Despite warmer than normal temperatures, preliminary results put the 2012 spring wild turkey harvest at fourth highest on record at 12,594 birds. Only 2010, 2009, and 2006 spring season harvests ranked higher.
The 19-day regular season (April 25-May 13) accounted for 10,993 birds harvested. Adult gobblers made up 85 percent of the total harvest, followed by juveniles (14 percent) and bearded hens (less than 1 percent).
Youth hunters harvested 1,592 birds during the two-day special youth season (April 21-22). Nine birds were harvested during a special Wounded Warrior turkey hunt at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center.
Hunter-reported harvest through the free CheckIN Game online system accounted for 2,160 (17 percent) of the total harvest. This was the first time hunters could report their turkey harvest online instead of driving to a traditional check-in station. Hunters will have the option of visiting a traditional check-in station or using the online CheckIN Game system for the upcoming fall turkey and deer seasons.
By using their unique Customer Identification (CID) number, which is found in the upper-left corner of their hunting license, hunters can quickly complete the CheckIN Game process. Lifetime license holders can search for their Customer ID number on the CheckIN Game online system, and those exempt from needing a license to hunt can fill out the required information online and a CID will be automatically assigned to them.
The final report of the spring turkey season will be available online after July 1, 2012.
Upcoming Reserved Hunt Opportunities
Beginning July 1, hunters can apply for the following reserved hunt opportunities: Dove, Military/Refuge Deer Firearm & Archery, State Park Deer Reduction, and Pheasant Draw hunts. Go to www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/5834.htm to get specific details about each hunt.
The Pheasant draw hunts are at Game Bird Habitat Areas in Benton, Newton and White counties. These areas were purchased or leased with funds from the Game Bird Habitat Stamp that is required when hunting pheasant, quail, dove, wild turkey, and ruffed grouse. The game bird habitat stamp is included in the resident youth hunt/trap license and the comprehensive lifetime hunting licenses.