Getting a head start on turkey hunting season

Some outdoor writer I am. The Upper Peninsula turkey season changed at some point and I had no idea.

For years, I’ve bought a license for Hunt 0234 — the late-season turkey hunt that allows the hunter to go anywhere in the state, with some slight exceptions, pretty much through the month of May.

I’ve done that for a couple reasons, first and foremost because my former job at a Michigan university kept me very busy during the last week in April and first week in May until the year’s crop of graduates had been released into the wild. April was a crazy month at work, but after graduation day, things settled down for a little bit, and I ran out of the office howling at the moon and calling at turkeys.

Ever since a friend introduced me to turkey hunting more than 20 years ago, I’d mostly hunted in the Lower Peninsula. I’d leave the U.P. in the middle of the night to arrive at my hunting spot down below as the sun was rising and the turkeys were gobbling. It was a lot of fun.

In recent years, though, as turkey numbers have increased in the U.P., I’ve stayed closer to home. Through the generosity of a friend, I’ve hunted some property where I’ve enjoyed very good success over the past half-dozen years. I’ve been lucky enough to shoot a bird every one of those years, including a couple of dandies.

This year, I hope to extend the winning streak, and now that I know the season has opened earlier, I’m getting a head start.

When did the season dates change? I’m not sure, but I’m not complaining and I’ll see you soon with a turkey report. Good luck if you are getting out.

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