For those of you, who like me, live for spring shotgun turkey hunting, our wait is almost over; it will not be long before we will be in the field.
Archers have been in the field since March 25 in Nebraska and April 1 in South Dakota while the hunters armed with shotguns will have to wait until South Dakota until April 8 and Nebraska April 15.
With the increase in turkey numbers throughout the upper Midwest, we hunters have the opportunity to obtain several permits.
There have been years, when my hunting partners and I have had permits in several states, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri.
The first thing I do once I know I’ll have my permit, is to get out and check with the farmers and ranchers where I’ve hunted in the past, obtaining permission, as things might have changed since the last time I hunted there. In some cases, part of or all of the land may have been sold or been leased to another or woodlands converted to crop ground, which changes our whole game plan.
After obtaining permission, I do a drive by; looking the area over for any changes that might have occurred since I was there last and armed with this information will locate a map of the area so I know exactly how the land lies and where the property lines are. It is not a bad idea to contact adjourning landowners to inform them you will be hunting the area so there will not be any surprises when they see you or your vehicle parked near their land.
I do not know how many times I have stopped by an adjourning landowner to let them know I would be hunting nearby, when they thanked me or even gave me permission to hunt on their land.
After getting my permission and obtaining everything I could find about where I plan on hunting, I’ll spend some spend time in the field, scouting, with my first scouting opportunity while hunting deer sheds as this gives me an early opportunity to check things out.
During this time of the year, there may be snow on the ground, with the birds still in their large winter flocks, if so, locating them, an easy task.
With snow on the ground, figuring out where the birds are congregating, feeding and roosting is easier. Turkeys are scratchers, so look for areas where the snow or leaves are pulled back, leaving open areas, where the turkeys have scratched down through the ground debris and snow to find food. [Read more…]