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Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that turkey hunters checked 38,730 birds during Missouri’s 2020 regular spring turkey season, April 20 through May 10. Top harvest counties were Franklin with 899 birds harvested, Callaway with 699, and Laclede with 651.
Scotland County hunters checked in a total of 262 turkeys. The harvest totals were 249 in Schuyler County, 271 in Knox County, and 322 in Clark County.
Young turkey hunters also harvested 2,724 birds during the 2020 spring youth season, April 4 and 5, bringing the overall 2020 spring turkey harvest to 41,454.
Last year, young turkey hunters harvested 2,546 birds during the spring youth season and hunters harvested 36,249 during the regular spring season for a 2019 spring season total harvest of 38,795 birds.
“Even though nonresident permit sales were down this year, there were about 9,600 more spring turkey hunters overall than in 2019 due to an increase in resident permit sales,” said MDC Turkey Biologist Reina Tyl. “When turkey hunting participation increases, we expect to see a subsequent increase in turkey harvest. It’s great to see that more Missourians were able to get out into the turkey woods this year.”
MDC had one report of a non-fatal hunting incident during the 2020 spring turkey season. It involved one hunter mistakenly shooting another hunter.