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Spring Turkey Season opens on Wednesday

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BRASHER FALLS - The 2013 spring turkey season opens Wednesday in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2013:

■ Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman 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 and arrow.

■ Successful hunters must fill out the tag which comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.

■ 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 http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8316.html.

For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2012-13 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the “Turkey Hunting” pages of the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8366.html.

An analysis of the 2012 spring turkey take, including a county-by-county breakdown, can be found on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30420.html.

Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. The characteristic sound of a drumming male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms. Turkey hunters can record the number of grouse they hear drumming while afield to help DEC track the distribution and abundance of this game bird.

To get a survey form, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48169.html or call (518) 402-8886.

To participate in DEC’s Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey or other wildlife surveys visit the “Citizen Science” page of the DEC website, http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/1155.html.

Do you have photos from a spring turkey hunt you would like to share? DEC has created a Hunting and Trapping Photo Gallery for junior hunters ages 12-15, young trappers under age 16 and hunters who have harvested their first big or small game animal. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a junior hunter, or if you are an adult who would like to share your first successful hunt, visit the photo gallery on the DEC website, http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/54055.html.

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