76 13
Allegany 325 279 391 201 254 152 123 122 98 73
Broome 304 416 382 176 262 91 194 81 113 48
Cattaraugus 361 594 546 290 352 170 193 229 163 66
Cayuga 148 279 232 102 124 75 135 67 79 26
Chautauqua 450 474 617 298 480 226 279 236 196 105
Chemung 82 87 106 50 50 40 41 52 27 29
Chenango 550 651 598 298 406 111 309 79 172 51
Clinton 19 29 7 47 19 26 12 15 22 7
Columbia 175 192 219 93 124 77 145 62 100 53
Cortland 182 291 283 139 185 53 108 37 76 29
Delaware 281 717 796 427 569 140 394 131 440 133
Dutchess 281 349 271 100 138 150 124 98 116 36
Erie 200 372 125 217 220 84 122 19 74 69
Essex 6 29 0 20 10 14 27 2 19 34
Franklin 13 70 33 44 36 44 14 12 60 14
Fulton 25 70 66 67 45 14 43 15 28 19
Genesee 38 48 21 34 33 21 17 3 3 10
Greene 167 145 164 48 116 39 161 67 137 26
Hamilton 0 37 3 33 7 7 23 2 25 3
Herkimer 116 265 230 348 160 110 123 39 203 43
Jefferson 312 529 265 408 248 203 188 176 212 42
Lewis 47 138 85 145 81 63 70 71 91 20
Livingston 82 68 94 30 38 34 27 30 54 22
Madison 213 305 344 199 243 81 174 52 94 21
Monroe 119 105 38 54 44 51 51 8 47 17
Montgomery 133 184 137 99 185 36 154 71 79 40
Niagara 91 55 56 47 59 38 43 8 27 10
Oneida 157 403 197 257 193 124 95 100 110 32
Onondaga 205 384 374 226 157 144 167 69 143 29
Ontario 94 93 160 59 75 58 61 74 44 37
Orange 471 325 464 184 264 168 207 144 158 58
Orleans 5 29 32 22 11 25 11 1 0 10
Oswego 76 179 157 144 128 117 65 14 58 24
Otsego 353 564 598 256 301 122 315 119 297 92
Putnam 57 87 125 21 36 17 27 29 6 21
Rensselaer 118 267 194 100 155 71 121 40 97 26
Rockland 4 4 0 0 11 0 13 4 12 3
St. Lawrence 169 244 124 233 167 103 144 78 196 48
Saratoga 110 109 66 74 69 47 83 37 81 30
Schenectady 46 79 51 29 47 18 24 17 24 3
Schoharie 315 302 335 114 160 93 247 75 236 58
Schuyler 70 65 58 41 63 16 27 26 31 10
Seneca 67 48 24 37 37 29 32 8 30 5
Steuben 329 325 387 221 295 161 164 56 153 95
Suffolk n/a n/a n/a 102 104 101 110 30 36 87
Sullivan 285 313 313 135 174 60 197 37 125 40
Tioga 364 517 434 194 257 101 177 60 158 36
Tompkins 296 420 434 159 188 71 142 40 85 31
Ulster 194 291 210 122 207 131 132 104 103 43
Warren 3 29 3 20 12 10 31 5 13 19
Washington 270 329 327 213 179 83 234 42 152 71
Wayne 81 109 75 47 44 38 40 11 37 19
Westchester 11 16 43 15 14 15 33 8 15 3
Wyoming 78 111 89 50 82 31 38 41 64 27
Yates 98 81 106 73 85 74 70 70 78 29
Total 9,202 12,654 11,614 7,204 8,164 4,243 6,422 3,256 5,373 2,045