More than 45K turkey hunters hunted SC woods

Source: SCDNR
Source: SCDNR

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (NEWS RELEASE) - Over 45,000 turkey hunters take to the woods annually in South Carolina with hopes of harvesting a wily gobbler, and the 2014 spring turkey season was no exception, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

The following news release was issued by SCDNR:

South Carolina's spring wild turkey season opens April 1 and closes May 1 in most areas of the state and on all public lands with turkey hunting. The season opens March 15 on private lands in 12 Lowcountry counties in the state. Annually, spring turkey hunters contribute more than $30 million in direct expenditures to South Carolina's economy. Results of the 2014 spring turkey season can be found on the DNR website.

Top counties for total turkey harvest were Williamsburg, Laurens, Berkeley, Union, and Fairfield. However, because counties vary in size, a better method of comparing harvests between counties is the harvest per unit area, for example turkeys harvested per square mile. Using this method top counties were Union, Laurens, Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Greenville.

Other statistics from this year's survey indicate that there were approximately 45,949 turkey hunters with the average hunter spending about 5 days in the field. Total effort expended by all hunters was approximately 227,069 days in 2014. The success rate was about 22 percent in harvesting at least one gobbler and the week of the season during which the most turkeys were harvested was the first week in April with 36 percent of all birds taken during that single week. Finally, hunter opinion on the turkey population indicated that it was viewed as decreasing and this opinion coincides with the declining harvest and reproductive trends.