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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Realtree turkey hunting editor Steve Hickoff has chased gobblers all over the United States and Mexico. He was born and raised in northcentral Pennsylvania, and now makes his home in Maine. Hickoff was named the NWTF Tom Kelly Communicator of the Year for 2019, a prestigious award reflecting his longtime work promoting hunting and conservation as a turkey hunting writer, editor and book author.