ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Spring turkey season kicks off on May 1 in all counties north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and in Suffolk County on Long Island. A new change that went into effect last fall allows shot sizes as small as Number 9 for turkey hunting.

“Opening a spring turkey season on Long Island is a success story for wildlife conservation,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “After their translocation to Long Island in the 1990s, turkey numbers in Suffolk County increased to a level where these birds can now be responsibly and sustainably harvested through recreational hunting. DEC encourages turkey hunters throughout the state to act responsibly, follow regulations, and adhere to the cardinal hunting safety rules for a safe and enjoyable season.”

All hunters must be aware of the following details provided by the DEC:

  • Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Nassau County;
  • Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license;
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;
  • Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day and no more than one bird per season in Wildlife Management Unit 1C (Suffolk County);
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than Number 2 or smaller than Number 9, or with a bow or crossbow (except crossbows may not be used in Westchester or Suffolk counties);
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested;
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT), or report the harvest online at DEC’s Game Harvest Reporting website

The DEC also reminds hunters to be safe while hunting. This includes pointing your gun in a safe direction, treating every gun as if it were loaded, being sure of your target and beyond, and keeping your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. For more information, click here.