In the mid-1800s, turkeys disappeared from New Jersey due to habitat changes and being harvested for food. So in 1977, the state Division of Fish and Wildlife decided to reintroduce turkeys into New Jersey, releasing 22 birds into the wilds of the Garden State.
There are now approximately 23,000 wild turkeys throughout the state — and semiannual hunting seasons — one in the spring and the other in the fall. Each year about 3,000 birds are harvested.
Hunting areas reach from Warren and Sussex counties in the north to Cape May, Burlington, and Atlantic in the south. Wild turkeys have been spotted everywhere, including urban areas.