Pro’s Pointers for Spring Turkey Seasons

Pro’s Pointers for Spring Turkey Seasons

Story by Bill L. Olson

Depending upon your hunting perspective, the big event for native game this month is the opening of several regions of the Lone Star State for spring turkey seasons.  Of Texas 254 counties, 177 of them have a spring turkey season.

The South Zone season Rio Grande turkey is open March 16 – April 28, while the North Zone season dates are March 30 – May 12.  In April the remaining season for Rios and the limited season for Eastern turkey in Texas will also open.  The 10 counties that have a Special 1 Turkey Bag Limit is open April 1 – 30.  The limited season for Eastern turkey in East Texas Pineywoods is April 22 – May 14.

During this time an army of camo clad hunters will be afield offering yelps, purrs and putts trying to entice a gobbler to come to them.  What many hunters might not know is spring turkey breeding has actually been underway for several weeks before any seasons open.  This provides an opportunity a good number of the hens will have been bred to assure a better chance for a good hatch and recruitment.

Based on turkey assessments made late last summer (see TOJ October 2023 issue), the areas with an average to above average recruitment were the High Plains (Panhandle), and the eastern portion of the Cross Timbers and Rollling Plains.  The Edwards Plateau has seen a good carry over of two year old gobblers.  The 2023 hatch and recruitment should have hunters seeing an increased number of jakes and hens.  The competition of mature gobblers and “gangs” of jakes could see more responses to calling.

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