On May 7, 2015

Vermont’s spring turkey hunting gets underway

What makes Vermont’s spring gobbler season special? Vermont’s turkey hunting is statewide for the entire month of May, and our turkey population is one of the highest in New England.

During regular spring turkey hunting season, May 1-31, shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to noon. A shotgun or bow and arrow may be used in regular spring turkey hunting. Shot size must be no larger than #2 and no smaller than #8.

“Last year’s brood production was right around average,” said Vermont turkey project leader Amy Alfieri. “Even though turkey flocks are being seen across the state, the long winter with deep powder may result in a slightly lower than average harvest.”

Vermont’s wild turkey restoration program is a tremendous wildlife management success story, funded entirely by hunters through the sale of hunting licenses and a federal tax on hunting equipment. Vermont was the first New England state to reestablish wild turkeys when it released 31 wild birds from New York in 1969 and 1970. Today, the Green Mountain State has an estimated 45,000-60,000 turkeys.

As a result, hunters are reaping the benefits by seeing excellent turkey hunting in Vermont. In 2014, hunters took 5,160 turkeys in both the youth weekend and regular seasons, and 1,232 turkeys in the fall season. And all Vermonters are enjoying watching the big birds as they roam hillsides they had been absent from for almost a century.

You can buy a turkey hunting license without having to go through a lottery. The turkey license comes with two spring tags for two bearded birds and one tag for a turkey of either sex in the fall season. Plus, you get to hunt all weekend, because hunting is allowed on Sundays.

Please note that landowner permission is required to hunt on private land.

To find out more about wild turkey hunting in Vermont, contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department at 802-828-1000 or www.vtfishandwildlife.com. The 2014 Turkey Harvest Report, available on the website, has details to help you plan your hunt, including the number of turkeys taken in each town.

Licenses are available on their website and from agents statewide.

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