Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend is April 24-25, Followed by Regular Season Opener May 1
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that spring turkey season opens May 1, in all parts of Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. In addition, DEC’s annual youth turkey hunting weekend will take place April 24 to 25. The youth turkey hunt for junior hunters aged 12 to 15 is open in all parts of Upstate New York and Suffolk County.
“Turkey hunting has long been a sign that spring is here. It also presents a wonderful opportunity for New Yorkers to get outside and enjoy the outdoors and introduce the next generation of hunters to the sport,” Commissioner Seggos said. “As hunters take to the field this spring, DEC reminds everyone to hunt safe and hunt smart by following the guidelines to support hunter safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Last year, turkey hunters took approximately 21,500 birds in New York during the spring season, an increase of about 25 percent from 2019. Much of the increase was likely due to a rise in hunter participation as more people looked for outdoor activities close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This spring, hunters can expect good numbers of jakes based on average-to-good productivity in 2020 and a mild winter. However, two-year-old birds may be more difficult to find. During 2019, turkeys in New York experienced one of the worst breeding seasons in the 25 years DEC has been monitoring productivity, and the effects of this poor productivity will be experienced most heavily for hunters targeting adult birds this year.
About the Spring Youth Hunt, April 24-25:
Hunters 12 to 15 years of age are eligible and must hold a hunting license and a