Get your read on, turkey hunting brothers and sisters.
State wildlife agencies post turkey harvest reports where it’s required for a hunter to physically register a bird. Maybe your state does too. Here in northern New England, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont all do. I hunt them all. As a result, I study town and kill numbers routinely.
Doing so helps me lock into areas where kill numbers are consistently high each season. I plot trends, study public land features, contact people I know in such areas (and those I don’t). This allows me to scout without even being there.
Now while it’s true some guys might register gobblers under the veil of secrecy, fibbing the town of kill to protect their spots, I think many of us are proud of the land we hunt, and where we take a bird. We register honestly. The kill data reflects this.
Keep manila hard-copy folders or computer files on annual turkey kill data. In the off-season (and especially pre-season) you can study new town locations where registration numbers are high. County data also reflects trends. Use it to hunt better on the road.
(NWTF media 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.