While PA Spring Turkey has been in for a little over a week now due to finishing up with the last little bit of this semester’s college work I have not been out any, until today.
After hunting up my mouth call in the refrigerator I made it into the woods this morning around 6:30 AM not exactly before dawn, but hey I was in the woods! The other day I read a turkey hunting story in the Pennsylvania Game News where the guy used the call, listen, then walk technique to locate a gobbler. Not knowing where any particular gobblers where at I decided to follow suit.
Shortly after starting into the woods some movement of a furry body caught my eyes further looking revealed a raccoon! We stared at each other for a while then he ducked down into a hole. The hole, which is right on the line between woods and field, looks a lot like a old groundhog hole. I will have to remember that spot for trapping season. It is not legal to “set traps within five feet of a hole or den, except for underwater sets” (PGC Hunting Digest ), so I can not set a trap right next to the hole, but I can set a trap in that general area.
After watching the raccoon for a while I continued on, going nice and slow. After about two hours of creeping along and not hearing anything I found small semi enclosed field area where I set up a decoy and waited for a while. I stayed there until about 10:0 Am, but never heard a single gobble.
This Saturday will mark the start of Pennsylvania’s Spring Gobbler Season. It will run from May 1st to 31st during the hours of one-half hour before sunrise until noon. No fluorescent orange is required during this season, but PLEASE for my sake, your sake, and for the sake of the ones around you identify your target completely before you shoot. I would also strongly suggest putting on an orange hat when moving, because you never know when you might the in the background of someones sight picture. Also it would be a good idea to put out your orange hat on a tree or use a orange tree band while sitting.
Below are some quotations from the 2009 /2010 PA Hunting Digest.
Spring Gobbler Season:
Statewide. Only turkeys with visible beards are legal. Hunting by calling
only—no stalking—one-half hour before sunrise until noon. Hunters
are asked to be out of the woods by 1 p.m.
Spring Gobbler Season: May 1 – 31, 2010
In both spring and fall seasons, it is unlawful to possess or use live tur-
keys as decoys, or to drive or use electronic callers or devices. Dogs can
be used to hunt turkeys during the fall season but not during the spring.
Blinds: The use of turkey blinds is legal under the following definition:
Any artificial or manufactured turkey blind consisting of all man-made
materials of sufficient density to block the detection of movement within
the blind from an observer outside the blind. Artificial or manufactured
turkey blinds consisting of all man-made materials means blinds must be
constructed of plastic, nylon, canvas, cotton cloth, plywood or other man-
made materials. Blinds made by piling rocks, logs, branches, etc. are
unlawful. The blind must completely enclose the hunter on all four sides
and from above to block the detection of movement within the blind.
When fluorescent orange is required at a stationary calling location in
fall seasons, at least 100 square inches must be displayed outside the
blind and within 15 feet of the blind, visible 360 degrees.
Arms & Ammunition:
Spring Gobbler Season: 1) Manually operated and autoload-
ing shotguns limited to a 3-shell capacity in the chamber and
magazine combined; 2) Muzzleloading shotguns of all types
and gauges; 3) Long, recurve, compound bows or crossbows
with cutting-edge broadheads.
Fine shot no larger than No. 4 lead, bismuth-tin and tung-
sten-iron, or No. 2 steel. Rifle/shotgun combination guns may
be used if ammunition is limited to shotgun shells. Carrying or
using single projectile ammunition, rifles or handguns is un-
Tagging, Reporting Requirements:
Successful turkey hunters must follow all instructions printed
on tags supplied with licenses. Separate tags are provided for
fall and spring seasons. The turkey must be tagged immedi-
ately after harvest and before the carcass is moved. The tag
must be securely attached to a leg until the bird is prepared for
consumption or mounting. Once you have used your tag it is
unlawful to possess it in the field. Also, please remember to
remove your old hunting license from the holder before you
place your current license in the holder. If you keep your old
licenses with you while hunting you may accidentally use a
tag from a previous year to tag your turkey and unwittingly
violate the law.
Turkey hunters must report harvests to the PGC in Harris-
burg within 10 days, online at the Game Commission’s website
www. pgc.state.pa.us, or using a postage-paid report card
supplied in this Digest. In addition to other information, hunt-
ers are asked to identify the WMU where the bird was taken.
For more details, see the “Tagging, Transporting & Report-
ing” section under “Big Game Regulations” in this Digest.
What a day! My Father, three brothers, and I all started the last day of deer by putting on two drives at SGL.105. We saw quite a few other hunters, but the drives produced no deer. At noon we decided to give someplace else a try. One of my brothers left for home which then left us four people to work with. After arriving at our next hunting place my longest Brother, who just started hunting this year, and I set up watching a power-line. Then my Father and other Brother drove the hillside that was below the power line.
After waiting for a while my brother says “deer”–I looked across the power-line into the woods and sure enough there were deer. Before going out onto the power-line the deer stopped about 100 yards away. I put my scope on one of the deer and could see its head, kindof, thinking I better wait just in case I held off. It soon to a few steps and I confirmed that it was an anterless deer. For the first time this deer season my Remington 760 30-06 spoke. The deer ran down hill away from the other deer then made a u-turn and came back up and crossed the power-line. My brother said “Can I shoot?” Between shots I somehow managed a “yes.” To which he responded with one shot from his 30-30 at the deer. Then after crossing the power-line the deer ended up in open woods only 20 yards away! I could see it was hunched up like it was gut shot and it had one back leg dangling. Taking aim I carefully squeezed off a well aimed shot to finish it off…CLICK…wouldn’t you know it I already used my five shots. By the time I found another clip and got it pushed into my gun the deer was already gone.
Went I checked for a blood trail and found one wide and heavy. As I followed the trail my Brother suddenly piped up with “Wow, this is just like Deer Hunting Demo 2005!” That one stopped me for a couple of seconds. As we went along following the blood trail it remained just as heavy and my confidence in it increased. It just so happened that the trail was leading pretty much in the same direction as I had parked the van. Finally about 40 yards away from the van the deer jumped up from the brush dragging both hind legs. Quickly I snapped off two shots (one would have been more than enough) into its lungs ending the chase. Nice of the deer to shorten the drag to the van. My brother had one more thing to say, “That was fun!” Sounds like he wants to go hunting again next year.
This deer was a bit different skinning out and I think it will be a bit of a trouble when we butcher it for I counted that somewhere from four to six of my seven bullets hit the deer. It would have been nice if my first shot had been just a little better aimed so that it would have hit it in the heart/lungs area which would have given a quicker and more human kill.
Went out and watched a nearby farm field for the evening. There was at least one squirrel in the fence row behind me, but no deer. Tomorrow will mark the start of the combined antlered and antlerless deer season here is 2D so maybe hunters will start moving the deer around some more.
Got home from college today just soon enough to get about 30 minutes of hunting in before dark. I took one of my brothers out with me who just recently turned 12 years old so he is working on getting his first deer. We set up in woods line that connects two patches of larger woods together. We did not see anything, but it was good practice for him for sitting still and getting used to carrying a gun safely.
Today my Father and I went to a nearby farm and drove a wooded ridge out to a field were my Father was watching. I saw quite a few deer tracks, however, neither of us saw anything and none of the tracks looked recent. It was pretty wet and raining; as my Father and I were walking back the to car he stepped in some mud and sunk down to his knee in it.
Today I was at college from early morning until middle afternoon. After that I went to a nearby State Gameland to for the evening. I saw one maybe two other hunters, but no deer.
This morning was windy, cold, and rainy, but I still made it out for a good bit of the day to hunt. I spent most the morning watching a field. Then I moved into the woods to try driving some deer to some of my family members. Shortly after I entered the woods I jumped one antlerless deer. A little later I heard some brush moving in front of me, so I must have moved another deer, but no one ever saw any deer. At noon time I had to drive to college for my one class that did not cancel today. After class when I was driving home I saw my second antlerless deer of the day–and almost made a hood ornament of it. The late afternoon I spent driving another small patch of woods. For the last bit of light I watched another field until the dying sun would make it to difficult to count points if I were to see a deer.
Last Saturday I mailed in for the second round of antlerless deer tags. I already mailed in for the first round a few weeks ago and it did not come back so, I should have at least one antlerless tag this year!
The PGC’s new license system seems like it will work much easier than the old write by hand way. Now they just print out your license and any stamps you need right there at the store. Also they swiped my driver’s license when I bought the license so supposedly next time I buy a license all my information will be automatically be filled out. That should help those lines that always seem to appear when the time to send in the antlerless deer tag grows near, move a little faster. Another new thing they added to their is system is a pre-printed antlerless deer application, so as I recall you just needed to pick the WMU and sign my name on it. So that is another bit of a time saver for the hunter.
Also new this year is an online game harvester reporting system which will supposedly save the PGC money on postage for the report cards. While using the online reporting system is optional I would encourgage everyone to use it because the PGC saving money is a good thing–espacaily in view of the fact that increasing lisencing fees is a topic that has been poping up the last few years.