Record number of turkeys taken in Vt.
The Associated Press | January 05,2014
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff File Photo
A wild turkey roosts in a tree near Snow Hill Road in East Montpelier in this January 2011 photo. Nearly 7,000 birds were taken in Vermont’s three turkey seasons in 2013, a record high since they were reintroduced to the state.
Last year was a good one for Vermont’s turkey population and the hunters who sought them, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
A record 6,968 turkeys were taken by hunters last year during Vermont’s three turkey hunting seasons — the spring youth hunt, the regular May spring season, and the fall turkey hunt.
Young turkey hunters led by experienced hunters in the special spring youth hunting season took 782 bearded turkeys, which are almost always males.
During the regular May turkey season, hunters took 5,580 bearded turkeys. The October-November season saw hunters take 606 turkeys of either sex, which is lower than the 2012 total.
But the three-season total was the highest since Vermont’s wild turkey population was restored in the early 1970s.
Biologists estimate the number of wild turkeys in the state increased last year to an estimated 45,000 to 60,000 turkeys. The increase allowed the expansion of turkey hunting opportunities. Hunters may now take three turkeys each year statewide.
Wild turkeys were reintroduced to Vermont in 1969. They had disappeared from the state in the 1800s.