March 25 will be the archery opener for the 2010 turkey season! For many of us, this can’t come fast enough! Early season birds can give hunters a bit of a run for their money so here are a few tips for those early days of the season:
1. Spend one day patterning birds in your area – I can not emphasize this enough! Scouting has killed many a bird. Hunters who spend some time scouting an area don’t have to ask themselves what to do when the weather changes, the birds quit talking, the wind picks up, etc.
2. Don’t rely on calling to bring birds into your set up – in early season, birds will still likely be in large winter flocks. These can be tough to move in any one direction. Sometimes, calling to the boss hen and getting her fired up can bring the whole flock in. If that doesn’t pay, try to get into a position that will bring the birds by your location naturally.
3. Use a ground blind but don’t rely on it – ground blinds have made archery turkey hunting in the last few years and for good reason. I have shot birds that did not come to my blind but I actually left the blind with my orange hat and moved into a position where I could intercept a tom…it works!
4. Locate open areas birds prefer to strut in or loafing areas where birds like to spend the afternoon – these can be the saving grace on days birds just don’t want to talk! Always find these locations in your area before hunting as they can save a hunt!
5. Locate roost trees and hunt them early morning – although roost tree locations can change rapidly in the early season (toms can abandon a tree while hanging out with hens from adjacent properties) it is still a good idea to roost birds the night before and then set up within 75 yards of the roost tree the next morning.
Always bring an orange hat with you to wear when moving about, know what you are shooting at and what lies beyond your target, respect the landowner, be safe and have fun!
- There is not age limit for turkey hunting in Nebraska
- Youth permits are just $5
- All hunters need a valid turkey permit
- Hunters 16 and older need a habitat stamp
- All can be easily purchased at www.outdoornebraska.org
- Firearm hunters, ages 12-29, must complete firearm Hunter Education prior to hunting or purchase an Apprentice License/stamp and be accompanied while hunting
Get em out there!