the Sea­son opens too late.

Outdoor Life - - NO EXCUSES -

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.

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