It is that time of the year. Young toms are chasing hens and a young hunter can get into the field this weekend with a shotgun and bag a gobbler. The Nebraska Youth Only shotgun turkey season runs April 6-12. Good luck!

If you have a youngster who would like to hunt turkeys this spring, get your gear together! The season opens in two days. It is a great time to take a youngster turkey hunting in Nebraska. Here’s why:

• There are more turkeys now than there has ever been in Nebraska.

• There is no age restriction for hunting turkeys. If a youngster can shoot a shotgun safely (that is up to whoever is mentoring the kid), then they can legally hunt.

• A youth turkey permit only costs $8.

• The youth season allows younger hunters to get out before everyone else.

• A turkey permit allows you to hunt turkeys all across Nebraska; you are not confined to any specific hunting unit.

Nebraska hunting laws state that a hunter under age 11 must be accompanied at all times when hunting anything with a firearm or crossbow, by a licensed hunter age 19 or older. If that mentor is between the age of 19 and 30 years of age, they must carry proof they have completed a Hunter Education Course.

You may hunt turkeys from 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Both private and public lands have good numbers of turkeys.

Finding turkeys is the key. Get out there now and do a bit of pre-season scouting! You don’t have that much time left before the season opens!

I believe scouting is the one factor that can make or break a turkey hunt quicker than all others. You need to be in the woods, finding turkeys, studying turkeys, learning their habits. If you know where a gobbler roosts, where he struts and his favorite places to feed, then calling him into range can be an easy thing to do.

A wise veteran turkey hunter told me something a long ago that stuck in my mind, “It is always easier to call a turkey to someplace he already wants to go.”

Another bit of advice….think like a hen. You don’t need to search solely for gobblers when you are out scouting, notice the areas where the hens hang out. If you find hens, the gobblers won’t be far away. What is a gobbler looking for in the spring anyway……hens. Find a spot where the hens go that is close to good nesting habitat, and you will probably get a nice gobbler.

One more tip about scouting……don’t forget to look for morel mushrooms while you are looking for turkeys.

And in a week…April 13th is the opening of Nebraska’s turkey season for all shotgunners and it is also a great time to take a newbie of any age hunting!

Interesting Question

I recently got this from a reader and I thought it might be worth passing on:


I recently installed a pistol grip stock made by a company called ATI. I bought the stock at Scheel’s and wanted to use it on my shotgun for turkey season. My shotgun had worked perfectly until I added the stock, but now I have trouble pumping the action and the trigger will not work properly at times. Could the new stock be causing this or did something else break? Help! Turkey season is almost here.


You didn’t mention the make/model of shotgun that you have, but from the symptoms I’m going to guess that it is a Mossberg 500.

The way the Mossberg action is designed, the bolt that tightens up the stock comes through the back of the receiver. If the bolts extends in too deep it can cause the problems you’re experiencing. You can solve the problem in two different ways:

1- Remove the stock and cut off ~ ¼-inch of the stock bolt, file the bolt to clean up the rough-cut edges and re-install. Cut off a bit more if the problems don’t go away.

2- Take the stock off and add a few washers to the bolt, then re-attach. Adjust the number of washers to get the right length to fix the problem. This is the easier fix to the problem.

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