From the Woods: Mid-Season in the Northeast

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The Northeast is continuing to produce some great action for turkey hunters.  Overall reports that are coming in are positive.  Birds seem to be workable, especially up in the morning.  The amount of gobbling has declined a bit, but that is to be expected as the season progresses toward summer.  Foliage is quite full and hay fields are getting fairly high.  This will have an impact on turkey patterns, hunters need to be aware and adaptable to this.  The Northeast is looking at coming into the end of its spring gobbler season with decent weather forecasted and birds still gobbling.

New York:

Hunting in New York has been pretty consistent.  Birds are gobbling well on the roost and hunters in the Northern part of the state aren’t having too much trouble locating a gobbling tom after fly down.  Of course this is all dependent on pressure and the hen factor.  Personally I have been having great success this spring later in the morning.  Gobblers seem more willing to play later in the morning even though they are still with hens.  Foliage is pretty thick in the woods which will make judging location and distance difficult for both the hunter and the gobblers.  There are many hens nesting which should up hunter odds at this point. 

In the southern portion of the state, hunters are looking for an increase in activity.  Thus far hunters there are reporting a “lag” in the turkey behavior compared to the Northern portion of the state.  Weather conditions look good for the coming days and hunters are optimistic there, that things will pick up and late season will produce some of the best hunting they’ve seen this season.

Report courtesy of Mossy Oak Pro-staffer Dwayne Horst
According to Dwayne, hunting is still pretty darn good in Pennsylvania.  Toms are gobbling well on the roost and a hunters’ best bet for success is still a morning hunt, although one could hunt all day during the late season in PA.  Dwayne and his son had a recent evening encounter with a hot long beard but they just couldn’t seal the deal.  Dwayne stated that hunters need to be patient and stick it out until the end!  Patience and persistence will kill gobblers in the late season.

Report courtesy of Lone Elm Outfitters’ Daryl Christadore
Gobblers are still hammering pretty well off the roost in the morning and right after they hit the ground.  Soft subtle calling seems to be the ticket.  Toms have also been responding to gobble calls as well, which is interesting because Jake and Tom decoys are spooking birds.  The hens are not wasting much time before getting right on their nests; therefore gobblers are alone sooner in the morning.  As reported in other states gobblers are traveling widely to find receptive hens.  Decoys have been an issue this season and continue to be a point of frustration.  Two hens seems to be the best so far when using decoys, but birds need to be able to see them from a ways out to get comfortable.  If using a decoy where birds will see it only a close range, it tends to spook them and hang them up.

Report courtesy of Peter Resnik: fanatical turkey hunter from Vermont
"In Vermont we are having a really good year.  Birds were gobbling real well in the mornings and there is not a lot of pressure on them.  Currently the gobbling has dropped off a bit and hunters need to be patient.  I hunted in the Northeast kingdom for opening week and the birds were very vocal.  Even jakes were gobbling right alongside of two-three year old toms.  I have been in southern Vermont hunting for the second week, and the birds are coming off the roosts straight to the calls, fast action in the early mornings!  Patience is important now; gobblers are hanging tight with the hens for the first hour or so after fly down then roaming to find more hens.  Hunters need to use soft calling and depend on their scouting to find success.  Birds are very tight lipped currently and not gobbling until almost on top of the hunter!  Food sources are widely available in the woods and birds are feeding in green fields as well as plowed and freshly planted ground."
Overall the Northeast seems to be having a successful spring turkey season.  Hunters seem to be happy with the way things are going.  Jakes seem to be very abundant this season which is always a good thing for young hunters and hunters looking forward to next year’s crop!  Decoy reports are still spotty in most areas of the Northeast with them working great or not working at all.  A common theme for mid-season seems to be hanging tough and hunting up in the morning.  Hope this report helps you sling that gobbler over your shoulder!
Shoot em’ in the face!
Rex Reynolds IV
My name is Rex Reynolds IV, I live in Hammond, NY. I am a high school Special Education teacher. I have been in love with the sportsman lifestyle for much of my life. I began turkey hunting in the Adirondack Mountains about 15 years ago. I have grown more obsessed and successful with each passing season. I have since moved out of the mountains and into the agricultural lands along the St. Lawrence River. I greatly enjoy every spring turkey season and have been introducing new hunters and youth hunters to the sport of turkey hunting. I hunt turkeys approximately 20 of the 30 days in the season. I enjoy sharing my outdoor experiences with others. I also belong to the Mountain Hollow Game Calls pro-staff. It is truly an honor to contribute to Wild Turkey Report. Link to my Pro-staff page:
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