Article Submitted by Chapter Ike Rob Carpenter (board member, chair of archery and outdoor ethics committees, and youth coordinator).
Since Spring Turkey Season starts next month, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some of the safeties you should be aware of while hunting Gobbler. Season begins April 10th. Hunting Spring Turkeys have some unique laws that I will highlight before we get into being safe while hunting for these Turkeys:
- The season is split up into 2 different sections. Starting opening day, you are only allowed to hunt one-half hour before sunrise until 12 noon each day until May 2. The second section of the season starts on May 3rd and ends on May 15th. During these 13 days you can hunt one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
- You are only allowed to harvest a turkey that has a beard, which is typically the Gobbler (male). There are Hens (female) that can grow beards, so these would be legal to harvest.
- You are only allowed to harvest one turkey a day and three per the entire 2020-2021 hunting season. For example, if you did harvest 1-3 turkeys in the fall, it can only total 3 combined. If you harvested 3 in the fall, sorry, you cannot hunt for Spring Turkey.
- You are required to have a big game tag along with your regular hunting license. You will only have 3 Turkey tags on this Big Game tag that covers the fall and spring seasons.
Now some safety items that go along with Spring Turkey season. Picture this: You have found the perfect turkey hunting spot and you are using your gobbler call. A few minutes later you hear leaves rustling and then spot another hunter. What should you do? Answer: Call out – Do not make any movement. A couple of safety concerns unique to the above question:
- Be aware, your turkey call may lead other hunters to think you are a turkey. Most successful hunters imitate hens, not gobblers.
- Never stalk a turkey. Most incidents occur while stalking turkeys!
A few other safety concerns while turkey hunting:
- Do not wear blue, black, red or white when in the woods during turkey season. It can be mistaken for a turkey’s head.
- Wear blaze orange when moving to/from your stand. Display blaze orange at your hunting spot. You can simply tie a blaze orange strip about you in the tree to alert anyone else in the woods.
- As stated above, be extremely careful if you use a gobbler call.
Turkeys have a small body-mass, and especially the vital area is too small to absorb the bullet, shot pellet, or arrow. It will often pass through or around. Practice and Pattern your shotgun before you go out into the woods, so you do not injure a turkey and have a clean and humane harvest!
If you plan on going into the woods this season to hunt for those great eating Wild Turkeys, please be safe and good luck!!