With turkey season approaching, finding a place to hunt is key
With all the cold and snow, it has been challenging to think about turkey season. However, it is almost time for the season opener.
Indiana’s youth season is less than a month away. It is scheduled the weekend of April 19-20,
The regular Hoosier state season opens April 23 and runs through May 11. Hunters can take one male bird during the season.
Across the Ohio River, the regular Bluegrass state season opens April 12 and runs through May 4. Hunters may take one bearded bird daily with a limit of two during the season.
Just what impact the extended cold and snow of this nasty winter has had on the turkey population is not yet fully known. Early indications point to some negative impact in certain local areas, however overall it appears there will be plenty of birds available for hunting.
In planning for a spring turkey hunt, there are many factors to be considered. There’s knowing how to call a tom into range, how to judge shooting distance, patterning your gun, and much more, but according to the National Wild Turkey Federation, one of the most important things is finding a good place to hunt.
The NWTF reports a small handful of hunters own their own land and even more are able to join hunt clubs and leases, many others search every year for that perfect spot. And for a lot of these hunters, it means finding good public land.
“The first step in every hunter's search for good public hunting lands should begin with their state wildlife agency,” according to the NWTF. “These agencies are responsible for managing much of the land available for public hunting, such as wildlife management areas or state forests.
“Wildlife agencies can usually provide complete information on areas close to your home and those areas with the best opportunity for tagging a wild turkey or whatever game it is you seek.
If you are considering hunting other states, state wildlife agencies there also can provide information about available public land.
Game departments such as the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (Indiana Department of Natural Resources) can provide license requirements, costs and additional fees that may need to be paid to hunt some areas, along with maps and info on access roads, parking and even local camping or lodging.
Another place to check is large military bases or federal government facilities. Many bases in rural areas take up thousands of acres used periodically by the military for training exercises or sites unused for future military needs. As such, many of them provide hunting to those willing to secure a permit.
Realtree Pro Staffer and Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National champion Joe Drake is one experienced hunter who does the bulk of his turkey hunting on a military base in central Georgia.
To find out if a military base or federal installation near you has hunting opportunities, contact the base's public information office, which will be able to provide you with the info you will need to obtain access and take part in some of the great hunting these areas can provide.
For more good turkey hunting tips, check out the NWTF website (www.nwtf.org).. Membership information also is available at the website.