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      Officials: Fewer young turkeys, more adults in MO

      Missouri conservation officials say hunters should see greater numbers of mature turkeys but fewer young turkeys this fall.

      The Conservation Department says heavy rain during the April and May incubation period can reduce the number of hens that successfully nest. Dampness makes it easier for predators to smell and find nests. Cool weather from late May through June can reduce survival after hatching because young turkeys are susceptible to chilling.

      However, there was good turkey reproduction during the two previous years. Conservation officials say that means a better chance of finding birds with long beards and meaty bodies.

      Missouri's fall firearms turkey season starts Tuesday and ends Oct. 31.