I'm itching to get after some birds this spring turkey hunting season, but I would change these 6 things first...
Spring turkey season is quickly approaching. The vivid dreams of gobbling toms and curious jakes are starting to disturb my REM sleep cycle. However, my excitement is met with an equal amount of disdain and annoyance for this season.
Don't mistake me, I enjoy a good turkey hunt just as much as you do. But there's a laundry list of things I'd change about spring turkey hunting season if I could. Now don't jump the roost just yet. I'm sure after reading some of these grievances below you'll be able to relate.
1. Duration of the season
I'm an East Coast hunter by birth, and a Maryland turkey hunter by choice. One thing that's always got my panties, I mean boxers, in a bunch is the duration of spring turkey hunting season.
Turkey season in Maryland begins promptly on April 18 and ends on May 23. A whopping total of 31 legal hunting days to put the prowl on a gobbler. If you blink, you've missed it.
Depending on your turkey IQ, turkey population, and the duration of your respective season, this might seem like an adequate amount of time. However, low turkey populations combined with the elusive nature of these birds keeps many of us turkey hunters on our toes.
I'd like to enjoy a few more days in the woods to hone my turkey hunting skills this spring. I'm sure you can relate.
2. Sunday public land hunts
If you're fortunate enough to own private hunting property, this may not apply to you. On the contrary, if you're a resilient public land turkey hunter, you'll pick up what I'm putting down here.
If our limited time in the woods this spring turkey hunting season wasn't bad enough. Selective Sunday hunts on some public land might be the icing on the cake. I have a few honey holes on public land that don't allow Sunday turkey hunts. If they did, it might be the difference between a successful turkey season and an empty tag.
Maybe opening up more public land to Sunday hunts this turkey season might change our luck.
3. No more vacation days left
If my list of changes isn't resonating yet, I bet you'll be listening after this one!
Me: "Boss, can I have a few days off next week?
Boss: "What for?"
Me: "Well you know, tomorrow's opening day of spring turkey hunting season!"
Boss:"Zach, you know you used up all your vacation days back in November during deer season"
Me: " Yea, you're right. Nevermind. I'll just hunt Saturdays."
There's not much more to be said here. We all love deer season, but if you're a turkey hunter, you'll need to plan out your vacation days accordingly. We'll get it right next year!
4. Unpredictable weather
We're all familiar with the old saying "April showers bring May flowers." However, the last few turkey seasons have comprised of unpredictable weather patterns. Many have been cold, most very wet, and a handful of days just right.
Toms tend to be more lethargic in rainy weather and colder temperatures. If the weather in your state doesn't cooperate, the birds mating time might not coincide with the duration of your spring turkey hunting season.
You may experience more spring critters and mute birds than you'd hope for. This is most certainly one of the pain points we'd all like to cross off the laundry list. But we'll endure just the same.
5. Less deer, more turkeys
Is it just me, or do you have more close encounters with turkeys during deer season, and vice versa, then during spring turkey season? Throw us a bone here.
Almost every year, like clockwork, I can pretty much estimate the arrival of a sizable group of turkeys within shooting distance. The only problem is it's deer season!
Come spring I'm hitting the slate call hard trying to entice that tom off his roost. What do you know, that mature doe I was hunting during deer season prances on by. It's frustrating and peaceful at the same time. I guess it's nature's way of keeping us hunters humble.
6. Ticks and chiggers
Last, but certainly not least. We can all agree that the spring turkey hunting season would be a lot more enjoyable without these little critters. They'll make you wiggle, itch and end up in crevices we didn't even know we had.
I recommend you investing in some Off Spray this turkey season to propel those ticks. If you come down with a bad case of chiggers we'll have to go a step further. This is when your wife's clear nail polish will come in handy.
Yes I said it, nail polish. Apply it over those itchy red bumps. It'll suffocate those chiggers and in a few days time you'll be back to normal. I'm speaking from experience. Don't tell my wife though, she's still looking for her nail polish!
That pretty much sums it up. I'm still fired up for spring turkey season and you should be too. I think we all can wish for a few of these changes though. However, these things do make it memorable.
It's time for me to get back to sleep and enjoy my turkey dreams. Good luck this season. Gobble, gobble!