- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The spring turkey population appears to be robust, despite the record number of zero-degree days this winter, according to a New Hampshire wildlife biologist.

Saturday marked the start of the annual Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend.

Turkey biologist Ted Walski said sightings of flocks of wild turkeys suggest they weren’t affected by the frequently frigid winter.

He expects the spring turkey hunting season to be as good as or better than last spring, when hunters took 4,550 turkeys. He said 590 of those turkeys were taken during the youth weekend.

Turkey season for adult hunters runs from May 3 to May 31.

Youth and adult hunters must have turkey licenses, which cost $16 for residents and $31 for non-residents.

Licenses allow the taking of one gobbler - a male turkey - during the spring and one turkey of either sex in the fall.

Walski advises hunters to wear blaze orange.

He also asks hunters to report any observations of avian pox on turkeys. The virus, which is not harmful or contagious to humans, is characterized by wart-like growths on the head and upper neck of the birds.

Walski said he’s cautiously optimistic, saying the winter flock survey identified turkeys with pox lesions in 26 sites in 18 towns out of more than 1,400 observations.

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