Steve Hickoff is the Realtree Turkey Hunting Editor and Blogger. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country. It's "all turkeys, all the time" on the Realtree Turkey Blog.
Preliminary Massachusetts 2009 Spring Turkey Harvest
I have completed data entry for the 2009 [Massachusetts] spring turkey season. This was the first year in which the spring harvest exceeded 3000 birds. The excellent weather during the first week of the season and an increase in hunter numbers undoubtedly contributed to the high harvest.
There were 16,440 eligible permittees, an increase from the 2008 record number of 15,661. There were 3027 turkeys (2689 in 2008) taken (exclusive of the youth turkey hunt, which will be reported later).
There were 25 taken in 7 towns in Barnstable County, 489 in 32 in Berkshire, 140 in 16 in Bristol, 3 in 2 in Dukes, 107 in 21 in Essex, 434 in 26 in Franklin, 215 in 21 in Hampden, 284 in 20 in Hampshire, 164 in 29 in Middlesex, 83 in 13 in Norfolk, 303 in 23 in Plymouth, and 780 in 59 in Worcester.
There were 1904 birds (62.9%; 1513, 56.3% in 2008) taken during the first week; 585 the 2nd week, 359 the 3rd week, and 179 the 4th week.
There were 121 (4%) taken by archery (92, 3.4% in 2008). There were 1969 adult males, 1034 immature males (“jakes”), 20 bearded hens, and 4 unaged males taken.
There were 492 persons (449 in 2008) who succeeded in taking the spring limit of 2 turkeys. Non-residents from 12 states took 216 birds (11 states, 168 in 2008). There was a single bird taken by a farmer-landowner (5 in 2008).