The statewide spring season for wild turkeys — male and bearded turkeys only — opens Saturday, April 5, with a one-week youth season that lasts through April 11. The season for all hunters opens April 12 and continues through May 10.
During youth season, only turkey hunting by youth less than 16 years old is allowed. Each youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old. The adult may accompany more than one youth during a particular hunt and the adult cannot harvest a turkey. Each youth must have a Big Game Harvest Report Card and report harvest. License-exempt youth should report their harvest using a Big Game Harvest Report Card for License-Exempt hunters.
The daily limit is one and the possession and season limit is two per hunter, only one of which may be taken during youth season.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding turkey hunters of some basic safety guidelines, such as identifying a target before pulling the trigger.
“The main consideration for turkey season — or any hunting season — is to always think twice, and positively identify your target and what is beyond your target before pulling the trigger,” said Travis Casper, the state hunter education coordinator. “If there is any doubt in your mind, don’t shoot.”
The Top 5 Safety Tips for Turkey Hunting
- Leave the area if you think another hunter is already there.
- Alert another hunter to your presence by saying “Stop” in a loud voice.
- Never stalk a gobbler, which only increases your chances of being mistaken for game.
- Never wear red, white, blue or black — those are colors of a tom’s head and body.
- Make sure your decoy or harvested turkey isn’t visible when you transport it.
The Top 5 Legal Considerations for Turkey Hunting
- Promptly and properly validate and register a kill.
- Use of pistols, rifles or muzzleloading rifles is prohibited.
- Dogs are not allowed for hunting wild turkey.
- No hunting a baited area until 10 days after all bait has been consumed or removed.
- Electronic or recorded calls are not allowed for hunting wild turkey.
Find more information on turkey hunting regulations and public places to hunt by visiting the Commission’s Hunting page.
Logo courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission