The spring turkey hunt is on and right now, I have not been able to get out due to the inclement weather we have had in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. There is one person that I know of that has had some of the finest sucess I have ever seen in this part of the country and that is 11 year old Chloe. This is her second big tom she has shot, but this guy takes the blue ribbon. A 32 pounder taken with an Remington 870-20 guage. This young lady also hunts big game and has harvested some really nice deer.
The following article is a reprint from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website, and further information can be viewed at the following link. (http://www.iowadnr.gov/)
The eastern wild turkey offers one of the most challenging hunting experiences available today and appeals only to the most dedicated outdoorsmen. Wild turkeys have extremely keen senses of sight and hearing and are normally able to avoid human contact so successfully that hunters often do not detect their presence. The instincts for survival are most highly developed among adult gobblers, making them among the most sought after trophies in North America today.
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|I use a slate call. They are easy to operate and produce good results. Click on the link or picture to buy from Bass Pro.|
Turkeys are hunted during two seasons – spring and fall – which are differentiated by styles of hunting and the primary quarry. Spring gobbler hunting is most widespread because shooting males has no impact on the future growth or dispersal of turkey populations, even at the new release sites. Turkeys are promiscuous, with only the largest, most dominant males obtaining harems of a dozen or more hens. Non-breeding males are thus available to hunters at no cost to the population. Even heavily hunted areas seldom sustain hunting losses of as many as 50% of the adult males.
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|I use this combination, and it is dynamite. The big toms come running to do battle. Click on the link or the picture to price and buy from Bass Pro.|
The principal spring hunting method is to locate toms gobbling from the roost at daylight and attempt to call them to the hunter by imitating the yelps, clucks, cackles and whines of a hen ready to mate. Hunters wear camouflage clothing and sit completely motionless for as long as several hours to escape detection by keen-eyes gobblers. Success rates for spring hunters in most states average about 30-40%, but are in the 50-60% range in most of Iowa because of the excellent turkey densities found here. Because 10% of the hens also have beards (the hair-like appendage hanging from a tom’s breast), any bearded turkey is legal game in the spring.
|Chloe with her big boy and decoy set in the background.|
Fall turkey hunts usually are allowed only in states with well established turkey populations. In Iowa, the combination of excellent turkey populations and a decrease in fall hunting demand, has allowed a 3 bird bag limit, until the quota is filled. More young poults are produced than survive the rigors of winter and escape from predators to reach the breeding season, thus allowing limited fall hunting before much of this natural mortality takes place.
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|I wear a leaf suit. The turkeys eyesight is their best defense weapon. You must hide well. Click on the link or the picture to price and buy from Bass Pro.|
The most common fall hunting technique is to locate a flock of turkeys, scatter then as widely as possible, and call back broods by imitating the assembly yelps and clucks of the adult hen or kee-kee of lost poults. Gobblers are not particularly interested in finding hens in the fall, making them extremely difficult to call and shoot. Inexperienced young turkeys return readily to the hen and commonly make up 60% or more of fall harvests. Fall hunters also use complete camouflage. The results of Iowa’s hunting seasons can be found at: http://www.iowadnr.com/wildlife/files/trkindex.html.