Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that turkey hunters checked 44,187 birds during Missouri’s 2016 regular spring turkey season April 18 through May 8. Top harvest counties were Franklin with 961 birds checked, St. Clair with 878, and Texas with 861. Young turkey hunters harvested 4,167 birds during the 2016 spring youth season, April 9-10, bringing the overall spring 2016 turkey harvest to 48,354.
The 2015 overall spring turkey harvest was 48,432 birds with 4,441 harvested during the youth weekend and 43,991 during the regular spring season.
Missouri offers some of the best turkey hunting in the nation. MDC restoration efforts in past decades have taken this popular game bird from almost being wiped out in the state by the 1950s to an estimated sustainable population of more than 300,000 birds today. Missouri turkey hunters spend more than $125 million each year on related travel, food, lodging, and hunting equipment, which helps local businesses and the economy.