Hunters heading out for Vermont turkey hunting can only hope for another year like 2013.
“Total annual harvest for 2013 was a record 6,970 birds broken up as follows: youth weekend 782, spring 5,580, and fall 608,” said Amy Alfieri, state turkey biologist. The spring tally was itself a record as well with 6,362 birds checked in. The 2013 spring total was up sharply from the 2012 tally of 4,713. The poults per hen ratio in 2013 and 2012 was 3.09 and 3.48, respectively, which means solid numbers of both 2-year-old and jakes should be present this spring.
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Alfieri adds that a number of counties experienced outstanding harvests and should be good bets for this spring as well. Among the top counties (with the harvest in parentheses) were Caledonia (787), Orange (755), Windsor (718), Orleans (675), Rutland (634), Franklin (597), Washington (588), Addison (511), Windham (471), and Lamoille (365).
The state features over 80 wildlife management units totaling over118,000 acres with quality turkey hunting existing in the Green Mountain National Forest as well as state lands such as Arthur Davis, Blueberry Hill, Bird Mountain, Les Newell, and Pine Mountain. County residents are seldom far from a public land turkey hunting opportunity.
The bag limit is one bearded bird daily and two for the season. Interestingly, Vermont has one of the latest dates for the spring gobbler season to close in the United States, so folks in more southern climes may want to travel to the Green Mountain State. This year, the season will run from May 1-31. The youth hunt is April 26 and 27.
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