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Turkey Hunting

Team NYB Ends Turkey Season with a Double Bearded Bird – Part 1

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It was 4:15 a.m. on May 31st – the final morning of the 2010 Spring Turkey Season – when Dero and I met each other at the gate of the farm.

The season had been a tough one with few birds coming in close enough for a shot. Although we were lucky enough to hear gobbles on almost every occasion there were only two mornings that we had birds within gun or bow range.

Earlier in the week, we had hunted upstate only to have coyotes ruin one morning and oversleeping ruin the next. It was now or never for Team NYB.

The full moon lit the farm road as we walked through the field to our ground blind. We had recently asked the farmer to till some of the lands so we could plant for deer season, but had yet to hunt over it for turkey. It was this freshly tilled soil that would help us succeed on a late-season gobbler.

I first placed the Jake decoy in the grass where we had usually spread the decoys on previous hunts, but after returning to the blind Dero suggested I move the decoys. The field had grown so tall that the birds would have a very hard time seeing the decoys through the grass. The freshly tilled soil was at a 45-degree angle from our blind. Here the decoys would be visible from a distance and still within our shooting range.

Daybreak soon came and the songbirds played their tune. Missing was the sound of geese honking in the nearby river and turkeys gobbling from the roost. Then it happened – we heard our first gobble!

Dero and I looked at one another and were filled with excitement – it was the first time all season the birds were roosted on our side of the river! A few minutes later we heard a hen yelp – another first for us at the farm. On our previous hunts the hens never made a sound.

Patiently we waited for the birds to make their first move. A few minutes later we heard three short yelps behind us. The sounds kept getting closer and closer until the birds appeared in the field to our left…

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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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