April 22, 2004

Local Hunters Open Turkey Season With Plenty Of Bangs

While it may have been a little too windy for some, it didnít seem to stop local turkey hunters on Monday, April 19th as they took to the field for the opening morning of the 2004 Spring Turkey Season.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Scotland County hunters checked in a total of 87 birds on the first day of the three-week season. That was up seven turkeys from last yearís opener.

As a whole, the northeast Missouri region had similar success. Just three of the 15 counties in the region experienced declining totals for the opener and they were minimal declines of two birds each in Knox and Lewis counties as well as a 15 bird drop off in Macon County.

Scotland County actually had the smallest gain for the region. All 11 other counties saw increases in double digits swelling the regionís total to 1,466 birds, an increase of 235 turkeys from 2003. Of that total, 1,279 were adult birds with just 187 jakes checked in. Shelby County and Pike County were the biggest winners, jumping up 33 birds each for this opener.

Adair County led the region with a total of 150 turkeys harvested. Macon County was second at 128 with Clark County hunters ranking third at 111 birds.

Weather conditions hampered the hunt in other parts of the state. Still the season got off to a strong start as 10,119 birds were taken on Monday. That represents a 19 bird increase from 2003 when a record harvest of 10,100 birds were taken.

Franklin County was the top spot in the state with 213 birds taken. LaClede County was second with 189 followed by St. Clair County at 179.

There were a total of three non-fatal hunting accidents reported statewide. Two accidents occurred in the Kansas City Region with the third occurring in Shelby County in the northeast region.

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