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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Turkey Hunting Regulations

General Information

report your harvest icon

A turkey permit and a hunting license are required while hunting wild turkey.

  • You may buy only one turkey permit per year.
  • If you have filled your bag limit, you may call turkeys for another hunter, but you may not carry a bow or firearm.
  • If you have taken a turkey which is unfit for consumption, authorized DEC staff may issue a special permit to take another. You will have to surrender the carcass. Call your local wildlife or law enforcement office.

Manner of Taking

  • You must carry your hunting license and turkey permit while you hunt.
  • You may hunt with a bow or crossbow.
    • You may not hunt turkey with a crossbow in the fall in the Northern Zone if you are using dogs.
  • You may hunt with a shotgun or handgun only when using shot no larger than #2 and no smaller than #8.
  • You may use a muzzleloading shotgun.
  • You may not take a turkey with a rifle, or with a handgun firing a bullet.
  • You may not hunt with a dog during the spring season. You may hunt with a dog during the fall season.
  • You may not use bait to hunt turkey.
  • You may not use an electronic calling or amplifying device to locate or hunt turkeys during the open season.
  • You may use decoys.
  • A scope of any type is allowed.

Spring Turkey Season

  • In the spring you may take two bearded birds. You may only take one bird per day.
  • Immediately after taking a turkey, fill out the carcass tag and attach it to the bird.
  • You do not need to save and send in turkey legs in the spring. You do need to take careful spur, beard, and weight measurements for reporting.
  • Spur measurements: spurs should be measured from the tip of the spur to the base of the spur, where it emerges from the scaly part of the leg. Measure to the nearest 1/4 inch. Do not measure to the forward edge of the leg, only to the base of the spur.
  • Beard Measurements: beards should be measured from the tip of the beard to the base, where it emerges from the skin. Butt the end of your ruler against the base of the beard and extend the beard along the body of the ruler. Measure to the nearest 1/4 inch.
  • Record the weight to the nearest pound.

Fall Turkey Season

  • You may take a bird of either sex.
  • See the Turkey Season map for bag limits and season dates. In a two-bird area in the fall, you may take both birds in one day.
  • There are two carcass tags for the fall season. Use "statewide" tag in any turkey hunting area. Use "two bird area" tag only in an area with a 2 bird bag limit. Look on the next page for the map showing the two bird bag limit area. Immediately after taking a turkey, you must fill out the carcass tag in ink and attach it to the bird.
  • If you take a turkey, save one leg from each turkey you take. Return it in the leg envelope you will receive. The legs are used for age and sex information.
  • You may not hunt turkey with a crossbow in the fall in the Northern Zone if you are using dogs.

Tagging and Possession

  • Immediately after taking a wild turkey, you must fill out the appropriate carcass tag in ink, cut out or mark in ink the date and month of kill, and secure it to the carcass. During the Youth Hunt you will need to write "April" on the back of the tag and mark that.
  • The carcass tag must stay attached to the turkey carcass until it is prepared for eating.
  • You may give your turkey to another person. You must attach a tag with the following information to the turkey carcass:
    1. your name
    2. your address
    3. your hunting license number
    4. your turkey permit number
    5. his/her name
    6. his/her address
  • This tag must stay attached to the turkey carcass until it is prepared for eating.

Reporting Your Take

For both fall and spring, you must report taking a turkey via the new DECALS reporting system. Call 1-866-GAME-RPT within 7 days to report take.

To record your spring turkey take, you will need the spur and beard measurements recorded on the carcass tag.

Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Picture of a hunter stalking another hunter
They both sound just like turkeys, and they
both know they will have to Shoot fast

Most turkey hunting injuries happen when one hunter stalks another.

  • Don't Stalk Turkeys. It doesn't work and it is dangerous.
  • Never wear turkey colors - red, white or blue.
  • Assume anything that sounds like a turkey is another turkey hunter.
  • Call with a large tree at your back.
  • If you see another hunter....DON'T MOVE.
  • Never wave, whistle or make any turkey call or animal sound.
  • Speak Up in a loud, clear voice to identify yourself.
  • Wrap an orange vest around a tree near your calling location to let other hunters know you are there.
  • Be sure of your target...and beyond!!

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    Albany, NY 12233-4754
    518-402-8924
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