Young hunters checked 3,945 turkeys during Missouri's youth turkey season April 10 and 11, thanks in large part to ideal hunting conditions.
Top counties for the youth season were Franklin with 133 turkeys checked, Osage with 101 and Ste. Genevieve with 77.
Male turkeys gobble most actively on warm, sunny days with moderate wind.
Weather during this year's youth hunt closely matched this description, paving the way for an excellent hunt.
This year's youth harvest represents a 37-percent increase from last year, when cold, windy weather hampered young hunters.
Previous harvests have ranged from a low of 2,530 in 2001, the first year of the youth hunt, to a high of 3,894 in 2005.
Mature gobblers made up 70.6 percent of this year's youth harvest, compared to 69.6 percent last year and 70.2 percent in 2005.
Missouri's two-day youth season is open to hunters age 6 through 15. It provides an opportunity for adults to focus on mentorship.
The impact on the state's wild turkey flock is minimal, since the youth harvest usually accounts for only approximately 5 percent of the annual harvest.