April 20, 2006

Youth Turkey Harvest Second Largest In Six-Year History

Young hunters killed 200 fewer turkeys during Missouriís 2006 youth spring turkey hunting season this year than they did last year, but maintained their perfect safety record.

Hunters 15 and younger killed 3,694 turkeys during the April 8 and 9 season. That is 5 percent fewer than last yearís youth harvest. It is the second-largest harvest since the youth season began in 2001.

Hunters in Scotland County bagged a total of 38 turkeys, 34 adult gobblers and just four juveniles. That was an increase of three birds from the previous year despite some abnormally cold conditions.

Macon County led the northeast recording region with 52 turkeys harvested, one bird ahead of Adair County. Monroe County was third with 40 birds followed by Scotland County.

As in the five previous years of the youth seasonís history, the Missouri Department of Conservation recorded no firearms-related turkey hunting accidents.

Callaway and Franklin counties tied for the largest number of turkeys bagged by youths, with 75 each. Second place went to Benton and Osage counties, where youths checked 63 turkeys, and Cedar County was third with 62. Nineteen counties had 50 or more turkeys harvested during the youth hunt.

Past yearís youth season harvest totals are: 2001 - 2,530; 2002 - 3,102; 2003 - 3,660; 2004 - 3,258; 2005 - 3,894.

Adult gobblers made up 74 percent of the youth harvest statewide. That is up from 70 percent last year.

County-by-county harvest figures are available at mdc.mo.gov/hunt/turkey/. This site also will have opening-day, first-week and final harvest figures for the regular spring turkey hunting season.

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