November 4, 2004

Fall Turkey Harvest Numbers Down In Northeast Region

Ham may be the dinner of choice for Thanksgiving this year, at least for fall turkey hunters in northeast Missouri that saw a dramatic decline in harvest numbers during the two-week season that ran October 11-24.

All 15 counties in the stateís northeast region witnessed double-digit declines in 2004 as the region fell off from 1,863 turkeys taken in 2003 to just 1,136 this year.

Scotland County hunters took 58 turkeys this year compared to 118 last season. Despite a drop off of 63 turkeys this year, Adair County still led the region with 160 birds checked in. Schuyler County was the regionís second best hunting spot with 136 turkeys harvested.

Despite the local falloff, numbers were up across the state where a total of 11,743 turkeys were checked in. That was up from 11,292 birds last year but well below the 2002 record take of 14,487.

The northeast region led the state, just ahead of the northwest region, which checked in 1,134 birds. Laclede County in southwest Missouri led the state with 195 turkeys followed by Adair County.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reported an accident-free two weeks of the fall season.

Of the turkeys taken, 59 percent were juveniles with only 41 percent of the turkeys being adults. More than 5,000 turkeys were entered via the MDCís new Telecheck system.

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