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Turkey Hunting

Spring Turkey Success in Connecticut

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Opening morning of Spring Turkey Season did not go as planned for me, but it started off as a typical opening morning.

The alarm went off at 4:16 a.m. and I was out the door by 4:45 a.m. By 5:00 a.m. I was at the turkey woods and sitting in my blind by 5:20 a.m. I was a little disappointed on my walk-in as I didn’t notice any turkeys up in the trees that they typically roost in, but you never know where they’re going to come from.

As the day began to break I let out some soft yelps and then did a fly down cackle while shaking my hat back and forth to sound like the wings of a turkey as it pitches off the roost. Following this, I let out some soft purrs and clucks and then shut up.

It wasn’t until 6:00 a.m. that I finally caught some movement – however, it was not the movement I was looking for. As the doe cautiously approached the blind she gazed through the open windows with fright – deer don’t like big black spaces in the woods and this one was pretty sure the blind wasn’t there the last time she was in these parts.

When she got within 10 yards I took a perfect broadside snapshot with my iPhone. Just about that time she decided to bolt and run for her life, snorting all along the way just to make sure any animal within 100 yards of me would run for its life as well – silly deer, it’s turkey season!

As the minutes passed and turned to hours I tried calling several more times. I did a few soft yelps with my mouth call, then a few loud yelps, then some soft turning loud yelps, a bit of cutting, some purring on the slate call and I even called with the mouth call and the slate call at the same time! I guess it wouldn’t have mattered if I was a World Champion turkey caller at that point – you can’t call them in if they’re not there!

By now you’re probably wondering how I ended up with a turkey when there were none – well, I didn’t, that’s my dad’s turkey.

While I was hunting a spot with a known flock of 50+ birds that I saw several times in the fall, winter and even in late March, my father was at another spot where we used to see turkeys, but not much anymore.

His day started out somewhat like mine. He called. And called. And called some more. But no turkeys ever responded. After about an hour with no birds located he decided to set up against a big oak tree and set the decoys out. That’s when he heard a gobble in the distance. Not being much of a patient man, he decided why wait for the bird to come to you when you can go to the bird – so off he went.

As he closed in on where he thought the bird might be he gave out another series of yelps and the gobbler responded. This, however, would be the last time the bird talked. Slowing down his pace, dad zeroed in on where the bird gobbled and finally saw the lone longbeard (well I guess it’s a short beard in this case) walking along the creek.

One shot from the bangstick and the bird was down! So guess where I’ll be tomorrow morning – you got it, hunting at dad’s spot because there just might be one more lone turkey out there looking for love. See you in the morning Mr. Gobbler

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Turkey Hunting

Spring Turkey Season Opens May 1 in New York

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Bowhunters take to the woods this spring after weary old gobblers in New York.

It’s my favorite time of year after deer season – the spring turkey season (probably because it’s the only other time I’m out hunting with my bow). Following suit of previous seasons, the 2014 spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and the annual youth turkey hunting weekend is April 26-27. The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.

Not nearly as popular as deer hunting, there only 100,000 turkey hunters expected to head afield this spring. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can’t get excited about calling to a bird and have it respond and watch it work its way in. It’s a very interactive hunt.

According to the DEC, hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license (if purchased before Feb. 1) or hunting license (if purchased after Feb. 1).

  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
  • Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.
  • Crossbows may not be used for the spring 2014 turkey season.
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird.

One thing that caught my eye is that the state’s enacted 2014-15 budget includes language authorizing the use of crossbows for hunting under certain circumstances. So while hunters cannot use crossbows to take wild turkey during the 2014 spring season, they might be able to in 2015. It will be interesting to see if the changes go through for next year and what affect that would have on the number of hunters taking to the field for turkey hunting.

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Turkey Hunting

Bowhunting Turkey in New York

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Teresa took this big longbeard on the opening day of the 2012 Spring Turkey Hunting Season in Orange County, New York. This is Teresa’s first turkey kill and she got the job done with a heart-pounding 23-yard shot. Congrats to Teresa on an awesome longbeard!

Did you have success this spring? It was tough with the warm weather we had in April before the opener.

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Turkey Hunting

NY Bowhunter Takes Turkey During Fall Archery Season

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Last Friday morning my cousin Ken had the day off to enjoy a day afield. He was set up in his tree well before first light, but the morning was really slow and Ken only saw one deer. The tall spike came down the hill 50 yards to his right and kept on walking to wherever it was that he was going.

With no rubs or scrapes in the general area, Ken and his father Nick decided to hunt a different area that afternoon. On the drive to their hunting spot that afternoon they spotted a flock of turkeys and ten deer out in a field just a few door down from where they would be hunting.

Ken headed to his stand at the top of the hill and waited in anticipation for the deer and turkey to leave the field and move back into the hardwoods. Around 5:00 pm the woods exploded with noise and movement and the deer and turkey came barreling through the woods. Shortly after, Ken heard a lady yelling at her dog who must have decided it would be fun to chase the deer and turkeys out of the nearby field.

Then Ken heard a single turkey coming towards him from the bottom of the hill. Ken got ready and drew back with the bird at 20 yards. The bird took two more steps and Ken made a chirping sound to stop it and let the arrow fly. The bird only made it a few more yards before going down.

Congrats to Ken on taking a turkey with the bow, that’s never an easy thing!

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