From my own experience and the anecdotal information from other hunters the season has been an odd one. Many hunters are reporting hearing a lot less gobbling then usual and seeing less gobblers. We know that the past two hatches have not been good and that is certainly contributing to the strange season. Of course even with the bad hatches the ever expanding turkey flock across the state has given more hunters opportunity to hunt turkeys.
In today’s N&O Outdoor Section Alex Webb had a great article about how the season has been going and some suggestions on tactics to bag a late season gobbler. What really caught my eye in this article was NCWRC information on the number of birds tagged in the first 6 days.
Evin Stanford, the surveys and research biologist for deer, turkey and boar with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, looked at harvest figures through the first six hunting days of the season and said there had been 4,268 gobblers shot compared to 3,950 in 2007 and 4,475 in 2006.
“It looks as though we are going to have a pretty strong season. Of course, if we have really rainy Saturdays from here on out, then that can affect harvest. But if we just have normal weather conditions, then it looks like we are going to have a pretty strong harvest this year, probably above last year,” Stanford said.
Well that’s great news and why we shouldn’t put much stock in anecdotal information because I would have bet the kill was way down. It appears that we are entering the second gobbling phase where the gobblers will gobble more and be more apt to seek out hens because many of the hens have gone to nest. Even with this phase it is not necessarily any easy because you got to factor the past two weeks of education on calls, decoys, and hunters the gobblers have gotten. I think late morning and early afternoon will be the best bet for finding a lonely gobbler so good luck.
Story & Photo by Dan McLaughlin (AKA Moose)