Early Archery Turkeys

Sz_postturkeysdeer_nwtf_photo Are you Strut Zoners looking for some early archery action on both turkeys and deer? Here are three states where you can double-up.

MISSOURI
Just imagine 1 million Show-Me-State turkeys to target. Northern farmland—where fall flocks roost—is home to many whitetails too, and trophy deer at that. Randy Simonitch’s famous Y2K Pike County P&Y buck (33 total points; 269 7/8 net score) immediately comes to mind when bowhunters talk about big Missouri whitetails. Missouri is also an easy fit for my Top 5 turkey states in the country, and some of my biggest longbeards have been taken there. Deer and turkey archery seasons this fall run from Sept. 15-Nov. 14, 2008, then resume Nov. 26-Jan. 15, 2009. T

KANSAS
Kansas offers so-called Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA), which includes both state and federal areas. Private land permission provides an alternative too, often for a chance at trophy whitetails. Archery seasons for deer—mulies (western one-third of state), whitetails (eastern one-third for highest densities), and firearms options for fall turkeys (an estimated 65,000 birds) are open simultaneously. Turkey management units—four total—offer over-the-counter permit hunts for Rio Grande birds (western two-thirds of state), Rio/Eastern hybrids (north-central KS), and Easterns (northeast/southeast region). Regular deer archery runs from Sept. 22-Dec. 31, 2008 (check application deadlines in advance), while turkey dates range from Oct. 1- Jan. 31, 2009.

WISCONSIN
Hunting camps—from shacks to upscale lodges—can be found most anywhere, and farmland here grows record-class whitetails. Wisconsin’s forests cover 46% of the state where DNR officials put deer numbers at 1.6 to 1.8 million. The bonus? A wild turkey explosion of an estimated 200,000+ birds (according to the state) makes this a great double-up location. Got deer? Turkeys? The Badger State surely does. Fall turkey opportunities run from Sept. 13-Nov. 20, 2008, while you can bowhunt Wisconsin whitetails from Sept. 13-Nov. 20, then again on Dec. 1-Jan. 4, 2009.—Steve Hickoff