The Missouri Department of Conservation has advised hunters that "challenging" is the the way to possibly describe this fall turkey season.

With this year’s late spring, delayed nesting occurred. According to data compiled across the state, this year’s annual wild turkey brood survey shows statewide turkey production was below average.

The statewide PHR (poult-to-hen ratio) was at 0.9 for the year. That 's 13 % higher than last year's ratio but 25% lower than the previous five-year average.

According to MDC Turkey Biologist Jason Isabelle, conditions during the nesting and brood-rearing periods were favorable throughout much of the state despite the year’s late spring delayed nesting.

The good news according to the report is turkey production is expected to bounce back.

Because there are fewer young birds this year, hunters will have to put in more work to be successful. It is noted by Isabelle that fewer hunt during the fall turkey hunting season compared to the spring season. The comparison is only about 10,000 hunters purchase fall firearms turkey permits compared to 100,000 in the spring.

Hunting hours for the fall firearms turkey season, Oct. 1-31, are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Fall archery turkey hunting runs from Sept. 15 to Nov. 9 and resumes Nov. 21 to Jan. 15. Shooting hours for the archery season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

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