The Sportsman’s World: Turkey Season Winding Down

By Leon Archer

A week from today, the turkeys can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the season draws to a close.

If you have not collected your turkey or turkeys, you are running out of time. Getting up well before dawn gets rather old after the first three weeks of the season. 

Most hunters either get up later and try to connect with a gobbler during his mid-morning wanderings, or they just give up and start thinking of bass season instead.

Turkey hunters in Pennsylvania have another option. Starting with the 2011 spring turkey season, Pennsylvania hunters could hunt from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset during the most of the second half of the season.

This spring, their season opened on May 3, and all day hunting began on May 19. Even though the change in hours was instituted three years ago, Pennsylvania hasn’t seen any increases in their total annual spring harvest.

Some hunters apparently take advantage of the afternoon season, because according to the state’s surveys, about 5 percent of the total spring take came from the afternoon time period, and the majority of those turkeys came during the 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. time frame.

A total of 20 percent of all the birds harvested during the all-day portion of the season were taken after noon.

Pennsylvania is one of 34 states that conducts all-day hunting for all or part of its spring seasons. New York hunters do not have that option, but personally, since I first heard about it, I have thought it makes excellent sense.

Pennsylvania and other states with afternoon hunting claim they have not seen any real adverse effects of the practice on nesting hen turkeys.

All-day hunting gives hunters another option, and I’d be happy to see it come to New York state, but at present there is no big push to see it come about. And just in case you are wondering, I haven’t shot a turkey, but I did catch some bullheads.

On a different note, I was just informed Wednesday that the Safari Club International is looking for a young, disabled hunter to go on an elk or red stag hunt.

The details are as follows: Age 11 – 18, male or female, wheelchair disabled or similar extensive disability, hunt in fall 2014, location will be Laurentide Lodge in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, all expenses will be paid by SCI, hunt will be filmed for SCI, youth must be able to speak on camera, adult mentor/parent will accompany the youth.

If you know of a youth that would qualify and might be interested in applying, contact George Franke for more information. He can be reached at  or by phone at (607) 316-8869.

He can give you any information you need and answer any questions you might have. It sounded like a chance at a wonderful opportunity for some disabled youngster who loves the outdoors.

The high water and mostly miserably cold weather has taken its toll on the fishing. I just about froze when I went for bullheads. I was watching the river run under the bridge on Oneida Street the other day, and man there is a lot of water still moving through from the storms down in the Finger lakes area.

The lakes are high, the canals are still way too high for boating, and there is a lot of dangerous junk still floating in them. It is hard to get very worked up over fishing right now – even for me.

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