Turkey harvest continues at a brisk pace

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Turkey harvest continues at a brisk pace
The 2001 spring turkey season is on track to be the second-best on record.

JEFFERSON CITY -- Hunters bagged 16,219 gobblers during the second week of spring turkey season. That is 1,674 behind last year's record-setting pace. However, officials with the Missouri Department of Conservation say this season still is on track for the second-largest spring turkey harvest on record.

The second-week harvest brings the two-week turkey harvest to 44,985 birds. Hunters had checked 46,659 gobblers by this time last year

Meanwhile, turkey hunting accidents outpaced last year's record low. The Conservation Department reported nine firearms-related turkey hunting accidents and no fatalities in the first two weeks of the 2001 spring season, compared to two non-fatal accidents during the same period last year.

The decrease in turkey harvest is due in part to windy, wet weather during the opening week of the season. Wind and rains make hunting more difficult and discourage hunters from going afield. The opening-day harvest fell 884 turkeys short of the 2000 figure. The first week's harvest was down 1,564 from last year.

Counties leading the two-week harvest figures were Franklin, with 964 birds checked, Laclede with 855 and Macon with 827. Northeastern Missouri led regional totals with 8,366 birds checked. Other regional totals were: northwest, 6,652; west-central 6,511; east-central, 5,250; central, 4,770; southwest, 3,996; Ozarks, 3,753; southeast, 3,396; St. Louis, 1,153, and Kansas City, 1,138.

Missouri's spring turkey season runs for three weeks, ending May 13.

- Jim Low - MDC
 

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