Hunting’s up, turkey numbers down
Wildturkey hunting season in this region, zone 6 south, began on April 24th and continues until May 15th. Hunters must take a turkey hunting course in addition to their basic hunting courses to qualify for a permit which allows them to bring home two males. The hunting is also only permitted from dawn to noon.
“We’ve already registered one hundred and ten wild turkeys,” said Pierre Laliberté, who has a registration station in his grocery store, Varietés Delorme et filles, in St. Hermenegilde. “Last year we registered one hundred and sixty in the whole season, and we still have two weeks to go,” he added. The average weight of the birds registered at Mr. Laliberté’s station is eighteen pounds. “The biggest I ever weighed here was twentysix pounds; he was an ancient one!” A wild turkey looking for food at the
bottom of a bird feeder last winter.
Although the hunting numbers are up, the actual number of wild turkeys in this region has decreased in the last two years. Wild turkeys are really ‘tough’ birds in that they can survive the Quebec winter, however, the last two winters in this region of Quebec were colder than normal and took their toll on the local populations.