Turkey hunters are looking forward to an excellent spring season in
Vermont after the mild winter. Photo: VT Fish & Wildlife


Vermont's spring turkey hunting season gets underway on May 1, although youth turkey hunting weekend is April 28 and 29. Adult season runs through May 31.

Turkey hunting is statewide during the spring season. Vermont’s turkey population is one of the highest in New England. Hunters can buy a turkey hunting license without having to go through a lottery. The turkey license comes with two spring tags for two bearded birds and one tag for a turkey of either sex in the fall season. Hunting is allowed on Sundays.

Youth turkey hunting weekend is April 28 and 29 this year. Landowner permission is required to hunt on private land, whether or not the land is posted. To be eligible, a resident or nonresident youth must be age 15 or under. The youth must have successfully completed a hunter education course and possess a hunting license, a turkey hunting license and a free youth turkey hunting tag. The youth also must be accompanied by an unarmed adult who holds a hunting license and is over 18 years of age. The youth may take one bearded turkey during youth weekend and two bearded turkeys in the regular May hunting.

Shooting hours for both the youth and regular spring turkey season are one-half hour before sunrise to noon.

The hunter success was 22.5 percent, and an impressive 25.1 percent of those hunters took a second bearded turkey. Adult birds made up 64 percent of the total. Turkeys were taken in 238 of Vermont’s 253 towns. In 2011, hunters took more than 4,700 turkeys in both the youth weekend and regular May 1-31 seasons.

Vermont is offering a new “mentored hunting license” this year for a resident or nonresident who has never completed a hunter education course or held a hunting license. A person with a mentored hunting license may hunt when accompanied by an adult 21 or older who holds a Vermont hunting license.

A shotgun or bow and arrow may be used in the youth turkey or regular spring turkey hunting seasons. Shot size must be no larger than #2 and no smaller than #8.

Vermont was the first New England state to re-establish wild turkeys when it stocked 31 birds in 1969 and 1970. Today, the Green Mountain State has an estimated 50,000 turkeys.

To find out more about wild turkey hunting in Vermont, contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05601-0501. Telephone them at (802) 241-3700 or check in at their website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Licenses are available on their website and at more than 300 agents statewide.