Turkey hens are starting to nest even as far north as Maine, as I noted one doing just that on May 18 when out for an early morning walk in the woods on a no-hunt Sunday. No matter: I’d filled my single tag on the April 28 opener. Scouting is a 24/7/365 deal.
In Georgia they were still gobbling (“like crazy”) on the last day of the recent spring season (May 15), as Realtree’s Dodd Clifton checked in with a brief report, and the image of a sharp-spurred gobbler killed during that final opportunity, which said plenty more.
Before the Nebraska turkey season concluded on May 18, Cabela’s David Draper filed this mid-month report: “It's been a tough spring in Nebraska as winter refuses to go down without a fight. The May 2 blizzards in the Panhandle plus continuing cool temperatures have birds just as confused as the hunters. Out west, many toms are still with hens. Saw one tom strutting for a dozen hens last Sunday.”
This has been the rallying cry from many a western state . . . you fall turkey hunters take note: some longbeards are still left.
And speaking of Maine, the “A Season” reopened Monday, May 19, and one report from my northern New England turkey circle indicates there were many hunters out scouting the day before, many jakes to match those numbers, and some longbeards still with hens.
What are you Strut Zoners seeing around the country? Have hens started to nest? Have you seen those first poults? Are you still turkey hunting some of the late northeastern seasons that close May 31st?—Steve Hickoff