RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open the statewide spring hunting season for wild turkeys — male and bearded turkeys only — on April 9 through May 7, preceded by a youth-only week from April 2 through April 8.
During the youth season, turkey hunting is only allowed for those younger than 16 years. Each youth hunter must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years old. An adult may accompany more than one youth during a particular hunt, but the adult cannot harvest a turkey. Each youth must report a harvest to the Wildlife Commission through a Big Game Harvest Report Card. License-exempt youths should report their harvest using a Big Game Harvest Report Card for license-exempt hunters.
The daily limit is one turkey and the possession and season limit is two turkeys per hunter, only one of which may be taken during youth season.
The Wildlife Commission’s Home From The Hunt™ campaign reminds turkey hunters of basic safety guidelines, such as identifying a target before pulling the trigger.
“Whether you’re hunting turkey or any other game, you should always remember to positively identify and know what is beyond your target before pulling the trigger,” said Chet Clark, the Commission’s eastern outreach manager. “If there is any doubt in your mind, don’t shoot.”
Top 5 Turkey Hunter’s Safety Tips
• Never stalk a turkey, which only increases your chances of being mistaken for game.
• Leave the area if you think another hunter is already there.
• Alert another hunter to your presence by saying “Stop” in a loud voice.
• Never wear red, white, blue or black in the field — the colors of a tom’s head and body.
• Make sure your decoy or harvested turkey isn’t visible when you transport it.
Top 5 Turkey Hunter’s Regulatory Considerations
• Report harvests using the Big Game Report Card.
• Use of pistols, rifles or black powder rifles is prohibited.
• Dogs are not allowed for hunting wild turkey.
• Hunting is not allowed where bait has been placed until 10 days after all bait has been consumed or removed.
• Electronic or recorded calls are not allowed for hunting wild turkey.
Regulations and restrictions on turkey hunting, including information on youth season, are available in the 2015-16 Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest, beginning on page 56, and available online at www.ncwildlife.org.