Houston resident Pam Sowell displays the large turkey she killed hunting on the morning of April 18 on a property in the Solo area. The big bird weighed in at 28 pounds, and had an 11-inch beard and 1 1/4-inch spurs.

Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows turkey hunters checked 41,970 birds during Missouri’s 2023 regular spring turkey season, April 17-May 7. Top regular season harvest counties were Franklin with 973 birds harvested, Callaway with 801 and Osage with 792.

Young turkey hunters also harvested 2,566 turkeys over the youth weekend, April 1 and 2, bringing the overall 2023 spring turkey harvest to 44,536 – the highest harvest total since 2016.

“Stable, though still lower than the ideal, hatches each of the past three years and excellent spring turkey hunting weather likely contributed to this year’s higher harvest total,” said MDC Wild Turkey Biologist Nick Oakley. “The 2023 harvest was 23-percent higher compared to 2022 and it was 19-percent higher than the average over the previous five years.”

Last year, young turkey hunters harvested 2,894 turkeys over the spring youth season and hunters harvested 33,359 during the regular spring season for a 2022 spring season total harvest of 36,253.

Texas County was fourth in the state in the fall firearms season that ended May 7.


•Get more information on this year’s spring turkey harvest numbers by county at https://extra.mdc.mo.gov/widgets/harvest_table/

•See more information on turkey harvest numbers for past seasons online at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/turkey/turkey-reports/turkey-harvest-summaries-past-seasons

•For more information about turkey hunting in Missouri, visit MDC online at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/turkey

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