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Spring turkey season opens May 1

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The 2014 spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, and the annual youth turkey hunting weekend is April 26-27.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has set forth the following guidelines for the youth hunt and for the season:

■ Hunters ages 12-15 are eligible and must hold a hunting license and a turkey permit.

■Youth ages 12-13 must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 21, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth ages 14-15 must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 18, 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 or bow, 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.

■The bag limit is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular spring season bag limit of two bearded birds. The second may not be taken until after May 1.

■All other wild turkey hunting regulations are in effect.

Seasonal guidelines:

■Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license (if purchased before Feb. 1) or hunting license (if purchased after Feb. 1).

■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.Crossbows may not be used.

■Hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested, and 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

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