More than halfway through Long Island's first wild turkey hunting season, the turkeys seem to have largely outwitted their pursuers.
Only eight gobblers had been bagged as of Monday afternoon, based on hunter reports to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Over the past three days, more than 200 camouflage-clad sportsmen have flocked to state-owned lands at Otis Pike Preserve and Rocky Point Natural Resource Management Area in Ridge where hunting is permitted. The five-day season ends Wednesday.
DEC spokesman Bill Fonda said five turkeys had been harvested in the Town of Brookhaven, two in East Hampton and another was bagged Monday in Rocky Point.
"People have 48 hours to report that figure, though, so conceivably there could be more taken," Fonda said.
The state is monitoring the season to see how hunting affects the local turkey population, estimated at 3,000 birds. "We're still evaluating the season at this point, but it would seem we would at least have a similar length of season next year," Fonda said.
Licensed hunters with turkey permits may bag one bird apiece on properties in Suffolk where hunting is allowed. For more information, call the DEC licensing office at 631- 444-0273.