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2024 Spring Turkey Hunt


gimruis

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Being that its now April, this thread seems appropriate.  Let's see those turkeys, and hear about your success/failure during the spring turkey hunt.

 

I intend to go during season B which starts April 24 here.

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Ours starts May 4th. Last for 4 weeks. 

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8 minutes ago, GaryH said:

Last for 4 weeks. 

Is that a shotgun season or archery?  That's a long time to use a shotgun if that's the case.  We have to select a 7 day period here to shotgun hunt.  If you don't fill your tag during that season, you can use it during the last 7 day period at the end of May as a "second chance."

 

Archery hunters can hunt the entire 56 day season here until they fill a tag.  But obviously its much tougher than using a shotgun because of the range.

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Full season for both shotgun and archery. You get one fall turkey tag (gobbler) and with your license and can purchase a second gobbler tag. Also 1 fall tag for gobble or hen. First 2 weeks 1/2 hr. Before sunrise till noon. Last 2 weeks 1/2 hr. Before sunrise till 1/2 hr. after sunset.

 

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6 hours ago, gimruis said:

Is that a shotgun season or archery?  That's a long time to use a shotgun if that's the case.  We have to select a 7 day period here to shotgun hunt.  If you don't fill your tag during that season, you can use it during the last 7 day period at the end of May as a "second chance."

 

Archery hunters can hunt the entire 56 day season here until they fill a tag.  But obviously it’s much tougher than using a shotgun because of the range.


nj has a similar season setup. One month divided into 5 seasons. M-F for each of the four weeks and the four saturdays as the fifth.  Then we’re broken down by zone and I don’t even know how many zones we have. So you have to pick your zone and hope you can get a tag for the time period you want. Tags are limited (some areas more than others). If you’ve never been part of this type of system before it takes a couple reads before you even understand it. 

 

 

4 hours ago, GaryH said:

Full season for both shotgun and archery. You get one fall turkey tag (gobbler) and with your license and can purchase a second gobbler tag. Also 1 fall tag for gobble or hen. First 2 weeks 1/2 hr. Before sunrise till noon. Last 2 weeks 1/2 hr. Before sunrise till 1/2 hr. after sunset.

 


I grew up in PA with the same regulations. You couldn’t buy the second tag then, but otherwise it’s the same. PA has a lot of turkeys for a season like that. 

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The first season here in Michigan for my zone is April 20 and goes until May 31st. This is shotgun or archery. Last year they were very uncooperative. We’ve secured some new land this year along with the land we hunted last year so hopefully this is the year 6poundbass bags his first thunder chicken.

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@casts_by_fly I hear you about your Regs. In N.J. I used to hunt turkeys there years ago. Fortunately I have a few friends I hunted there with that knew the regs. It can be confusing.

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@casts_by_fly we used to have more limited options not that long ago for turkey hunting.  The individual 7 day seasons were still the same as they are now, but the first four (A - D) were lottery.  Most people prefer to hunt them during the earlier seasons because seasons E-H interfere with fishing season which opens the second Saturday in May, and most turkey hunters are also anglers.  I would draw an early season every other year, and the years I didn't draw I hunted in May.  Its definitely tougher as the season goes along, as the birds have become more pressured, and are used to seeing decoys and hearing calls.

 

Now we can just select a season and hunt it, no more lottery.  The bag limit has always been one though, and no hens.  As previously mentioned, they allow archery hunters to hunt the entire season whereas shotgun hunters have to select one for 7 days.  You must select a zone when you purchase the license but you can hunt anywhere in the state.  They just want to know where people generally intend to hunt.  And you have to tag and register the bird for harvest purposes.

 

The wild turkey is amazing success story here.  Prior to 1971, there weren't any here.  That year, Minnesota "traded" wild turkeys to Missouri for ruffed grouse.  They established a niche and have since populated about 2/3 of the entire state.  The only portion of the state they cannot survive is in far northern MN which is all heavy timber.

 

I haven't been hunting them as long as I've hunted deer, pheasants, or waterfowl.  I started after college in 2006.  The success rate here in MN is 20-25% with shotgun and only 10% with a bow.  So there's a lot more hunters that fail than are successful.  I have tagged 9 turkeys in 17 seasons, 6 toms and 3 jakes.

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46 minutes ago, gimruis said:

@casts_by_fly we used to have more limited options not that long ago for turkey hunting.  The individual 7 day seasons were still the same as they are now, but the first four (A - D) were lottery.  Most people prefer to hunt them during the earlier seasons because seasons E-H interfere with fishing season which opens the second Saturday in May, and most turkey hunters are also anglers.  I would draw an early season every other year, and the years I didn't draw I hunted in May.  Its definitely tougher as the season goes along, as the birds have become more pressured, and are used to seeing decoys and hearing calls.

 

Now we can just select a season and hunt it, no more lottery.  The bag limit has always been one though, and no hens.  As previously mentioned, they allow archery hunters to hunt the entire season whereas shotgun hunters have to select one for 7 days.  You must select a zone when you purchase the license but you can hunt anywhere in the state.  They just want to know where people generally intend to hunt.  And you have to tag and register the bird for harvest purposes.

 

The wild turkey is amazing success story here.  Prior to 1971, there weren't any here.  That year, Minnesota "traded" wild turkeys to Missouri for ruffed grouse.  They established a niche and have since populated about 2/3 of the entire state.  The only portion of the state they cannot survive is in far northern MN which is all heavy timber.

 

I haven't been hunting them as long as I've hunted deer, pheasants, or waterfowl.  I started after college in 2006.  The success rate here in MN is 20-25% with shotgun and only 10% with a bow.  So there's a lot more hunters that fail than are successful.  I have tagged 9 turkeys in 17 seasons, 6 toms and 3 jakes.

 

Nice!  That's a good success rate.  I killed my first turkey in 1993/4, though it wasn't turkey hunting specifically.  We were small game hunting for grouse and rabbits.  The PA license came with a spring and fall tag at the time and fall could be either sex.  We rounded a hillside and a flock busted like grouse at 30 yards.  On instinct, I swung on the first bird and dropped it with the old 16 ga ithaca pump I was carrying.  We collected it and at that point I realized that we had a grouse, two rabbits, and maybe a squirrel or three already in our game bags.  And a mile back to the truck.  That was the last one I'd shoot while small game hunting.  I shot a couple after that in the spring, but never got heavily into it like some do.  I still have all of my calls and vest in the basement and this time every year I pull out the old slate call because we have a flock of 5-7 birds that live behind the house.  When the weather clears and warms later this week I epeect to hear the gobbler start up, so I'll give him a few clucks and get him up close to the house.  

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11 hours ago, gimruis said:

The wild turkey is amazing success story here.  Prior to 1971, there weren't any here

Michigan is pretty similar though I’m not sure on the years. I remember my stepdad telling me there was a time where you wouldn’t see them unless you went to the southern part of the state. There was also a lottery.

 

Now you can buy them over the counter in most parts of the state and you see them everywhere. I saw one a couple weeks ago in downtown Grand Rapids on Division street. There’s one in Kentwood who strolls around two major streets holding up traffic, chasing people at the gas stations. He has his own FB page and even made the news a couple months back. I’ve seen him a few times now that I’m currently working in that area. One of my coworkers has a video of him last week fanned out in front of a cop car while the cop of blaring his siren trying to get him to move. The cop ended up backing his car up.

 

Turkey 1

Cop 0

 

😂

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I wouldn’t want to mess with a disgruntled Tom turkey. Those spurs are nasty. Like a modern day velociraptor.

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40 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Those spurs are nasty. Like a modern day velociraptor.

Well...turkeys could be a direct descendant of old Veloci...

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I think ours starts April 13 or 14 this year, I don’t hunt but I’ll show y’all some pics of what my friends shoot. And hopefully some fried nuggets or grilled kabob photos 

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My buddy’s 8-9 yr old daughter dropped a gobbler opening day ! 
 

apparently the season started earlier than I thought 

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29 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

apparently the season started earlier than I thought 


Ours starts a week from tomorrow. I am hunting season B which is 2 weeks from tomorrow. I’ve definitely seen an increase in activity and strutting with more “spring-like” weather here now.

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On 4/9/2024 at 9:27 PM, gimruis said:


Ours starts a week from tomorrow. I am hunting season B which is 2 weeks from tomorrow. I’ve definitely seen an increase in activity and strutting with more “spring-like” weather here now.

Yall were right all along , it was juvenile last weekend which probably why my buddy’s daughter got one and he didn’t 😂 

 

adults season starts tomorrow 

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So I ran into the famous turkey I referred to earlier in this thread. I was driving down one of the streets we are drilling and I see a Tom crossing the road gobbling. As I get closer he stops in the middle of the road and gobbles some more! I roll down the window and he comes up to my drivers side front tire and looks at me then proceeds to the front of my truck. I slowly move forward thinking he’d move but I don’t see him on either side of my truck! I slowly back up for about 60’ and still don’t see him so I know he’s following my front bumper. One of my contractors comes walking up clapping his hands and the turkey scoots out to the side of the road. 😂

 

Turkey- 2

Cop/me- 0

 

 

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I finally got a picture of the Kentwood gobbler. He just tried stopping me. 
 

 

IMG_3214.jpeg

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Day 1 of turkey season B starts for me in the morning.

 

Blind placement will be occurring later in the day today.  Weather looks pretty good on Wed and Thurs, not so much beyond that.

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I forgot my update.

 

We met up with the land owner Saturday morning to walk the land and scope it out. We went out Saturday night and didn’t see or hear any birds. Sunday we didn’t make it out because Liam was invited to go to a Michigan State baseball game.

 

Next opportunity will be Saturday. We’ll be getting @gimruis weather so it won’t be ideal. That being said this spot sets up good for crap weather. There are big white pines along a field (this area we can’t hunt), however the area we can hunt is in the woods with a big clearing in the middle, and a creek running through it. My hope is the birds drop down out of the white pines and head right towards us to get some cover from the crap weather. As long as it’s not a downpour we’re going.

 

I’ve seen plenty of times over the years the birds seem to be pretty active when the weather is crappy. We shall see!

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My first day was yesterday.  It was glorious out there.  Only the second day this entire month with light winds.  I saw a nice group of turkeys in the morning but they were about 150 yards away and eventually walked away over a hill.  I moved my blind a little, and went back for the evening hunt, hoping they would return on the same path.

 

My plan worked.  Around 7:15pm, 5 hens, 2 jakes, and 1 tom came walking back over the hill towards me.  Once the jakes and tom saw my decoys (hen and jake), they immediately focused on those.  I didn't even need to use a turkey all.  Dusted the tom at 25 yards.

 

This is my 10th turkey in my 17th season.  But it's only the second time I've been able to fill my tag on the first day.

IMG_5176.jpg

IMG_3811.JPG

IMG_3810.JPG

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