Spring turkey hunters harvested 11,539 gobblers this year, an increase of more than 11 percent from 2016, according to preliminary numbers. The harvest is the largest since 2006 when 11,735 birds were harvested, and is more than 18 percent above the 10-year average.
“Weather conditions were variable across the state during this year’s spring gobbler season, so it’s nice to see hunters were able to get out and enjoy some successful hunting, which is reflected in the harvest numbers,” said Mike Peters, game bird biologist.
Five of the six DNR districts reported increased harvests over last year. District 4 was the only district in which fewer birds were harvested than in 2016. District 1 again recorded the most birds harvested this year (2,578), followed by District 6 (2,250), District 5 (2,090), District 4 (1,858), District 3 (1,733) and District 2 (1,030).
The top five counties with the largest harvests were Preston (475), which was up more than 100 birds from last year, Mason (448), Jackson (408), Wood (380), and Harrison (327).
Youth hunters harvested 458 turkeys during the one-day youth season on April 15.