April 25, 2002

Slow Turkey Season Opener Locally Doesn't Prevent Statewide Harvest Record

Cool, damp weather slowed down the opening day of the 2002 Spring Turkey hunting season in northeast Missouri but it did not stop the state from setting a new first-day harvest record.

Missouri hunters took 9,504 turkeys when the season opened April 22 setting a new state record. The high harvest occurred despite a down starting date in northeast Missouri, typically the states largest harvesting region.

Only two of the 16 counties in the northeast region experienced increases in 2002. Scotland County was not one of the fortunate regions, dropping off 20 birds from the 94-turkey harvest last season's opening morning.

Scotland County did have the best proportion of adult to juvenile kills, with only four of the 74 birds taken on opening day being jakes.

Macon County topped the region's harvest report with 141 first-day birds. Adair County was second with 125 followed by Lincoln County with 104 and Lewis County with 100.

Other area results included 92 turkeys harvested in Clark County, 79 in Knox County and 56 taken in Schuyler County.

Texas County led the state of Missouri with 205 turkeys taken on opening day followed closely by Franklin County in second just one bird off the pace.

The largest opening morning kill in Scotland County was a 28.5-pound monster taken by a Fenton hunter.

Light to moderate hunting pressure was reported on Monday with the numbers anticipated to rise going into the first weekend of the three-week long season.

Three non-fatal hunting accidents were reported in the state on opening day. No injury accidents were reported in the northeast region.

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