Youth turkey season is March 7-13.
Turkey season is March 14-May 1.
The opening of the 2015 Mississippi Spring Turkey Season is only 12 days away. Preseason gobbling reports are that due to the late winter weather conditions, the woods have been mostly silent.
As reported in the Outdoor Section of the Clarion Ledger, the upcoming turkey season could be a trying one for Mississippi hunters.
According to Adam Butler, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Wild Turkey Program Leader, a poor hatch in 2013 has left the woods and fields with few 2-year-old birds. Butler said the department’s brood survey in 2013 was the lowest since it began in 1994.
Despite the poor numbers of 2-year-olds and expected lower harvest, Butler said a few factors could lead to increased sightings this year. One being the 2012 hatch is thought to be the best in a decade.
“We had a good crop from that 2012 season and last season, most of the gobbling activity was late,” Butler said.
The spring of 2014 took its toll on hunting. One cold front after another pushed through the state and not only did those keep the temperatures down, the late spring reduced gobbling activity during the early part of the season. It also kept a lot of those 2-year-old birds out of the deep fryer.
“Probably, we carried over more than we normally do,” Butler said. “We should have a better than average crop of 3-year-old birds, so that should help us out.”
Sightings should also be boosted by a strong hatch last year, but that still leaves the majority of legal birds being wiser 3-year-olds. “They are definitely going to be tougher and not as likely to gobble,” Butler said. “Usually, your 2-year-olds do more gobbling.”
In spite of the late winter and preseason gobbling reports, armies of Mississippi will be hitting the woods opening day in hopes of luring a longbeard into shotgun or bow range.
There is still time to prior to opening day to check your spring turkey gear for any necessary repairs or replacement needed. Also, be sure to pattern your gun for the best shot load and maximum pattern density.
CLICK TO PRINT A TURKEY TARGET: Turkey Target SHP
On the safety side, while in the woods hunting, always be sure sure of your target and be aware of the surrounding area for other hunters.
So hunt safe, have fun and take a youth turkey hunting this year.