The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the 2024 spring turkey season in Suffolk County will be held Wednesday, May 1, through Friday, May 31. This season marks the second year DEC is offering the spring turkey hunt on Long Island, following the highly successful inaugural spring season in 2023, during which approximately 2,000 registered hunters enjoy this new hunting opportunity.
Long Island's wild turkey population is an example of the State’s successful restoration and management efforts. Populations of wild turkey on Long Island disappeared in the late 19th Century due to a reduction in forested habitat, as these environments were cleared for colonial farms and firewood. In the mid-1990s, DEC trapped approximately 75 wild turkeys in upstate New York and released those birds at three locations in Suffolk County. The Long Island population is now estimated at more than 3,000 birds and growing. Wild turkeys have become a common sight at many locations in Suffolk County and some locations in Nassau County.
All of Wildlife Management Unit 1C (Suffolk County) will open for spring turkey hunting. The demand for spring turkey hunting on DEC-managed lands makes it necessary for hunters to follow specific access procedures to ensure equal hunting opportunities for all.
DEC requires spring turkey hunters to enter a drawing and make advance reservations before hunting on DEC-managed properties. To enter the drawing, hunters must complete the Long Island State Lands Spring Turkey Drawing Registration Form. Interested hunters are required to fill out their name, email address, and DEC customer ID. Once the reservation is completed and submitted, the hunter will be entered into the drawing. The deadline for entries is midnight on March 20. Hunters will receive a drawing number via email after submitting a reservation. Anyone unable to complete the online survey or who has additional questions should contact the DEC Region 1 Wildlife office at (631) 444-0310 before March 20.
Hunters may submit one entry only. Any individual who sends more than one entry will have all entries removed from the drawing. Hunting parties are limited to three hunters. Each member of a three-hunter party may send one entry.
Visit DEC’s website for more information on DEC-managed properties open for the spring turkey hunt.
Spring Wild Turkey Season Specifics
Season Dates: May 1 through May 31.
Hunting Hours: One half hour before sunrise until noon.
Manner of Taking: Hunters may hunt with a shotgun loaded with shot no larger than number 2 and no smaller than number 9, or with a bow. Hunters may not use crossbows or rifles. Handguns are not permitted while hunting on state lands, but if used elsewhere, must use shot pellets no larger than number 2 and no smaller than number 9.
Valid License and Tags: Hunters must have a valid New York State hunting license and a turkey permit to participate in the hunt.
Spring Turkey Season Bag Limit for WMU 1C:
- No more than one bearded turkey per day; and
- No more than one bearded turkey in WMU 1C.
Visit DEC’s website for additional information on New York State Turkey Hunting Regulations. Successful hunters are strongly encouraged to bring harvested birds to the Ridge Hunter Check Station located at 484 Randall Road, Ridge, NY (7 a.m. – 1 p.m.). DEC staff will be recording biological data to help evaluate the season and population structure. Visiting the check station will not be mandatory, but all birds harvested must be reported within 48 hours by phone (1-866-426-3778) or via DEC’s Game Harvest Reporting webpage.
Access to State Managed Lands in Suffolk County
DEC-managed lands that will be open for spring turkey on Long Island include the following:
DEC-Managed Lands in Suffolk County:
- Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest – Archery Only
- East Bartlett Pine Barrens State Forest – Archery Only
- Kings Park Cooperative Hunting Area – Archery Only
- Carmans River Pine Barrens State Forest – Archery Only
- Ridge Conservation Area – Archery Only
- Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest – Shotgun and Archery
- Westhampton Dwarf Pine Plains Preserve – Shotgun and Archery
- Henrys Hollow Pine Barrens State Forest – Shotgun and Archery
Cooperative Hunting Areas that will allow a spring hunting season are:
- Barcelona Neck Cooperative Hunting Area - Shotgun and Archery
- David A. Sarnoff Cooperative Hunting Area - Shotgun and Archery
- Otis Pike Preserve Cooperative Hunting Area - Shotgun and Archery
Tidal Wetlands Properties (archery only, no reservation required):
- Fireplace Neck
- Havens Point
- Long Beach Bay
DEC-managed lands open to shotgun turkey hunting will be closed to other users from two hours before sunrise until noon throughout the season.
Additional information can be found at the following webpages:
Visit DEC’s website for more information on hunting seasons and regulations. For tips and further details on regulations on turkey hunting, contact DEC regional wildlife office at (631) 444-0310 or visit DEC’s Turkey Hunting Regulations webpage.
Additional Helpful webpages: