Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Scouting All Turkeys

The Maine and New Hampshire youth seasons begin this Saturday, April 28, and while it's been a heckuva long time since I've been called that "y" word, I'm out there scouting anyway. I won't hunt this weekend (my kid likes to fish), but will get out May 3 in New Hampshire when the regular spring turkey season commences. Maine will have to wait until the second week of "B Season" as I'll be out West trying to fool a Merriam's into range.

No matter. Finding them is sometimes as much fun as hunting those turkeys. While out in the southern Maine woods this morning, I heard shuffling in the leaves no more than thirty yards to my right . . . soon a young hen appeared, the first bird I saw then in a group that seemed to be composed of all late-hatch '06 turkeys . . . the jake I got a good look at had no more than a three-inch cigar stub on his chest.

Elsewhere, I've found some longbeards. No telling if they'll be around come May, but that's part of the challenge, too.

--Steve Hickoff

(NWTF photo)