Beginning Monday, Pennsylvania turkey hunters will be permitted to hunt from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset until the end of the spring season on Tuesday, May 31.
All-day hunting during the second half of the spring season began in 2011 to provide interested hunters with more time to be afield.
“Hunter participation decreases significantly by the second half of the season, and nesting hens are less prone to abandon nests,” said Mary Jo Casalena, a wild turkey biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. “Allowing all-day hunting during this portion of the season has provided hunters additional opportunity to harvest a gobbler, with minimal impact to nesting.”
Since 2011, afternoon and evening harvests have comprised 5 percent of the total reported harvests and 20 percent of harvests during the all-day portion of the seasons. In other words, even during the all-day portion of the season, 80 percent of harvests still occurred before noon.
Casalena said the majority of the afternoon and evening harvests have occurred between 4 and 8 p.m.
Casalena said the Game Commission will continue to monitor the afternoon harvest in relation to population trends and age class of gobblers to gauge the impact of all-day hunting.
Among the 49 states that conduct spring turkey seasons, Pennsylvania is one of the 36 that have all-day hunting for all or part of the season, Casalena said.