More wild turkey hunting opportunities could be coming soon to New York.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing changes to regulations, giving hunters additional turkey hunting opportunities. If passed, the proposal will establish a spring turkey season in Suffolk County in 2023.

"Wild turkey restoration is one of the greatest success stories of modern wildlife conservation," Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "In New York, DEC's management and protection of wild turkeys has allowed the birds to maintain self-sustaining populations in all suitable habitats of the state. This regulation change would expand hunting downstate, ensuring New York remains a premiere destination for turkey hunters in the Northeast."

Long Island Wild Turkeys

Wild turkeys on Long Island are a new phenomenon, with more than 3,000 birds. The increased populations can now support a new spring wild turkey hunting season from May 1 through May 31 with a bag limit of one bearded bird.

The DEC is also proposing a change to shot sizes for all turkey hunters that would take effect this fall. The minimum shot size would change from #8 to #9 for turkey hunting statewide, to account for advances in shotshell technology.

Previously, shot sizes smaller than #8 were prohibited because they lacked the kinetic energy downrange to humanely harvest a turkey.

Anyone wanting to comment on the wild turkey hunting proposed changes can contact the DEC through June 5, 2022. Send comments by email to wildliferegs@dec.ny.gov with "Proposed Turkey Regulations" in the subject line or by mail to Joshua Stiller, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

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