April 30, 2009

Opening Day Turkey Harvest Down From Last Year’s Totals

Wind and rain dampened the spirits of hunters across the state on April 20th as the 2009 Spring Turkey Season kicked off. The three-week season opened with a declining harvest, due in large part to poor weather conditions.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, hunters checked in 7,004 turkeys, down 992 from the 2008 total and well below the opening day record of 10,119 birds taken in 2004.

Northeast Missouri was hard hit by the poor conditions, with only one of the 15 counties in the recording district reporting improve-ments over last year’s opening day harvest.

Pike County hunters bagged seven more turkeys this year, leading the region with 73 opening day success stories. Adair, Clark and Macon counties all checked in 56 birds. Scotland County hunters harvested 37 turkeys on opening day, down 11 birds from last year’s totals.

Franklin County led the state with 144 turkeys checked in opening day. Texas County was second with 133 followed by Gasconade County with 119.

Of the statewide total, 82.5 percent of the opening day turkeys (4,959) were adults, with just 1,106 jakes taken.

The spring turkey season runs through May 10th.

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