May 13, 2004

Local Hunters Help State Set New Record For Turkey Season

Northeast Missouri helped the rest of the state set a new harvest record for spring turkey hunting. The three-week season closed on Sunday, May 9th with a new high total for Missouri. Hunters bagged 56,882 birds to establish the new record. That was an increase of 2,121 from last year when the 2000 season record of 56,841 was broken.

Local hunters played a key role in establishing the new season high as all but one of the 15 counties reported increases in 2004. Overall the region reported a 1,406 bird increase, or more than two thirds of the new state record.

Scotland County hunters checked in 714 turkeys during the spring season. That was an increase of 92 birds from last year. Of that total, 663 were adult turkeys with just 51 jakes taken.

Schuyler County witnessed the biggest increase with a spike of 143 turkeys to bring the county’s 2004 total to 695. Marion County was just one bird off that pace, jumping up 142 turkeys to a total of 574.

Macon County was the only county not to report an increase. The region remained unchanged from 2003 with an identical harvest of 832 turkeys reported. That dropped Macon County to the second spot in the northeast Missouri region as Adair County jumped up to the lead with a 34-bird increase that brought the county’s total to 886 birds taken. Scotland County ranked third in the region.

Franklin County led the state with a total of 1,099 turkeys harvested. Laclede County had the second highest total at 1,071 followed by Howell County at 985.

The northeast region led the state with a total of 9,080 turkeys taken.

Overall in the state there was a big increase in hunting accidents including one fatality. There were nine total accidents in 2004 compared to just four last year.

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