the Season opens too late.
You’ve been listening to turkeys gobble for a couple of weeks prior to opening day. Then, when you finally get to hunt, it’s dead quiet. It’s easy to believe the turkeys are all finished talking for the year.
The reality is many states set their seasons around two gobbling peaks. The first happens in the early spring, when winter flocks are first breaking up. Biologically speaking, it’s important for this peak to occur with minimal disturbance because it’s when a lot of the actual breeding takes place. Traditionally, turkey biologists in many states try to set the hunting season late enough so that at least half of the hens are on the nest by opening day. That’s necessary to maintain good turkey production.
Once those hens are on the nest and the toms get lonely, the second gobbling peak occurs. That’s during hunting season in a perfect world—but sometimes the first week of the season falls in the lull between the two peaks. Good news is, I’ve never seen a slow early season that wasn’t followed by at least some uptick in the gobbling action later on.
Of course, poor weather, turkey numbers, and hunting pressure all play a hand in how much gobbling you hear. But the chances of the turkeys being “done” before your season opens are basically zero. —W.B.