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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 2016

The estimated harvest for spring 2016 was 18,422 birds. This is a decrease of 7% from 2015 and below the five-year and ten-year average spring harvest (20,500 and 26,000 birds, respectively). Much of the decline can be attributed to a decline in participation from 2015 to 2016, as the first two weeks of the season were cold and wet in many regions. When we control for hunting effort, we observe a 25% increase in take/100 days effort from 3.2 in spring 2015 to 4.0 in spring 2016. The 4.0 birds/100 days effort in spring 2016 was above the five-year average for this measure and close to the 10-year average (3.6 and 4.2 birds/100 days effort, respectively). About 69% of the birds harvested in spring 2016 were toms, a decrease from the previous two seasons and an indication of good production in 2015 and improved over-winter survival.

The top five counties for estimated harvest were Delaware, Otsego, Washington, St. Lawrence, and Steuben (see the table below for the full list). We observed an increase in harvest in almost 30%% of the counties open to spring hunting from 2015 to 2016 and no change or a decrease in harvest in 70% of the counties.

The increase in the take/100 days effort from 2015 to 2016 is likely due to above-average production in summer 2014, coupled with a mild winter in 2015-16. Overall, turkey populations are down significantly from the early to mid-2000s due, in part, to poor production and severe winter weather three of the last five years.

Youth-only Turkey Hunt 2016 - the 13th annual Youth Turkey Hunt was held April 23-24, and was once again greeted with enthusiasm by young hunters and their adult mentors. About 5,900 junior hunters harvested an estimated 1,300 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 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Albany 571 358 384 351 261

301

298 305 358

298

Allegany 1390 947 940 727 486 527 436 531 425 351
Broome 766 576 587 467 378 315 353 421 412 379
Cattaraugus 1764 1519 1,432 819 707 588 744 827 619 477
Cayuga 796 719 786 625 435 462 581 543 497 473
Chautauqua 1832 2016 2,012 1,350 965 928 1,071 1,143 790 569
Chemung 411 388 416 214 242 215 190 222 269 193
Chenango 1130 923 986 852 570 490 612 553 537 489
Clinton 262 151 285 127 139 134 182 206 188 179
Columbia 610 536 538 495 358 394 365 525 461 433
Cortland 589 489 572 458 287 298 466 450 292 307
Delaware 974 1038 1,182 1,018 546 600 817 981 952 737
Dutchess 1104 730 797 467 399 396 398 421 418 454
Erie 1020 1365 809 865 513 600 685 655 432 314
Essex 247 227 289 151 130 117 198 216 193 181
Franklin 224 208 280 140 112 132 179 174 179 210
Fulton 224 162 187 196 144 109 177 164 139 170
Genesee 277 354 268 235 118 181 215 206 133 126
Greene 429 298 406 333 289 285 264 338 399 337
Hamilton 78 57 76 72 55 62 96 78 52 60
Herkimer 856 803 984 606 442 379 442 392 371 338
Jefferson 934 897 1,158 720 601 575 675 589 501 500
Lewis 417 311 498 276 279 254 371 363 196 237
Livingston 520 506 567 288 289 296 275 373 321 294
Madison 761 726 820 661 367 425 437 518 348 433
Monroe 463 617 385 412 224 325 314 245 224 202
Montgomery 316 241 380 264 263 268 290 363 311 329
Niagara 432 444 220 285 158 248 270 149 148 152
Oneida 1113 1026 1,225 774 659 474 627 733 499 420
Onondaga 761 703 1,024 752 461 510 685 712 577 448
Ontario 761 706 744 514 426 448 456 608 400 421
Orange 744 686 831 664 442 460 461 582 603 538
Orleans 231 283 159 161 102 115 125 128 96 91
Oswego 746 995 795 837 447 534 532 562 479 404
Otsego 1039 910 1,215 913 536 620 723 877 766 650
Putnam 203 140 150 97 83 83 96 122 157 108
Rensselaer 571 489 508 406 306 286 410 417 497 467
Rockland 4 27 8 9 12 17 17 11 53 33
St. Lawrence 673 734 958 691 375 494 637 684 494 629
Saratoga 499 469 619 333 336 258 316 373 308 300
Schenectady 169 118 132 57 62 81 91 122 119 80
Schoharie 619 452 523 388 280 359 367 424 543 486
Schuyler 465 396 527 346 260 222 185 249 154 163
Seneca 398 405 265 242 199 178 169 186 115 112
Steuben 1477 1543 1,414 985 767 781 729 894 673 616
Suffolk n/a n/a n/a n/a 106 53 73 40 46 53
Sullivan 826 559 534 461 362 394 358 453 458 390
Tioga 632 585 707 561 390 406 348 355 245 301
Tompkins 679 605 677 540 387 362 382 366 317 323
Ulster 697 595 665 588 427 450 446 313 433 360
Warren 101 106 76 75 40 68 96 121 86 95
Washington 792 693 850 576 420 433 545 690 613 647
Wayne 760 988 684 485 313 383 447 399 306 337
Westchester 147 84 102 67 47 44 67 64 31 64
Wyoming 588 539 492 369 338 278 318 286 311 340
Yates 533 494 536 442 398 343 408 481 296 324
Total 35,625 32,936 34,664 25,807 18,738 19,038 21,515 23,203 19,840 18,422