STATE: Wild Turkey Season Opens April 2 – The Stanly News & Press

Wild turkey season opens in North Carolina on April 2. Youth season is April 2-8 and statewide season is April 9-May 7. Hunters are limited to two turkeys for the season, only one of which may be taken during the young season.

Chris Kreh, assistant chief of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Wildlife Management Division, said the 2021 season has proven to be another remarkable season for turkey hunting, with a reported total harvest of 21,974 birds. It was the second highest harvest on record – slightly below the all-time high set in 2020. Kreh confirmed that North Carolina’s wild turkey population remains robust despite increased hunting pressure and harvest last year.

“Our agency has safeguards in place to ensure there is no overuse,” Kreh said. “Five hunting weeks is conservative compared to most states, and hunters must adhere to a two-bird limit and can only take male or bearded birds.”

Kreh added that the timing of the state’s harvest season is strategic.

“The dates of the season provide considerable opportunities for breeding before the males are harvested. Hens are able to nest and raise poults as they always do.

The youth season is open to anyone under the age of 18 and hunters aged 16 and 17 must have a hunting license. Youth under 16 are exempt from permit requirements provided they are accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 18 years of age. Young people with a license or a hunter’s education card can hunt without adult supervision. All hunters must report their turkey harvest on a Big Game Harvest Report Card.

Hunting licenses can be purchased on the agency’s website, and hunter education courses are available statewide and online.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity such as poaching or baiting may be eligible to receive a reward (up to $1,000) by reporting information that leads to a conviction to the Turn-In-Poachers program. For more information on eligible violations and how to submit a tip, visit ncwildlife.org/WildTip.

For more information on turkey hunting, including hunter safety and where to hunt, visit ncwildlife.org.

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