Mo. Dept. of Conservation seeking input from turkey hunters on possible changes to hunting regulations
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is seeking input from turkey hunters on possible changes to spring and fall wild turkey hunting seasons.
According to a release from the MDC, some of the changes could include all-day spring hunting and reduced harvest limits for fall seasons.
“In the nearly 20 years since the last significant regulations change for turkey hunting, much has changed for both hunters and wild turkeys,” said MDC wild turkey biologist Nick Oakley. “Turkey populations across the country and in Missouri have declined, predictably, after a post-restoration boom. Turkey hunting participation, over time, has also declined.”
According to the MDC, the start of the state’s spring turkey hunting season was designed to take place after the peak in turkey breeding. Additionally, research from the MDC indicates that the current season structure, combined with the reproductive ecology of turkeys, has resulted in relatively low harvest rates on juvenile and adult gobblers over the years.
“This means that a small increase in the total number of the males harvested each spring would be sustainable,” Oakley said. “Extending shooting hours during the spring season may expand the opportunity for individuals to take up turkey hunting or offer more time for others to return to the field while maintaining a healthy turkey population.”
Oakley said the MDC is considering changes to fall turkey hunting regulations that aim to balance the well-being of the turkey population while trying to maximize hunting opportunities.
For more information or to provide comment, visit mdc.mo.gov/turkey-regs. The comment period closes October 6.
Copyright 2023 KFVS. All rights reserved.