By Grant Phelan, staff writer
The spring season brings a roll of thunder with the warming temperatures, but thunder isn’t the only sound filling the Pennsylvanian forests this spring. On any given morning, one can probably travel to a nearby ridgetop or field and hear the booming gobble of a lovestruck wild turkey.
Gobblers will be seeking to breed hens. It’s an annual ritual starting in February and lasting until late May. Last Saturday, hunters were able to start sneaking into the predawn woods in hopes of filling their tags. “Since there wasn’t a high harvest rate last year, birds will be smarter. So you won’t be able to call them in. That or the birds that have never been called will be easier to call in. It’s seems like if they haven’t been messed with, you shouldn’t have too much trouble,” sophomore Seth Lang said.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), allows hunters to harvest one turkey per day and two per season if they have purchased a separate bonus tag. This tag costs $21.70 as of 2016. Although the season for adults began Saturday, it runs until May 31. From the opener to May 13, hunters may only be in the woods until noon. However, since 2011, hunters have been allowed to hunt in the afternoon during the latter half of the season. That latter half is from the May 14 until the last day this year.
It has been a week since the Youth Turkey Hunt Day on April 23. That was when Junior and Mentor Hunters ages sixteen and younger could try their luck at bagging a bird. When the regular season starts, youth who haven’t found a bird can still participate, but adults are added to the equation. Sophomore Devin Steiger was fortunate enough to bag a four inch bearded bird on the Youth Hunt.
With almost a month of hunting, Saegertown students will have plenty of opportunities, and lost sleep trying to harvest a big gobbler. “Get in early before the crowds and before sunrise,” Lang said. “If you can get in your spot and know where they are, start calling, and they will come right in.”
Email your successful hunts to grphelan@psdmailorg or tweet them @PantherPressSHS.