Archived Outdoors

Mountain turkey harvest flags amid high statewide numbers

This year’s North Carolina turkey hunting season yielded the second-highest harvest on record, second only to the record-breaking 2020 harvest — but harvest in the mountain region were down compared to the three-year average.

Hunters statewide harvested 21,974 birds this year, slightly down from the 23,341 harvested last year. Overall, the statewide harvest was 10.7% higher than the average harvest of the last three years, including a 23% higher harvest in the coastal region. However, harvest in the mountains was 2.6% lower than the three-year average.

“This year’s high harvest may be partly due to the ongoing pandemic, but it also likely resulted in part from 2019’s hatch that produced an abundance of turkeys across the state,” said Chris Kreh, the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission’s upland game bird biologist. 

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