Spring turkey season opens May 1, Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend April 26-27

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The 2014 spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, and the annual youth turkey hunting weekend is April 26-27. The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.

"Approximately 100,000 turkey hunters will take to the field this spring, making it a very popular activity," Commissioner Joe Martens says.

Important Details for the Youth Turkey Hunt on April 26 and 27:

• Hunters 12-15 years of age are eligible and must hold a hunting license and a turkey permit.

• Youth 12-13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 21 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14-15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 18 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian.

• The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm or bow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt.

• Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.

• The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and Suffolk County.

• The bag limit for the youth weekend is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth's regular spring season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken only in upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, beginning May 1.

All other wild turkey hunting regulations are in effect.

Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31:

Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.

• Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license (if purchased before Feb. 1) or hunting license (if purchased after Feb. 1).

• Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.

• Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.

• Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.

• Crossbows may not be used for the spring 2014 turkey season.

• Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.

• Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online