Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Spring Turkey Take by County

As described in DEC's Wild Turkey Management Plan (PDF), 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.

New York State Estimated Spring Turkey Harvest 2008-2018

After a population low observed in 2011, turkey populations have increased slightly and seem to have stabilized over the past few years based on spring harvest data and other surveys. Turkey abundance is still substantially reduced from the levels observed in the early to mid-2000s.

The estimated harvest for spring 2018 was roughly 19,100 birds. This is an increase of 9% from 2017, but is slightly below the five-year average spring harvest (20,100 birds). Participation increased about 8% from 2017 to 2018 to 89,000 hunters. When we control for the increase in hunter numbers, the increase in take seems to be reflective of improved turkey abundance as the take per 100 days effort also increased between years (4.3 birds/100 days effort to 4.8 birds/100 days effort). Almost 80% of the birds harvested were toms, compared to 74% in 2017. This is likely due to decent production in summer 2016 and poor production in summer 2017 resulting in a smaller proportion of jakes in the population.

The top five counties for estimated harvest were St. Lawrence, Oneida, Chautauqua, Steuben, and Jefferson (see the table below for the full list). We observed an increase in harvest in about 48% of the counties open to spring hunting from 2017 to 2018, no change in 30%, and a decrease in harvest in 22% of the counties.

Youth-only Turkey Hunt 2018 - the 15th annual Youth Turkey Hunt was held April 21-22, 2018, and was once again greeted with enthusiasm by young hunters and their adult mentors. About 5,400 junior hunters harvested an estimated 2,000 birds. Junior hunters and their adult mentors met with success in 55 of the 56 counties open to the youth hunt.

New York State Estimated Spring Turkey Harvest
County 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Albany 384 351 261 301 298 305 358 298 211 215
Allegany 940 727 486 527 436 531 425 351 453 432
Broome 587 467 378 315 353 421 412 379 275 326
Cattaraugus 1,432 819 707 588 744 827 619 477 545 524
Cayuga 786 625 435 462 581 543 497 473 347 344
Chautauqua 2,012 1,350 965 928 1,071 1,143 790 569 713 763
Chemung 416 214 242 215 190 222 269 193 262 195
Chenango 986 852 570 490 612 553 537 489 401 562
Clinton 285 127 139 134 182 206 188 179 190 287
Columbia 538 495 358 394 365 525 461 433 286 206
Cortland 572 458 287 298 466 450 292 307 178 282
Delaware 1,182 1,018 546 600 817 981 952 737 585 659
Dutchess 797 467 399 396 398 421 418 454 283 345
Erie 809 865 513 600 685 655 432 314 519 372
Essex 289 151 130 117 198 216 193 181 203 271
Franklin 280 140 112 132 179 174 179 210 195 315
Fulton 187 196 144 109 177 164 139 170 194 248
Genesee 268 235 118 181 215 206 133 126 174 174
Greene 406 333 289 285 264 338 399 337 243 281
Hamilton 76 72 55 62 96 78 52 60 53 114
Herkimer 984 606 442 379 442 392 371 338 340 557
Jefferson 1,158 720 601 575 675 589 501 500 499 683
Lewis 498 276 279 254 371 363 196 237 327 368
Livingston 567 288 289 296 275 373 321 294 349 320
Madison 820 661 367 425 437 518 348 433 293 387
Monroe 385 412 224 325 314 245 224 202 219 163
Montgomery 380 264 263 268 290 363 311 329 302 320
Niagara 220 285 158 248 270 149 148 152 186 148
Oneida 1,225 774 659 474 627 733 499 420 525 791
Onondaga 1,024 752 461 510 685 712 577 448 347 399
Ontario 744 514 426 448 456 608 400 421 457 348
Orange 831 664 442 460 461 582 603 538 369 373
Orleans 159 161 102 115 125 128 96 91 110 102
Oswego 795 837 447 534 532 562 479 404 607 280
Otsego 1,215 913 536 620 723 877 766 650 480 647
Putnam 150 97 83 83 96 122 157 108 84 100
Rensselaer 508 406 306 286 410 417 497 467 313 375
Rockland 8 9 12 17 17 11 53 33 25 20
St. Lawrence 958 691 375 494 637 684 494 629 584 906
Saratoga 619 333 336 258 316 373 308 300 295 423
Schenectady 132 57 62 81 91 122 119 80 92 61
Schoharie 523 388 280 359 367 424 543 486 396 371
Schuyler 527 346 260 222 185 249 154 163 210 209
Seneca 265 242 199 178 169 186 115 112 199 116
Steuben 1,414 985 767 781 729 894 673 616 661 689
Suffolk n/a n/a 106 53 73 40 46 53 42 54
Sullivan 534 461 362 394 358 453 458 390 306 271
Tioga 707 561 390 406 348 355 245 301 270 355
Tompkins 677 540 387 362 382 366 317 323 245 300
Ulster 665 588 427 450 446 313 433 360 295 330
Warren 76 75 40 68 96 121 86 95 111 195
Washington 850 576 420 433 545 690 613 647 530 570
Wayne 684 485 313 383 447 399 306 337 448 252
Westchester 102 67 47 44 67 64 31 64 43 39
Wyoming 492 369 338 278 318 286 311 340 344 316
Yates 536 442 398 343 408 481 296 324 279 221
Total 34,664 25,807 18,738 19,038 21,515 23,203 19,840 18,422 17,492 19,074