By: Ross Venman
When spring starts, the birds start to chirp, everything is turning green, the sunshine is out, but most importantly, the turkeys start gobbling. But what makes hunting turkeys in the spring so special? Well, the turkeys have started their mating season and the male turkeys, gobblers, begin to gobble to attract a mate. The hunter then proceeds to use turkey calls to sound like a hen, a female turkey, in an attempt to lure the gobbler in. However, in the spring hunters are only permitted to shoot the gobblers, not the hens, making hunting turkeys one of the hardest hunting seasons in which to experience success.
Turkeys have very keen eyesight and can see color, unlike most animals. These attributes force hunters to be very still and wear a lot of camouflage clothing to attempt to blend in. The Squire sat down with renowned turkey slayer, Spencer Head, to learn more about how to hunt these animals.
TS: When does spring gobbler start?
SH: The mentor youth season started April 21, the actual season starts April 28 and goes until May 31.
TS: Have you been hearing the gobblers this spring?
SH: Yes, I have been hearing them and have gone scouting to find out where they are. I hope that all the scouting I’ve done means I’ll be ready when the season starts.
TS: We’ve had especially cold and unpredictable weather this spring. Do you think the cold will affect the season?
SH: I think that it will be a slow start, but get better as the season progresses and the weather keeps getting warmer.
TS: Have you been successful in the past? If so, what was the story?
SH: Last year, I was very successful and shot a turkey in NY and PA since I had tags for both.
TS: What kind of gear do you take hunting?
SH: Normally I take my camo, my gun, my calls, maybe something to drink, and my turkey decoy.
TS: What is your favorite part of turkey hunting?
SH: My favorite part of hunting is the adrenaline rush you get when you hear the turkey gobble.
TS: If you were going to give one piece of advice to young hunters, what would it be?
SH: I would tell them to be patient and keep hunting. Also, more often than not, you won’t get a turkey.
Turkey season here at Eisenhower is very important and popular, but obviously it is not easy. These birds aren’t just something you casually walk out and shoot; they take time, practice, and experience to hunt. So, best of luck to all of you turkey hunters out there! Remember to always stay safe and keep hunting.