The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the new two-week-long turkey hunting seasons set for this fall.
Hunters in New York will have a bit less time to snag their own Thanksgiving turkey this year.
The new season dates vary based on zone, but the season bag limit will be one turkey of either sex. The northern zone’s season runs Oct. 1-14, and the southern zone season is Oct. 17-30. The Suffolk County season, which runs latest in the year, is Nov. 21-Dec. 4.
These changes to the regulations are a result of years of study and field research into how weather and habitat affect the population of turkeys in different areas of the state.
“Declining wild turkey populations across the state make it necessary to shorten the hunting season,” said Department Commissioner Joe Martens in a press release. “It is important to responsibly manage New York’s wild turkey populations to ensure that future generations of hunters have the opportunity to go afield.”
They decided to stagger the seasons so hunters could still have opportunities to hunt throughout the fall, albeit in different areas of the state. In the case of Suffolk County, the change actually means an increase in season length.
The press release indicates widespread support for the change in turkey hunting seasons. There is a general concern about the decline in New York’s turkey population over the last 15 years.
The Department’s research is not complete yet; the effects of the new changes on turkey numbers will be monitored as a part of a four-year research project.
Data collected will be used to determine the health of the population and the sustainability of future seasons.