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Spring Turkey Take by County

As described in DEC's Wild Turkey Management Plan (PDF) (290 kB), DEC has changed the way that seasonal turkey harvest is reported. In the past, DEC only summarized the number of birds actually reported by hunters. Now, the Department reports an estimated 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 Spring Wild Turkey Harvest 2007-17

The estimated harvest for spring 2017 was 17,492 birds. This is slightly below 2016 and below the five-year and ten-year average spring harvest (20,400 and 25,000 birds, respectively).

Much of the decline in harvest below the long-term average the last two years can be attributed to a decline in participation (about 80,000 hunters/year in 2016 and 2017 compared to 91,500 hunters/year, on average, over the previous five years). Wet weather in many regions in the first half of May in 2016 and in the latter half of May in 2017 may have kept hunters indoors.

When we control for hunting effort, we observe an 8% increase in take/100 days effort from 4.0 in spring 2016 to 4.3 in spring 2017. The 4.3 birds/100 days effort in spring 2017 was above the five-year and ten-year averages for this measure (3.7 and 4.1 birds/100 days effort, respectively). The increase in the take/100 days effort from 2016 to 2017 is likely due to above-average production in summer 2015, coupled with a mild winter in 2015-16. About 73% of the birds harvested in spring 2017 were toms, an increase from the previous season, which is an indication of good production in 2015.

The top five counties for estimated harvest were Chautauqua, Steuben, Oswego, Delaware, and St. Lawrence (see the table below for the full list). We observed an increase in harvest in about 34% of the counties open to spring hunting from 2016 to 2017 and no change or a decrease in harvest in 66% of the counties.

Youth-only Turkey Hunt 2017 - the 14th annual Youth Turkey Hunt was held April 22-23, and was once again greeted with enthusiasm by young hunters and their adult mentors. About 5,900 junior hunters harvested an estimated 1,600 birds. Junior hunters and their adult mentors met with success in 53 of the 56 counties open to the youth hunt.

New York State Estimated Spring Turkey Harvest
County 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Albany 358 384 351 261 301 298 305 358 298 211
Allegany 947 940 727 486 527 436 531 425 351 453
Broome 576 587 467 378 315 353 421 412 379 275
Cattaraugus 1519 1,432 819 707 588 744 827 619 477 545
Cayuga 719 786 625 435 462 581 543 497 473 347
Chautauqua 2016 2,012 1,350 965 928 1,071 1,143 790 569 713
Chemung 388 416 214 242 215 190 222 269 193 262
Chenango 923 986 852 570 490 612 553 537 489 401
Clinton 151 285 127 139 134 182 206 188 179 190
Columbia 536 538 495 358 394 365 525 461 433 286
Cortland 489 572 458 287 298 466 450 292 307 178
Delaware 1038 1,182 1,018 546 600 817 981 952 737 585
Dutchess 730 797 467 399 396 398 421 418 454 283
Erie 1365 809 865 513 600 685 655 432 314 519
Essex 227 289 151 130 117 198 216 193 181 203
Franklin 208 280 140 112 132 179 174 179 210 195
Fulton 162 187 196 144 109 177 164 139 170 194
Genesee 354 268 235 118 181 215 206 133 126 174
Greene 298 406 333 289 285 264 338 399 337 243
Hamilton 57 76 72 55 62 96 78 52 60 53
Herkimer 803 984 606 442 379 442 392 371 338 340
Jefferson 897 1,158 720 601 575 675 589 501 500 499
Lewis 311 498 276 279 254 371 363 196 237 327
Livingston 506 567 288 289 296 275 373 321 294 349
Madison 726 820 661 367 425 437 518 348 433 293
Monroe 617 385 412 224 325 314 245 224 202 219
Montgomery 241 380 264 263 268 290 363 311 329 302
Niagara 444 220 285 158 248 270 149 148 152 186
Oneida 1026 1,225 774 659 474 627 733 499 420 525
Onondaga 703 1,024 752 461 510 685 712 577 448 347
Ontario 706 744 514 426 448 456 608 400 421 457
Orange 686 831 664 442 460 461 582 603 538 369
Orleans 283 159 161 102 115 125 128 96 91 110
Oswego 995 795 837 447 534 532 562 479 404 607
Otsego 910 1,215 913 536 620 723 877 766 650 480
Putnam 140 150 97 83 83 96 122 157 108 84
Rensselaer 489 508 406 306 286 410 417 497 467 313
Rockland 27 8 9 12 17 17 11 53 33 25
St. Lawrence 734 958 691 375 494 637 684 494 629 584
Saratoga 469 619 333 336 258 316 373 308 300 295
Schenectady 118 132 57 62 81 91 122 119 80 92
Schoharie 452 523 388 280 359 367 424 543 486 396
Schuyler 396 527 346 260 222 185 249 154 163 210
Seneca 405 265 242 199 178 169 186 115 112 199
Steuben 1543 1,414 985 767 781 729 894 673 616 661
Suffolk n/a n/a n/a 106 53 73 40 46 53 42
Sullivan 559 534 461 362 394 358 453 458 390 306
Tioga 585 707 561 390 406 348 355 245 301 270
Tompkins 605 677 540 387 362 382 366 317 323 245
Ulster 595 665 588 427 450 446 313 433 360 295
Warren 106 76 75 40 68 96 121 86 95 111
Washington 693 850 576 420 433 545 690 613 647 530
Wayne 988 684 485 313 383 447 399 306 337 448
Westchester 84 102 67 47 44 67 64 31 64 43
Wyoming 539 492 369 338 278 318 286 311 340 344
Yates 494 536 442 398 343 408 481 296 324 279
Total 32,936 34,664 25,807 18,738 19,038 21,515 23,203 19,840 18,422 17,492