Concord, NH – Hunters harvested a total of 5,399 turkeys in New Hampshire during the 2021 spring season, a decrease of 319 turkeys (5.6%) from the 2020 season. The 2021 youth turkey hunt weekend resulted in a total harvest of 542 turkeys, or 10% of the season’s total, which was an increase in harvest from the previous year. In 2020 youth hunters took 500 birds which represented 8.74% of the spring season total.
Of the 5,399 turkeys harvested this spring, 28 (0.5%) were bearded hens, 2,002 were jakes (37.1%), and 3,369 were toms (62.4%).
2021 was the third season in which hunters had the opportunity to harvest a second bird in the spring in certain Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). A total of 4,442 hunters were successful in harvesting a turkey this spring. Among those, 3,486 (78.5%) registered one bird and 956 hunters (21.5%) registered two birds. Of the 956 hunters harvesting multiple birds, 877 were adults and 79 were minors (under 16 years of age).
There were 12 birds registered weighing 25 pounds or more. The heaviest birds harvested included a 30-pound trophy from Rye, a 27-pound harvest from Brookfield, a 26-pound bird from Pelham, a 25.8-pound take from Hollis, and 25.5-pound gobbler from Kensington.
A total of 17 towns recorded 50 or more birds harvested. The towns with the largest harvests were: Gilmanton (77), Loudon (74), Claremont (73), Alton (71), and Weare (67).
The WMUs with the highest harvest continued to include WMU J2 (950), WMU M (680), and WMU K (656).
The season’s opening day and weekend again claimed the highest rates of hunter success in 2021. On Saturday, May 1, 843 male turkeys were registered, or 15.6% of the season total, an increase of 10.3% over the same day the previous year. The second day, Sunday May 2, 721 gobblers or 13.4% of the season’s total were registered.
2021 was the second year that online registration was available to hunters. A total of 2,394 (44.6%) of successful turkey hunters opted for electronic registration, while 2,977 (55.4%) registered their turkeys in person at a traditional registration station. During 2020’s spring season, 53.4% of hunters registered their harvest online, while 46.6% registered their gobblers in person.
Wild turkey management is funded, in part, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program.