Turkey hunters bag record number
Staff Report | January 03,2014
MONTPELIER — Most of their quarry would have been far from fresh by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, but Vermont’s wild turkey hunters bagged nearly 7,000 of the bearded birds in 2013, setting a state record.
According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, a record 6,968 turkeys were taken by hunters during Vermont’s three seasons — a two-day youth hunt in late April, the monthlong spring season in May, and the fall season, which ran from Oct. 5 through Nov. 10 in most areas.
Young turkey hunters, accompanied by experienced mentors, got the year off to a good start by bagging 782 bearded turkeys, which are almost always males, on the weekend before the start of the traditional spring season.
According to the department, hunters took an additional 5,580 bearded turkeys during May, raising expectations that a record set in 2009 — 6,921 turkeys — would fall.
Though the fall season was a bit of a disappointment, lagging well behind the mark set in 2012, hunters were able to take 606 turkeys — enough to make the 2013 three-season harvest the highest since Vermont’s wild turkey population was restored in the early 1970s.