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Team NYB Ends Turkey Season with a Double Bearded Bird – Part 2

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Cautiously the two hens approached the decoys and continued yelping softly. As the two hens fed around the decoys we heard more yelping behind us – this time it was to our right. I caught a glimpse of movement through the brush on the right of our blind and told Dero to get ready. Two hens emerged from the tall grass in front of our blind not more than ten feet away and one was a bearded hen.

We now had four real hens in the field, a feeding hen decoy and a Jake decoy – the perfect set up for bringing in a long beard. The real hens, however, didn’t stick around too long and began feeding away from us. Then we heard another gobble, this time it came from the left side of the field.

From where I was sitting I couldn’t see the birds, but Dero could. Dero coached me through their movements. Softly I called imitating the hens and Dero began cutting with a friction call. This got the Tom all riled up and he began gobbling back at our calls.

Finally, I was able to see Tom in full strut at the other end of the field. Slowly he began making his way towards our decoys. The big Tom gobbled and strutted the whole way in. Then at about 40 yards the Tom noticed the Jake decoy and came running in.

The Tom circled the Jake decoy to display his dominance and then suddenly attacked the decoy. Dero had the camera rolling and after a few minutes said, “take him.” I steadied the bead on Tom’s head and slowly squeezed the trigger dropping the bird in its tracks! I don’t know who was more excited me or Dero, but we were both shaking!

I ran up to the bird and was shocked when I picked it up – this bird had long curved back spurs that measured 1 3/4″ long! This was an old Tom for sure. I ran back to the blind with the bird to show Dero and as I lifted the bird up I noticed this Tom had another surprise for me – a double beard! The first beard measured 8″ and the second beard was 10 1/2″ long. I had tagged out on two double bearded birds – something that rarely ever happens.

The 2010 Spring Turkey Season was now over and we had ended it on a high note. The days of waking up early to scout and hunt, the friendships we made over the course of the season, and memories in the field will never be forgotten. This was one of the toughest turkey seasons I can remember, but we stayed strong and kept at it until the end. I know this is one season I will never forget.

Accept the challenge. Never give up.

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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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