Turkey tracks

It only took a few minutes to find evidence of turkeys and a few more minutes lead me to this turkey highway! Snow sure helps with tracking! I was on the trail of a flock of 40-50 birds and I was close to one of their main feeding areas and their roost. I had all the information I needed for the day. I’ll be back!

Spring turkey hunting permits are on sale and the season begins March 25 with the opening of the archery season. A Youth Shotgun season begins April 6 and the regular shotgun season starts April 13. All these seasons close May 31.

If you intend to do any spring turkey hunting, now would be a great time to get out and do some scouting. Snow makes it easy to track any animal!

Turkeys, due to their habit of traveling in flocks at this time of the year, make lots of tracks. When a flock of turkeys is in feeding mode and scratching around they disturb a big area. You should be able to find these areas easily. Following the tracks and movements of the birds can tell you volumes of information!

For example, you can tell the gender of the bird by its tracks. Hens and jakes tracks look similar, but a mature gobbler track is distinct! The middle toe is longer than the other toes and the track is 4-5 inches long. Feathers can give you another clue, Gobbler body feathers are tipped in black. A hen has dull tan/buff tipped body feathers.

Tracks can lead you to main feeding locations. Turkeys will still be using these feeding spots until things begin to green up and bugs come out. Knowing where the birds will typically be feeding can be a great advantage early in the season.

Another thing tracks will show you is where the turkeys go to roost. This is like finding the Holy Grail for turkey hunting. By knowing where the birds will be in the morning and the evening, you can better set up a spot to hunt.

Get a jump on your hunting season by doing a little up-front scouting. Track the birds, but do not disturb them too much or they will change their habits. Take some time to go out in the timber and follow the sign…but wait until it gets a little warmer, but not warm enough to melt the snow.

New Gear

There are still all sorts of gear and accessories coming out of the SHOT Show file. We will start with HEVI-Shot, a well-known name to waterfowlers. HEVI-Shot will begin shipping new HEVI-Duty frangible, nontoxic bullets and ammunition.

The patent pending bullets that are match grade accurate, nontoxic, non-fouling, non-corroding, frangible, safe to use with steel targets, will not ricochet, can be use at indoor and outdoor ranges, is priced to be comparable or less than lead bullets and is made in America. I’ll give it a try!

Taurus announced their new TX22 pistol at the SHOT show. According to the company, this is a groundbreaking .22LR semi-auto design and is now shipping to dealers across the country.

The TX22 is a full-size design that is said to be the perfect training handgun for beginners and those who have developed flinching habits. It is engineered from the ground up to maximize fit, function, and comfort for shooters of all statures and levels of experience.

Key features of the TX22 include: single-action only striker-fire system, 16+1 capacity, short, 5-lb. trigger pull, balanced slide weight for minimal recoil and fast target reacquisition, fully adjustable rear sight, reversible mag release and an integrated accessory rail. I may need to get my hands on one and check it out!

Federal introduced five new Premium HEAVYWEIGHT TSS turkey shotshell loads. The SST loads offer great long-distance performance.

The new offerings include blended loads that combine No. 7 and 9 or 8 and 10 Tungsten Super Shot. With some payloads topping 1,000 pellets, they more than double the shot count of lead No. 5 loads of the same weight for more hits on target than any turkey load in history.

I need to get some clarification from the NGPC on this kind of load. Game regulations state that 7 ½ shot is the lightest shot you can use for turkey hunting in Nebraska. I’m not sure this load will be legal in the Cornhusker State.

Price is another consideration. I’ve shown the news releases to a few avid turkey hunters I know and they feel a 5-round box of this new load for $60 or more is a bit too much.

Have a great weekend outdoors!

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