JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that turkey hunters checked 31,798 birds during Missouri’s 2021 regular spring turkey season, April 19 through May 9. Top harvest counties were Franklin with 710 birds telechecked, Texas with 666, and Callaway with 639.
Young turkey hunters also harvested 2,795 birds over the youth weekend, April 10 and 11, bringing the overall 2021 spring turkey harvest to 34,593.
Last year, young turkey hunters harvested 2,724 birds during the spring youth season and hunters harvested 38,734 during the regular spring season for a 2020 spring season total harvest of 41,458 birds.
“Spring turkey harvest was down this year, which can partially be explained by a decline in hunting participation,” said MDC Turkey Biologist Reina Tyl. “Last year we saw a big increase in the number of permits sold and there was a subsequent increase in turkey harvest. This year, the permit sales total was closer to what was observed before the 2020 season. When turkey hunting participation declines, we expect to see a subsequent decline in turkey harvest.”
MDC had one report of a non-fatal hunting incident during the 2021 spring turkey season.