Second-week turkey harvest down 800 from last year

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Second-week turkey harvest down 800 from last year

-Jim Low- MDC

5/8/09

Second-week turkey harvest down 800 from last year

With one week of hunting left and a fairly normal weather forecast, Missouri’s top turkey expert still expects a harvest similar to last year’s.

JEFFERSON CITY-Missouri hunters checked 12,698 turkeys during the second week of the spring turkey season, boosting the total for the first two weeks of the season to 35,006.

The second week of the season - like the first - had typically variable spring weather. Alternating chilly and balmy, rainy and sunny weather kept hunters guessing, but the weather was good enough overall to give hunters a fair chance at shooting gobblers.

Hunters checked approximately 800 fewer turkeys during the first two weeks of this year’s spring turkey season than they did during the same period in 2007. Last year’s end-of-season harvest was 44,945.

The harvest during the first two weeks of this year’s season is about 6,000 fewer than in 2006, when hunters checked 51,415 turkeys.

Top counties for the first two weeks of the season were Franklin with 683, Texas with 651 and Osage with 599.

Resource Scientist Tom Dailey, the Missouri Department of Conservation’s top turkey expert, said his pre-season prediction that hunters would kill 45,000 turkeys likely was a little high, but he does not expect hunters to miss that mark by much.

“Since we were 800 behind last year at the two-week mark, I don’t think we are likely to make that up in the last week of the season,” said Dailey. “But the weather forecast calls for fairly normal spring weather, so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have a third-week harvest of eight or nine thousand birds. That would put us in the mid-forty thousands for the entire season.”

Hunters shot just over 9,000 turkeys during the last week of the 2007 season and nearly 10,000 during the final week in 2006.
 

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