In New York, still time to get a gobbler
What has been and up-and-down turkey season continues to be just that. Following the snow and cold of the second weekend in May, as well as that of the season, things warmed up and turkey season entered yet another phase.
Suddenly, it seemed like hens wanted to talk. Now I hadn’t seen a hen since opening day, but when mid-May rolled around, I couldn’t get rid of them. For three days straight I brought in hens. One morning, on some public Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondacks, I got into it with a pair of hens, but never heard a gobble. The next morning, at another location, I called in two hens and watched one eventually go to a gobbler. I had to wonder if the cold weather had interrupted the nesting season, and thus resulted in continued breeding.
Back on the mountain on a Sunday morning with my brother Bill, we split up, hoping to cover an area where I’d called in hens from different directions. He stayed down low, I went up high.
I brought in yet another hen, this one from off the mountain. I had no decoys out and she hung around seemingly forever, (OK, for about five minutes) clucking and yelping trying to find me. That was just long enough to bring in three toms; one of which went home in my truck.
That ended my season, but not my interaction with fellow hunters. As Memorial Day weekend approached, I offered to join a few hunters if they wanted to hunt the mountains, but they had other ideas. No problem, I made fishing plans.
But as the holiday approached and the weather warmed there was a new onslaught of reported turkey hunter success. Once quiet toms seemed to be gobbling again and were also coming into calls and decoys, and meeting their demise.
That leads us to the late season: the final week-to-ten days of May. It is this writer’s least favorite time to hunt for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I can do without the heat and the insects. On top of that, the “to-do” list is growing. But if I had a tag, as I usually do, you can bet I’d be out there.
Turkey hunters with much more knowledge and skill than I profess that the late season can be the great season. Therefore, if like so many other hunters you’ve had a tough season, consider sticking it out through the final weekend. Many things have happened later this spring than they normally would and the best hunting may be in these final days.