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.
Finally I saw a turkey while I was out hunting today, two turkeys actually. However, to my dismay they were both hens. It did not matter to some extent what the were though, because I saw them right after I stepped out of the car so I would not have been allowed by PA law to shoot a gobbler since I was still to close to my car. At any rate they spooked and took off running towards the patch of woods that I had planned to hunt. So, I continued to set up on the very edge of the woods a little away from where they had diapered, but never saw or heard them again. With the exception of what sounded like a very distant gobble I never heard anything from that spot.
Later in the morning at about 11:00 I decided to slowly move calling every now and then in an attempt to locate a gobbler I could try calling in. After going about 50 yards I made my first call since I left were I had been set up. My call was answered with a distant gobble that came from much deeper into the woods. I proceeded to set up at a near-by location that offered a big tree to put my back against and fairly good visibility. After about an hour and half when I called I got an answering gobble more to the left, but closer than before. However, noon came bringing quitting time without hearing or seeing anything of the gobbler.
Monday: Heard turkeys, but none showed interest in coming in.
Tuesday: Same thing as Monday, but different location.
Wednesday: Tried getting into the woods before first light. I woke up at 4:30 AM and got in the woods soon enough to see three pairs of deer eyes reflecting back the light from my flashlight. Heard a raccoon two different times that morning, but never I heard a turkey.
Saturday: Got up at 5:30 AM–when I arrived at my hunting location it was pretty light out. Heard one gobbler, but he seemed to have his mind made up as to where he was going. So, I paralleled him (he was good a 200 yards+ away) by going every 100 yards or so then setting up calling for a time then continuing on. Eventually I reached the edge of a field where a fairly close one gobbled, so I set up and called. Silence–then yelps from a cross the field. A few minutes later a shot was fired from the same direction. After that I waited around and called for a while, but never heard anything more.
The first day of spring turkey season was a great success–considering my past spring turkey hunting career(not a turkey). And, while I did not see any turkeys I enjoyed it immensely.
At 5:00 AM I woke up and arrived at my hunting spot shortly after first light. Throughout early morning I spoke with two gobblers who sounded like they had a hen with them. A couple of times they got within 50-100 yards or so of my position, but they never came in. Then once when they were a little farther out I heard one gun shot at about the spot where I heard the last gobbles.
Figuring that was probably it for the day, I took out my apple and ate it. About 20 minutes later I head one lone gobble (which leads my to believe the other gobbler is now dead) so, I put on my gloves and pulled down my face mask and called again. After a short wait I heard another lone gobble, but this time closer. So, I waited, but he never came in or gobbled again.
Even though I did not see are get anything, I had a very interesting opening day of spring turkey season, because I actually heard something that responded to my calls.
Turkey season is now over, but I had a very good last day. On the morning of the last day, I walked into the woods on an ATV trail to a spot near the area where I had spent the last Saturday hunting. After almost reaching the field, I set up next to the ATV tail. Because of the short ranges of the open areas near by me, I decided not to set up my decoy.
Around 7:30 am I heard a gobble about 200 yards away, so I answered him with my mouth call. Then the next time he gobbled he sounded a little closer. As before I answered him, but when I did I heard some other sound, but it did not register in my mind what it was. Then another gobble sounded out and as I answered I heard that sound again — it was a hen, but it was between me and the gobbler! I remembered how that some times if you copy a hen it will get worked up so much that it will come in to try to find you, some times towing the gobbler in behind it. So I start calling doing just what the hen did. This cared on for quite awhile, and as time went on I started thinking how much the hen sounded like another hunter using a box call. That thought worried me, because if it was another hunter, we were probably both over calling which would scare the gobbler away. After thinking that, I quit calling and so did the hen. Awhile later I started hearing the sounds of something walking in the woods, soon two turkeys appeared. The combination of 50 yards and the thick woods made it impossible to tell if either of the turkeys had beards. A few clucks from my mouth call made the lead turkey stop in its tracks and stare me down for a minute of two, after which it just mozied on, not paying any more attention to me. They proceeded to walk past me and go behind me purring as they went
A good while after the turkeys were gone I decided to walk in the direction of were I had heard a faint gobble, I set up but never heard anything more. After walking in a big circle I came back to where had I started out in the morning. Instead of having some one pick me up in a car, I decided that with a half hour left till noon and the end of turkey season I might as well walk home. On my very hot walk (1 mile+) home I jumped one deer in the edge of the woods by a field, I did not see if it was growing any antlers or not.
Spring turkey season is now over, but I look forwards to next year with more knowledge on hunting them.
Well, the past to days have been good hunting days compared to the rest of turkey season.
Yesterday morning when I was walking through a field, I looked ahead of me and saw three red necks sticking out of the grass, at about 100 yards away from me, and running fast. So I set up in the field hiding in the edge of some tall grass with my decoy out in front of me in the open. After waiting awhile I did some calling with both my box call and mouth call, but to no avail. I heard no answering gobble nor did I see anymore turkeys.
This morning I went out into the same field, but this time I stayed in the woods by the field moving very slowly and calling as I went. After setting up at a couple different trees I found a tree with a nice view. After sitting there for awhile, I heard what I think might have been a turkey shock gobbling at some crows in the distance. Then right after that there was a gobble in close — closer than all season. He sounding like he was around 300 yards away (kind of hard to tell though). I tried calling some, but he never answered. Later on in the morning I heard a couple of really distant gobble in a walkable direction. So I started walking that direction some so that I could get in close enough for the turkey to have a chance to get to me by noon time. The turkey never gobbled again though, so I just sat a by a tree to decided where to go next with about 1 1/2 hours left till noon. Suddenly this deer came running out of a fence row, and into the woods in front of me. Next time I called the deer came out from behind a tree about 20 yards away from me. It focused all it’s eye and ear power on me for an instant then bonded off with a snort. It kind of surprised that it was able to identify me in such a short time (unless it had caught a good smell of me), because I was dressed in full camouflage except for an orange hat. Hmm, maybe deer are not color blind after all!
Well, I Finally saw a turkey last Saturday, but before I get to that allow me explain the cat picture. This is Coconut my cat, She is a great mouse and chipmunk hunter, but most of the time She just hunts the food in her dish. But last Saturday morning She decided to take up bigger game — turkeys.
When I exited my house on Saturday morning and started into some woods where Coconut met me. I reached down and gave her head a quick scratch, but as I walked on she started following me. All the way though the patch of woods and through a field to a pine tree which I set up under. Coconut sat down on opposite side of the tree, and stayed there with me the whole time through all the rain. I did at least hear a few gobbles, but they were way out in the distance.
After going back to the house and eating breakfast and getting dried out, I went back out (minus my furry friend) to the area were I thought the gobbles might have been coming from. As I was walking through a swampy area (not more than 100 yards away from where I got my Grey fox) a turkey suddenly jumped up just three steps away from me and flew off. Of course it made sure to keep its body facing away from me so as to not allow me to identify whether or not it had a beard. Looking down I saw a nest with about nine or so speckled eggs in it. Since there was no reason to try calling the turkey in after seeing the nest I moved on to the next hilltop.
Despite the fact that I did not get to see a gobbler, I had an excellent hunting day. It was the first time I have ever seen a wild turkey nest before, and it had to be the closest I have ever been to a live wild turkey before too.
Today I went out hunting again in the field above where the hen is nesting (I figure there has to be a tom around there some where), but I never heard anything. Maybe today was just one of those days when they just do not gobble any.