Wildlife Commission Announces 2024 Wild Turkey Harvest Totals

Last Updated on July 11, 2024 2:56 pm

Results from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s (NCWRC) 2024 Wild Turkey Harvest Summary report show that hunters recorded 24,074 birds harvested statewide in 2024, including 2,372 birds taken during the youth season. Hunters harvested 15 fewer turkeys than last year’s record total, making the 2024 Spring Turkey season the second-highest year on record. Both the Mountain and Coastal ecoregions reported increases in harvest numbers compared to the 2023 season, particularly in the Coastal region. 

“Turkey hunting continues to be very popular in North Carolina, with this year’s total harvest statewide being 8% higher than the average of the previous three years,” stated Hannah Plumpton, NCWRC’s upland game bird biologist.  

To put this year’s wild turkey harvest in perspective, Plumpton compared this year’s harvest to the average harvest of the last three years. Each season was five weeks, including one week for youth hunters under the age of 18. The results concluded: 

  • Harvest during the week-long youth season increased by 11%.
  • Harvest in the Coastal region increased by 13%.
  • Harvest in the Mountains increased by 8%.
  • Harvest in the Piedmont increased by 2%.
  • Harvest on game lands increased by 5%.
  • Number of adult gobblers harvested increased by 11%.
  • Number of jakes harvested decreased by 10%.
  • Jakes comprised 10% of the harvest, a 1% decrease. 

The top five counties for the number of turkeys harvested were Duplin (872), Pender (694), Halifax (612), Columbus (598) and Brunswick (589). Four other counties had more than 500 turkeys harvested. When considering the size of the counties, the top five counties for the number of turkeys harvested per square mile were Duplin, Franklin, Northampton, Halifax and Chowan. 

NCWRC posts annual harvest summaries on its website for all game species, as well as live harvest reports that are available throughout the hunting season. 

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