Hunters harvested a total of 4,203 turkeys in New Hampshire during the 2018 spring hunt. This was down slightly from the total of 4,482 taken in the 2017 spring season and ranks as the third highest spring harvest. The youth hunt weekend resulted in a harvest of 339 turkeys or 8 percent of the total spring harvest.
“The winter of 2017-18 was again fairly easy for wild turkeys in much of the state where turkey flocks wandered at will and were provided good nutrition and fat from the availability of acorns and beech nuts,” said longtime NH Fish and Game Turkey Biologist Ted Walski. “The slight reduction in the spring 2018 harvest may have been the result of reduced hunter participation during the second half of the season as abnormally high temperatures resulted in early green-up and high tick numbers.” Only 26 percent of the total harvest occurred from May 14 through May 31.
Of the 18 Wildlife Management Units, J2 (north of Route 4 to Lake Winnipesaukee) had the most turkeys taken (642), followed by K (mostly western Hillsboro County) with 544, then H2 (470) in Cheshire County, and M (454) in the southeast. These four units have consistently produced the highest harvests in recent years. Heavy gobblers were fairly numerous with a total of 45 weighing 24 pounds or more.
Further details of the data from the 2018 spring gobbler season will be available in the 2018 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary, which will be published in March 2019.