As my trips around the country each spring go, some of the most intense, hard-gobbling, dagger-legged, thick-bearded turkeys I have ever encountered came to my setups in the Show-Me-State.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, poor nesting weather over the past several years has been the major factor in having fewer wild turkeys in some parts of the state. This recent decline in turkey numbers has led to some hunter dissatisfaction regarding size of observed flocks, gobbling activity and success.
Despite the decline, Missouri still offers some of the best turkey hunting in the nation. A few consecutive years of drier, warmer spring weather will be critical for turkey numbers to bounce back. In the meantime, turkey hunting will be more challenging in certain areas.
The Missouri spring turkey season opened this past Monday, April 20 and runs through Sunday, May 10. The youth season was held back on the weekend of April 4 and 5.
(Steve Hickoff photo)
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Steve Hickoff is Realtree.com's editorial director and turkey hunting editor. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country.