Most hunters like to know when peak gobbling times are so they can plan their trips afield. As we all know, some mornings the woods echo with chain reactions of toms gobbling in all directions. And on other mornings you could hear a pin drop or the only sound is flapping wings as birds come off of roost and disappear. In the following couple months we will try and help you predict activity in your area.
Let’s start off by talking about the two peak gobbling phases, each lasting somewhere around 1-3 weeks each. They are the pre-breeding and post-breeding gobbling peaks. In general, weather permitting, pre-breeding peak gobbling starts in the extreme southeast the earliest. States such as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina should be firing up now. Northern states have a few weeks to go. Don’t get me wrong, you will still hear birds gobbling all across the U.S. at anytime, but we are focusing on peak times. We will go into more detail in the following weeks. Here are a few factors we will discuss other then time of year that trigger gobbling. They are temperature, wind, barometric pressure, precipitation and the moon. Let’s look at some regions for the upcoming week of March 12th – 19th.
NE – A little above average temperature will help. But above average precipitation next week will hamper gobbling. If it’s clear and warm around the full moon on the 19th it should pick up.
SE – Average temps and little precipitation should kick start the birds. Look for states like Georgia, Florida, South Carolina to really heat up around the 17th-19th.
Great Lakes – Slightly above average temperatures and above average precipitation next week. It’s been a long winter in many areas. A few weeks from peak pre-breeding gobbling here but warm, clear, calm days should hear activity.
South-Central – This area should have flat out warm temperatures between rains and on days with a rising barometer are great bets to try.
North-Central – Same as the Great Lakes a little early and areas of snow still on the ground hamper calling along with precipitation potential this week.
Northwest – Next week will be cool and wet, this along with snow pack will make things quiet.
Southwest – Warm and dry. Perfect conditions, try to get out around the 17th-19th if your areas open to hunting.
Starting next week we will explain weather factors one by one, the moon and more details about calling times for each region. Many areas are not open yet so check your regulations. Doesn’t mean we can’t get out and start locating birds though. Check out Outdoor Life weather for your site specific turkey forecasts.
Good Luck! Jim Nelson