A mild winter with plenty of food helped foster a healthy turkey population.
CONCORD, N.H. - Hunters harvested 4,482 turkeys in New Hampshire during the 2017 spring hunt. This is 600 more turkeys than the 3,882 taken in the 2016 spring season and the second highest harvest, surpassed only by the 4,550 taken in 2013.
"Last winter was relatively easy for wild turkeys because of low total snow cover, significant periods of bare ground sites, good mobility, and good nutrition and fat from the availability of acorns," said longtime NH Fish and Game Turkey Biologist Ted Walski. "The semi-drought conditions of spring/summer 2016 contributed to an above-average hatch."
Of the 18 Wildlife Management Units, J2 (north of Route 4 to Lake Winnipesaukee) had the most turkeys taken (681), followed by K (mostly western Hillsboro County) with 548, then M (489) and H2 (454) in Cheshire County. An increase in harvest was seen throughout most of the state, with only 2 of the 18 Wildlife Management Units remaining stable or showing a decrease from 2016.
Further details of the data from the 2017 spring gobbler season will be available in the 2017 NH Harvest Summary, which is published in March.
Most eggs typically hatch from late May to mid-June. NH Fish and Game is asking the public's help in monitoring observations of wild turkey broods through its annual turkey brood survey that runs through August 31. Additional information on the survey and how to participate is available at www.wildnh.com/surveys/turkeybrood.html.