As part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, the 2014 spring turkey season opened May 1 in all of upstate New York.

“Approximately 100,000 turkey hunters will take to the field this spring, making it a very popular activity,” said Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Martens.

Spring Turkey Season runs May 1-31. Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.

Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license (if purchased before Feb. 1) or hunting license (if purchased after
Feb. 1).

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.

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 No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.

Crossbows may not be used for the spring 2014 turkey season.

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 harvest online.

For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2013-14 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit

In support of the Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this year’s budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone largely untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries.

This year’s budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free Adventure Plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted Adventure Plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee Adventure Plates for annual license holders.