With another youth turkey hunting weekend in the books in many states throughout the East, hunters are reporting mixed results.
"There are turkeys everywhere," said Brad Hanson of Milton, Vermont, "But we couldn't get them to respond to our calls all weekend."
According to Hanson, he and a friend spent the better part of youth weekend out in the woods with Hanson's two sons. While they saw several flocks of birds in different areas, getting the turkeys to call back was very difficult.
Josh Richland, age 12, of Colchester, Vermont, had better luck. He pulled the trigger on a 20.15-pound bird at about 6:00 a.m. on the opening morning of the season. It was in a spot Josh's father had scouted well, and even after shooting the big tom the father/son team had three jakes come investigate their decoy.
Speculation is rampant about the "hit or miss" start to the season. Some hunters are saying many toms have already settled down and are pointing a finger at the early spring as one possibility, others just accept that turkeys will be turkeys.
"That's turkey hunting," said Hanson with a grin. "One morning you might not hear a gobble and the next they could come in and run you over," he said.
(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.