MDC reports hunters took 43,380 birds during spring turkey season

Photo of wild turkey (Photo courtesy Missouri Dept. of Conservation)
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Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows turkey hunters checked 43,380 birds during Missouri’s 2024 regular spring turkey season, April 15 through May 5. Franklin County led the regular season with a harvest of 940 turkeys, followed closely by Callaway with 822, and Texas County with 780.

In the Green Hills region, Harrison County topped the list with 763 turkeys harvested. Other notable counties included Putnam with 726, Sullivan with 701, Mercer with 591, Linn with 552, Daviess with 534, Livingston with 466, Grundy with 392, and Caldwell with 284. The counts encompass both adult and juvenile gobblers as well as bearded hens.

Adding to the season’s success, young turkey hunters made significant contributions, harvesting 3,739 turkeys over the youth weekend in April. This surge in youth participation brought the overall 2024 spring turkey harvest to an impressive total of 47,119.

“2024 was the third year in a row in which harvest increased,” said MDC Wild Turkey Biologist Nick Oakley. “The ability to hunt all day on private land may have had a role in this increase. Successively better hatches starting in 2021 meant there were also likely more turkeys on the landscape as well. We are still looking at the data to see how much of the increase in harvest can be attributed to the new regulation, as well as how many new hunters the regulation change helped to get into the field. A 6-percent increase in harvest is in line with what we would have expected knowing that many factors play into harvest totals.”

Last year, young turkey hunters harvested 2,566 turkeys over the spring youth season and hunters harvested 41,977 during the regular spring season for a 2023 spring season total harvest of 44,543.

Get more information on this year’s spring turkey harvest numbers by county at this link

See more information on turkey harvest numbers for past seasons online at this link

For more information about turkey hunting in Missouri, visit MDC online at this link

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