If you haven’t thought about it yet, you’d better start. Nebraska’s spring turkey season is here. Archers will get started this week (March 25) and shotgunners begin their season April 13, with a youth only shotgun season that is the week before. The spring turkey season ends May 31.
I recently had an opportunity to get some words of wisdom on turkey hunting from Greg Miller, part of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff and a nationally known turkey hunting expert. Here is a quick Question and Answer session with a professional turkey hunter:
Q: Can you offer a few general tips on how a hunter can be more successful during the spring turkey season?
“First, take the time to practice with your bow or shotgun, before the season, so you will know where you’re shooting and what your effective range is”, said Miller. “Second, if you have a bird coming to your calls, once you see him back off on your calling and make it soft and seductive. And finally, if plan on taking a child hunting with you, get yourself a blind. It will hide a lot of movement and make things much easier on you.”
Q: How much scouting should be done before the season?
A: “If it's a new property to you then you should do plenty. Find out where the turkeys roost, where they like to fly down to and where they like to feed and hang out during the day”, Miller offered. “Don't waste your precious hunting season trying to figure these things out. If it's the same old place you hunt year after year, then not as much is needed. You still need to get out there and find out where they are roosting, because birds will change it up every so often. You also need to see if any crops got changed around because that will affect where they feed and hang out from season to season.”
Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A: “If you know there are birds in the area you're hunting, don't give up on your set up. Not all Toms come in gobbling their heads off. Some will come in all quiet and catch you daydreaming or packing up to move.
The time is now to get ready for the spring turkey season. Good Luck!
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Remember several weeks ago when I wrote about Federal introducing five new Premium HEAVYWEIGHT TSS turkey shotshell loads. The SST loads were specifically designed to offer greater long-distance performance.
I had a bit of reservation about these loads because they contained a mix of No. 7 and 8, 9 and 10 Tungsten Super Shot. The theory was that by mixing the shot sizes they could get more pellets in a shell, up to 1000 in some offerings, and that would put more shot on the target.
My concern was with the smaller shot sizes and Nebraska game regulations specifying the No. 7 ½ shot is the smallest legal shot you can use. I spoke with Jeff Rawlinson, an administrator with the NGPC. Rawlinson indicated that under the current regulations, those shells containing No. 8, 9 or 10 shot would be illegal. The NGPC will need to revisit this regulation and see if it needs to be changed. Until then, don’t run the risk of ruining a turkey hunt by getting a citation for “illegal” ammunition.
It never seems to change…with the shooting recently in New Zealand, it did not take long for the anti-gun folks in this country to cast blame on the guns and renew their attempts for gun control. I got “hit” with one of those ludicrous statements by an individual who is a “gun control advocate” and feels the second amendment does not apply to hunters or the civilian public. “Our founding fathers did not intend for guns to be a part of everyday society,” was one of her statements.
As my answer, I offered this quote from George Washington, which to me leaves no room for interpretation. “Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and the keystone under independence. The rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good."
My last word to her on the subject was, “When John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot, nobody blamed the gun.” Think about it! Good words and thoughts to close out this column. Have a safe and great weekend outdoors!