Opening day of fall turkey here in PA today!
This year unlike other years I actually knew where some turkeys were roosting–in the woods very near my parent’s house of all places! So I simply slipped into the woods this morning at a little bit before 7 and by looking up into the trees found where they were roosting.
As daylight approached I watched the turkeys on the roost. They clucked some here and there which I responded to which generated curious looks at me from the turkeys. Eventually they started flying down and I got a got a clear shot at one.
After shooting, I saw the turkey go down then back up then down again. Comfortable I had the turkey I just froze and sat still. The other turkeys continued to fly down then grouped up then walked away calmly.
My first turkey ever and it was so easy! So many times other years I have had near encounters with turkeys, but some how just never got one.
In other news this was my first chance to go hunting with my Stevens Model 77 shotgun in 12 gauge. I picked it up at a flea market recently and repaired a crack in the stock in addition to refinishing it. It seems to be working pretty good now except for the action jams up a bit sometimes. Anyways, this turkey did not need a follow up shot so it worked out ok.
My brothers and I took our dog out hunting today. We booted one turkey out, but turkey does not come back in until tomorrow, so no turkey. Saw a few deer; could not identify them as to what they were. Finally Freckles, our dog, found at rabbit which ran out in front of me. I got three shots off with the Remington 870 wounding the rabbit with the last shot. After reloading I needed two more shots for finishing before I could catch it. Makes me feel a bit out of practice. I have not shot at a rabbit since last year. It was a good day of hunting. Our dog has improved greatly since last year and is starting to act like she is going to become a good rabbit dog.
Yesterday, I came home from college for the weekend and got a little dog training in. My brother has been training our bagel/basset in my absence and has her finding rabbits pretty well. She is still has trouble keeping the sent after she finds a rabbit though.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved a Junior Rabbit season to go along with the Junior Pheasant Season. Like the Pheasant season any “properly accompanied” person age 12-16 with or without a license may participate. The season will run from October 9-16. I think this gives kids who have taken their Hunter Safety class, but still are not sure about hunting a great chance to give it a try.
Below is the text of the announcement from the PGC’s site.
BOARD CREATED JUNIOR RABBIT SEASON
To continue its efforts to recruit young hunters, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave final approval to a special cottontail rabbit junior hunter season that coincides with the ring-necked pheasant junior hunter season in early October. The proposal was requested by Game Commissioner Jay Delaney in July.
“Most people agree that one of the best ways to introduce youth to hunting and encourage their continued participation is via small game hunting,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Rabbits are an underutilized game mammal, and are a perfect addition to the junior season offerings that have been implemented by the agency over the years.”
Under the new opportunity, the junior rabbit season will be held Oct. 9-16. The season will be open to those juniors age 12-16, when properly accompanied by an adult as required by law, with or without a license. The daily and field possession limits will be the same as the general rabbit season, four daily and eight in possession.
Roe noted that the junior rabbit season will not be part of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which is for those youth under the age of 12.
In other small game season action, based on a recommendation from Game Commissioner Robert Schlemmer, the late cottontail rabbit season will be Dec. 27-Feb. 26, which equates to a three additional weeks of hunting. The Board also gave final approval to include the use of crossbows for small game seasons.