by Leon Archer
Boy, are the turkeys ever being quiet this spring – at least where I’ve been hunting. It leaves one wondering if there are any birds in the neighborhood. I’ve seen three nice toms — all in the afternoon and well past legal shooting hours. One of them stood at the edge of the road showing off his beautiful feathers less than 15 feet away from where I sat in my car watching him.
The other two toms were escorting about a dozen hens in a cut corn field. That was an area where I’ve never hunted, so I’m going to knock on a couple doors next week and see if there is a chance of hunting for those birds. There is a movement afoot across the state to have the turkey season extended beyond the morning hours. Many states have an all-day season, which gives more people the chance to hunt or to do more hunting than they could under our present regulations.
Such full day hunting does not seem to have had a negative effect on turkey populations in those states.
There has been significant resistance to the longer hours in New York State, but that position has been slowly eroding. I know some of my hunting friends are not in favor of a change, but I believe it would work with few problems if other state programs are any indication.
One group that would benefit greatly from this sort of change would be high school students, who would be able to get in a few hours of hunting after school is dismissed. I know if I were a student, I would take advantage of afternoon hunting. There is some concern among the a.m. only crowd that afternoon hunting would interfere with nesting hens, but there is no evidence of such problems in states that allow afternoon hunting. I think it is coming.
Anyway, going back to my mornings afield, all the other birds in the woods were in great voice and I enjoyed the serenade even though an occasional gobble or cluck would have been more than welcome.
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