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Full-day spring turkey hunting begins May 16

From the Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Pennsylvania's spring gobbler hunters can take advantage of full-day hunting from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset beginning May 16.

The hours were approved as part of the 2010-11 seasons and bag limits package.  Under the change, legal hunting hours from the opening day of the spring gobbler season through the third Saturday, April 30 to May 14, are one-half hour before sunrise until noon.  However, hunting hours for the remainder of the season, May 16 to 31, are from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

"Although all-day hunting will disturb some nesting hens, the impact will be minimal because all-day hours will cover only the last two weeks of the season," said Mary Jo Casalena, wild turkey biologist. "By then, hunting pressure decreases and most hens are in their later stages of nest incubation, at which point they are less likely to abandon their nests if disturbed.

"We anticipate the benefits will far outweigh the minor disturbance of hens, particularly the increased hunting opportunity for all hunters, such as youth and adults who attend school or work during the morning who now will have the option of a late afternoon hunt."

Casalena noted that the Commission will monitor the afternoon harvest in relation to population trends and age class of gobblers to gauge the impact of all-day hunting.  Of the 49 states that conduct turkey seasons, 34 have all-day hunting for all or part of the season, including Maryland, Ohio and Virginia.

Hunters who purchased a second spring gobbler season license may harvest up to two bearded turkeys, one per day.

Spring gobbler hunters can add toll-free telephone reporting to the list of methods of submitting harvest reports to the agency. The Interactive Voice Response harvest reporting system telephone number is (855)724-8681.

Hunters who use the toll-free number to submit a harvest report receive a confirmation number which they should write down and keep it as proof of reporting.

Hunters need their hunting license number (Customer Identification Number) and field harvest tag information with them when they call. Multiple harvests can be reported in a single call. Hunters are asked to speak clearly and distinctly when reporting harvests, especially the number and letter of the Wildlife Management Unit.  

Other harvest reporting methods remain in place, including website and prepaid postage cards available in the annual Hunting and Trapping Digest.

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