Wild turkey

A total of 147 turkeys were harvested in Jackson County during the spring season.

Results from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s wild turkey harvest summary show this year’s spring harvest was the second highest ever recorded. Hunters across the state report 18,730 birds harvested, including 1,478 birds taken during the youth-only hunting season.

This season’s harvest was only slightly below the record harvest of 18,919 birds, which was set in 2017. The total harvest statewide this year was 3.5 percent higher than the average harvest during the previous three years.

In Jackson County, 118 adult turkeys and 29 jakes (young males), for a total of 147 turkeys, were taken. Last year, 126 adult gobblers and 12 jakes, for a total of 138 turkeys, were taken.

Jackson’s best year for turkey hunting was 2013, when 178 turkeys were harvested.

This year’s harvest in the mountains, District 9, was 6.5 percent lower than the average harvest during the previous three years.

North Carolina’s turkey hunting season opens the second Saturday of April each year and closes in early May. A week-long, youth-only hunting season opens the first Saturday in April. Hunters are allowed two bearded or male turkeys each year. Approximately 70,000 hunters pursue turkeys in North Carolina each year. About 15 percent of them will harvest one turkey and only 5 percent harvest their two-bird limit.

For additional turkey harvest information, including harvest numbers by county, game land, season and weapon type, read the summaries on the agency’s wild turkey page, under the Harvest Reports tab.