Hunting Turkey Hunting

First Turkey Seasons Open

Over in Missouri, perhaps THE best state for turkey hunting in the U.S., Hunter Specialties’ Alex Rutledge says the birds are starting to do their thing a little, but are probably really about two weeks away from really getting cranked up. He promises to keep us posted as March plays out.

Meanwhile, up North, Gerry Bethge, a former editor at OL and current managing editor of Salt Water Sportsman, said when premature warm weather hit Massachusetts and New York a couple weeks ago, some longbeards were gobbling and strutting hard. With little snowfall this winter, the birds should have survived the winter in good shape so hopes are high. If the early warm weather keeps up (not the case this past week!) some hunters fear the birds will have done their thing by the start of the season and not work well to the call.

I for one have a rematch with a walking Butterball scheduled at Gerry’s place this spring, so I’m hoping that won’t be the case. Last season, the behemoth strolled in on my blind side after being worked by me and Rick Story of the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance for close to two hours. I never was able to get turned around and squeeze off a shot.

Across the border in Connecticut, Matt Wettish with The Outdoor Media Group, has begun putting in a little scouting time though the season remains almost two months away. During that spell of warmer weather, toms were also seen strutting, gobbling and setting their pecking order through a little fighting. Checking one of his spots in the evening he found 30 birds roosted right off a field. When morning rolled around, Matt said it sounded like it was late April! That, my friend, is a good sound indeed and enough to pump any hunter up for opening day.

Lastly, all the way up in Maine, writer Steve Hickoff, has been stalking one lone gobbler like the paparazzi this winter, and in so doing, heard it cut loose with some gobbles the other morning. The odd thing about that, it was during a snow squall in 29 degree temps!

Don’t let your friends tell you these birds don’t gobble except in spring. They’ll gobble anytime the mood moves them, apparently, even in a raging snow storm.

Let us know what’s going on in your state. Click on the “Comments” button below and share what you’ve been seeing and hearing as well as what your buddies are anticipating for the coming season.