Spring turkey season kicks off May 1

A flock of turkeys takes advantage of a nearly snowless field to forage for food in January 2017 near Donnelly’s Corners north of Saranac Lake. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced this week that spring turkey hunting season will begin Tuesday, May 1, while the annual youth hunt will take place next Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22.

Turkey season runs through May 31, and hunting can take place in most of the state, except New York City and Long Island. The DEC said in a press release that about 90,000 hunters took to the woods and fields last year.

The DEC said the turkey take is expected to be lower this year due to the harsh winter and lower-than-normal reproduction rates last year.

The youth hunt is open to 12- to 15-year-olds who possess hunting licenses and turkey permits. Each 12- or 13-year-old needs to be accompanied by an adult 21 or over, while a 14- or 15-year-old has to be accompanied by someone 18 or older.

Shooting hours for turkey are from a half-hour before sunrise to noon each day, and hunters cannot use a rifle or handguns that fire bullets. Bows, crossbows, shotguns and handguns firing shot are allowed.

For more details, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8366.html.

The DEC is also asking for turkey hunters to help with a citizen science project on ruffed grouse. It needs hunters to report to the DEC how many ruffed grouse they heard drumming while out hunting. For more information, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8366.html.

The DEC is also asking for turkey hunters to help with a citizen science project on ruffed grouse. It needs hunters to report to the DEC how many ruffed grouse they heard drumming while out hunting. For more information, go to www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48169.html.”>www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48169.html.

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