What are everyone else's thoughts on how late they keep pushing the Turkey seasons? This year 1st Season starts April 21st and 6th season ends in June. I don't know about you but I'd rather sit in the cold in early April than sweat my butt off and pick woodticks in late May and June. Plus some of the best hunting is early. Your thoughts.....
2021 Turkey Hunt/Seasons
The turkey season still not finish?
The Learn to Hunt program is often confused with the youth hunt because the term mentored is associated with each. They are separate programs with different regulations. In the ten or so years I have been involved in the Learn to Hunt program, as a mentor, it has always been the weekend before the statewide youth hunt. The Learn to Hunt is done on a county by county basis and not every county has one.
I would say most of the time the mentored hunt is the weekend before the youth hunt but know sometimes it is the same weekend of youth hunt. These are individual groups permitted to run the mentored hunts. It's not an across the board statewide thing like the youth hunt.
The Learn to Hunt program is a DNR sponsored event held the weekend before the state wide youth hunt. It is done on a county by county basis. Not every county has one. I have mentored for the program several years. To get a spot in the program the hunter needs to sign up beforehand as there is limited space depending on how many mentors are available as well as hunting spots to use. The county I mentored in usually had 6-10 spaces available. The program is open to adults who have never hunted for turkey before. A week prior to the event the potential first time hunters attends a class where they meet their mentor, learn about turkey hunting, DNR turkey management, regulations , gun safety and then target shoot. The hunter is then given a harvest tag good for the weekend of the scheduled hunt and valid for a bearded bird. The Learn to Hunt program is open to adults, not youths. The county I live in and mentored in is fortunate to have a conservation club the provides a meeting place, several mentors with access to some good hunting opportunities. When I mentioned I had use of my own property (marginal hunting) and a couple spots a friend allowed me to use that has exceptional hunting. Of the five I have mentored two harvested birds, two had a great chance to harvest but inexperience resulted in a non harvest. One showed up not dressed for the weather and lasted less than 2 hours in the blind, he also forgot his gun so I borrowed him mine. The way he handled the gun he had no business hunting. The DNR has the Learn to Hunt for a variety is species. I know of turkey, deer, bear, pheasant and waterfowl. There are probably more. This years Learn to Hunt Turkey has been canceled because of the Covid. The goals of the Learn to Hunt program are to introduce interested non hunters to the sport who do not have family or friends to help get them started. It helps them have a safe and meaningful introduction into the sport.
Sounds like BS to me. No reason to have another learn to hunt season when there already is a youth season.
Fish Hunt yes there is a learn to hunt program held in some communities for first time hunters. They can only participate one year. Land owners allow kids w/ mentors to hunt there properties. Town of Seneca in Crawford county does it every spring. One property I hunted in that area participated in the program. I always had a 2nd season tag. But really it was 4th season on that landowners property. Learn to hunt, youth hunt and then 1st season etc..
Turkeyslayer - you are saying there is another "special" season the week before the youth hunt?
So far we have some very differing and interesting view points on the subject. I have volunteered on a Learn to Hunt program through our local Club for many years and take a recent Hunter Safety Class graduate out for their first turkey hunt. We have always had this hunt the Saturday and Sunday before the State youth hunt and most years have great success. This hunt mostly takes place in cold snowy weather and is easier to pattern birds and get the first timers some action. I have shoveled over 3' of snow some years for this hunt to set up blinds. While I hunt as many seasons as I can (with leftover tags as well) I do prefer the early seasons to the later ones. One thing that has happened at least twice that I can recall is the State youth hunt falling on Easter weekend. I really don't see why the DNR can't open it up to include the Friday (Good Friday) on those years as Church and family gatherings usually limits the # of young hunters in the woods on Easter Sunday. Many people have off on Good Friday and most kids are on their Spring Break from school. It would help getting young hunters in the woods more. Just a thought. Also I agree with those of you who have said that 1st season should start the Wed. nearest April 15 every year. I have never had an issue with getting my first choice with the exception of once in my 30+ years of turkey hunting. I also hunt different areas of the state. Usually SW in the first 2 weeks and North Central for the youth hunt and the last 4 weeks.
I hunt nothing but the last season and really enjoy it. I do not call and rarely use decoys. There is a lot less people out and you have to put your scouting to use. Know when the turkeys come out to a certain field and where they generally go. I do not enjoy sitting in freezing rain or high wind. Late May is good weather and a lot of the farmers have there land planted by then. Also that is what they make bug spray for. I also am able to have multiple tags for one season and can take more than one turkey at a time witch I have done numerous times.
Just remember this the DNR is in the business of selling tags. Money talks. There is a push to get rid of the 6 periods and just let people go at them. There are more tags out there than birds. Thank goodness a lot of people do not want to hunt the late seasons. They think more people are going to hunt more in the late season because it is warm. Personally I will not hunt the late seasons. I hunt highly pressured area, and the birds have heard every call out there. Ambush is about the only way that I have success in the late seasons. Dangerous to do on public, really have to be aware of your surroundings and with the last summer panic, there are a ton of people hiking the public hunting grounds this time of year.
As for hunting warm weather birds bring a bag of ice and get it jammed into the bird as soon as possible the last time that I did get a bird in late season it was 70 degrees at 6 am and by the time I got home the bird started to spoil. That bird did not taste good. And that is the reason I shoot birds. I will not hunt after the 15th of May. Just to warm in the southern part of the state. I was brought up to use what you take. And to shoot a bird and donate it to the food pantry is thrill killing to me, no different than a poacher shooting birds and letting them lay. My personal opinion.
I am always hunting the first two seasons. (preference point) If I do not draw a tag I do not buy the extra tags that are available, personal preference, as many have said it is not enjoyable hunting in the burning needles and mosquitos. Enjoy the chance to hunt, and hunt your way.