The Changing Face of Fall Turkey Hunting

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“What? Hunt turkeys in the spring???”  Those were my thoughts when I first learned about spring turkey hunting in the late 1960’s.  I was such a crazy fall turkey hunter that I cut a practice on my varsity college soccer team and rode the bench for the next game.  I made an excuse to the coach, but he didn’t buy it.

Big Flocks & Big Adventure

As the leaves fell each October, flocks of turkeys often appeared in open fields where gobblers and hens chased grasshoppers and pumped our adrenolyn.  One weekend, our soccer team didn’t play and I drove home from Frostburg State College for the weekend.  Heading west on Monday morning, I drove through our regular hunting club planning to take a hike in turkey country “just in case.”

Luckily, I hadn’t walked 100 yards from my car when I flushed a small flock that included a large tom.  As the birds flew, I emptied my 20 gauge and then had the bird fly directly overhead, as I tried to reload.  Amazingly, I found the bird a quarter mile away in a huge oak tree and tumbled the big tom as it flew overhead.  Needless to say, I cut my morning classes and headed home to show the bird to my friends.  My father, a drivers’ education teacher, had a free period and we made the circuit in the small town, the “going viral” of its time.

Some Do & Some Don’t

As you will read in theis post from Steve Hickoff on the NWTF site, 42 states offer fall and spring seasons for a variety of reasons.  Steve shares some of his favorite stories that give today’s turkey hunters a taste of a time when fall turkey hunting was the norm.

http://www.nwtf.org/hunt/article/changing-face-fall-turkey-hunting

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.

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