Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation shows that turkey hunters checked 31,798 birds during Missouri’s 2021 regular spring turkey season, April 19 through May 9. Top harvest counties were Franklin with 710 birds telechecked, Texas with 666, and Callaway with 639.
Young turkey hunters also harvested 2,795 birds over the youth weekend, April 10 and 11, bringing the overall 2021 spring turkey harvest to 34,593.
Last year, young turkey hunters harvested 2,724 birds during the spring youth season, and hunters harvested 38,734 during the regular spring season for a 2020 spring season total harvest of 41,458 birds.
This year, the top harvest counties were Franklin with 710 birds telechecked, Texas with 666, and Callaway with 639. Among area counties, the number of turkeys taken ranged from 212 in Caldwell County to 573 in Harrison County. Sullivan County reported 513 turkeys. Other counties include Putnam at 456; Linn at 417; and Mercer 389; Daviess at 380; Livingston 330; and Grundy County with 319. For Grundy County, the total is about 80 fewer than the 400 taken by youth and adults last year in the spring.
“Spring turkey harvest was down this year, which can partially be explained by a decline in hunting participation,” said MDC Turkey Biologist Reina Tyl. “Last year, we saw a big increase in the number of permits sold, and there was a subsequent increase in turkey harvest. This year, the permit sales total was closer to what was observed before the 2020 season. When turkey hunting participation declines, we expect to see a subsequent decline in turkey harvest.”
MDC had one report of a non-fatal hunting incident during the 2021 spring turkey season.
Get more information on this year’s spring turkey harvest numbers by county at this link.
Get more information on turkey harvest numbers for past seasons at this link.
For more information about turkey hunting in Missouri, visit MDC online at this link.