The DEC is proposing new hunting rules. Officials want your input on the changes.

On Tuesday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced proposed changes to wild turkey hunting regulations, giving hunters additional turkey hunting opportunities.

Wild Turkey Hunting Changes

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Potential changes, which are scheduled to take effect this fall, would alter the minimum shot size from #8 to #9 for turkey hunting statewide, to account for advances in shotshell technology. Previously, shot sizes smaller than #8 were prohibited because they lacked the kinetic energy downrange to humanely harvest a turkey.

"Wild turkey restoration is one of the greatest success stories of modern wildlife conservation," Seggos said. "In New York, DEC's management and protection of wild turkeys has allowed the birds to maintain self-sustaining populations in all suitable habitats of the state. This regulation change would expand hunting downstate, ensuring New York remains a premiere destination for turkey hunters in the Northeast."

 

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According to the DEC, recent advances in shotshell technology use heavier metals such as tungsten alloy, tungsten-iron, or bismuth.

"These heavier shot types, sometimes referred to as "Tungsten Super Shot" or "TSS," maintain enough energy to humanely harvest a turkey. In terms of kinetic energy, #9 tungsten can have the same weight as #5 lead shot and achieve a higher pellet count," the DEC states.

Long Island Turkey Hunting Changes

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The proposal establishes a spring turkey season in Suffolk County, starting in 2023, with a season limit of one bearded bird.

Recent Phenomenon

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"The existence of wild turkeys on Long Island is a relatively recent phenomenon, with populations growing to more than 3,000 birds. The first turkey hunting season on Long Island was a five-day fall season in 2009 with a one-bird bag limit," the DEC states. "After DEC established this season and, later, a two-day youth-only spring season, turkey populations in the area continued to increase. Their populations can now support additional hunting opportunities in the form of a spring season from May 1 through May 31 with a bag limit of one bearded bird."

Public Comments Wanted

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The DEC wants all to comment on the changes. If you want your voice heard, you have until June 5, to speak out.

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The DEC says to email your comments to wildliferegs@dec.ny.gov with "Proposed Turkey Regulations" in the subject line.

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Or you can mail your comment to Joshua Stiller, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

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