Turkey season in Missouri closes this Sunday, and the Conservation Department says hunters killed about 34,000 gobblers in the first two weeks of the season. Resource Scientist Tom Dailey says that’s about 1,500 more than hunters took in this time last year, but not a very high total, historically.
“Turkey numbers the last few years are actually down a little bit compared to the past decade or so and that’s largely because of poor nesting season weather. Things really started to fall apart for turkeys and other ground nesting birds in 2007 with the big Easter freeze; record rainfall in 2008, and the very late, wet and cool spring in 2009,” Dailey said.
Dailey says the weather was finally cooperative in 2010, so it’s likely this 4% increase in the hunter’s take this year could be a good indicator of a slight turn-around for the overall turkey population.
For those wanting to get a final hunt in, the most productive counties have been mostly rural ones: Franklin, Texas and Ste. Genevieve Counties.
“They have a lot of turkeys and they’re also just large counties if you look at the map. It’s a combination (of the two),” Dailey said.
The turkey season re-opens for archers on September 15th, and for firearms hunters on October 1st.