ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is preparing for its 2022 turkey hunting season. The DEC confirmed that turkey season is set to open in all of upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary on May 1.

Hunting is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day. Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but one hour per day. Youth are also allowed to take two bearded birds throughout the season.

Additionally, the Department will host its annual youth turkey hunting weekend from Saturday, April 23 through Sunday, April 24. This hunt is open to junior hunters ages 12 to 15 and is open in all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.

The limit for the youth hunt is one bearded bird. This bird would become a part of the youth’s regular season bag limit of two bearded birds.

Hunters may not use rifles or handguns that use bullets. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8 or with a bow or crossbow.

Successful hunters are required to complete a tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attaches it to any harvested turkey, as well as report their harvest within seven days by calling 1-866-426-3778 or completing a form online.

According to the DEC, the spring turkey harvest in the State averages approximately 19,000 birds. Despite lower turkey populations in the past few years, improved turkey productivity in 2020 will increase available birds to hunters. This spring, biologists expect hunters to take more turkeys than last year.

Below are tips for a successful and safe turkey hunting season:

  • Don’t stalk, more than half of turkey hunting injuries occur when a hunter is stalking
  • Always assume any call or footsteps you hear are from another hunter
  • If you see another hunter, talk to them clearly and don’t move
  • Smaller shots, no. 4, 5, and 6, work better than larger shots, due to denser shot patterns;
  • When calling, sit still with your back against a big tree, to hide you from turkeys and stalkers
  • Never wear turkey colors: red, white, or blue
  • Wear hunter orange or pink