Wild Turkeys Authorized Quarry Come Saturday

Simply gotta love October…the harvest month that retains on giving!

Archery deer season is in full swing, as are the rabbit, squirrel and railbird seasons, and there are nonetheless a number of days remaining within the first portion of the South Zone duck season.

And this Saturday, the autumn wild turkey season opens and runs by way of subsequent Saturday. Permits are nonetheless accessible, and, not like the weeks-long spring season, hens may be harvested.

The autumn season was instituted in 1997, and the primary few years, curiosity was excessive, comparatively talking. The four-week spring season began in 1981 after a profitable reintroduction of untamed turkeys obtained from one other state has a harvest determine averaging 2900-3000 gobblers.

Against this, the autumn season either-sex harvest figures may be low (96 in 2020 and 77 in 2019), averaging out to roughly 150 for the reason that inception of the autumn hunt. In 2000 there have been 239 birds tagged, with 2001 having the best determine at 258.

Why the large distinction? Issue #1 is that there’s a lot occurring in October between the aforementioned looking seasons, and the hot-and-getting-hotter salt and recent water fishing that who has time for turkeys? Issue #2 is that many died-in-the-fantail hunters view the spring because the “true” turkey season when calling in an all the time cautious gobbler inside taking pictures vary represents one in every of looking’s greatest challenges.

Fall turkeys? You stroll ‘em up, scatter a flock that may encompass hens, mature gobblers, and jakes (“youngsters”), observe the place among the birds flew, settle in and, after a wait of 20 minutes or so, begin to name, hoping a number of of the gregarious within the flock reply and work their approach again to you.

Generally it’s an opportunistic encounter that’s occurred to us quite a lot of occasions whereas slowly strolling by way of the woods and alongside discipline edges, whereas squirrel looking after which coming upon a flock momentarily extra curious about pecking and scratching than being conscious of the environment.


Some make use of specifically skilled canine to find and bust up a flock and provides a short chase. We’ve had event to partake in such a hunt and it’s thrilling to look at the canine work after which after the birds have scattered to return to the chosen sitting spot the place it lays down and waits patiently for the rest of the hunt to unfold.

The restrict is one hen per allow, however just one turkey may be harvested per day. Searching hours are half-hour earlier than dawn to half-hour after sundown. Synthetic decoys can be utilized, and a turkey name should be in possession. A harvested hen should be instantly tagged and reported through the Automated Harvest Reporting System. Permits ($21) are nonetheless accessible at license issuing brokers or at njfishandwildlife.com. The turkey looking space (THA) map is on web page 51 within the Searching & Trapping Digest. In South Jersey, THAs are Nos. 14, 15, 16, 20-22. A number of land and plenty of birds, for positive.

Could be cool to nail down the primary course for the Thanksgiving feast, sure?!

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