The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the Spring turkey hunting season. On May 1st  north of the Bronx and Westchester County boundaries the Spring Turkey season will open to the rest of New York State. In anticipation of this the DEC's annual youth turkey hunting weekend will take place this weekend (April 20 and 21). The youth turkey hunt is open to junior hunters ages 12 to 15. This includes all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.
In a recent press release the NYS DEC Basil Seggos stated "Hunters across New York are looking forward to the excitement of spring turkey hunting, which requires an understanding of turkey behavior, navigation, and field skills, an ability to locate and call in birds, and take a good shot," he also said "I encourage hunters to act responsibly, follow regulations, and adhere to the cardinal rules of hunting safety."

Last year during the Spring season hunters took an estimated 19,000 birds. Out of that number it is estimated that 2000 were credited to junior hunters during last years 2 day youth hunt.

Below are the details put forth by the NYS DEC for this weekend's youth hunt and the opening of Spring Turkey season on May 1st.

Important Details for the Youth Turkey Hunt on April 20 and 21

  • Hunters 12-15 years of age are eligible and must hold a hunting license and a turkey permit;
  • Youth 12-13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult over 21 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14-15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 18 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian;
  • The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm, bow, or crossbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt;
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;
  • The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and across Suffolk County;
  • The bag limit for the youth weekend is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth's regular spring season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken only in upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, beginning May 1;
  • Crossbows may only be used by hunters age 14 or older; and
  • All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.

Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2019:

  • Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island;
  • Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license;
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;
  • Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day;
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow;
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested; and
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online at DEC's Game Harvest Reporting website.