Turkey Season Fast Approaching

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It’s time to get serious about turkey hunting. By now, my neighbors are used to the strange sounds coming from my yard as I practice yelps, clucks, gobbles and kee-kees. The camouflage blind next to the house is something I’m sure they’re ready to see go away. To their undoubted delight, it’s moving to the turkey woods this weekend. I couldn’t be more excited.

This pair of gobblers that fell victim to a well-timed double on opening morning of turkey season a few years back.

Missouri’s 2015 spring turkey season is April 20 – May 10. Hunters are allowed to kill two bearded or male turkeys, but only one may be taken during the first week. If you don’t take one during the first week, then you can take two during the second and third weeks, but only one per day. Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. You must telecheck your turkey by 10 p.m. the day you kill it. Hunters born after January 1, 1967 must complete an approved hunter education course to purchase a license.

Finding a place to turkey hunt in Missouri isn’t difficult. Most public land in this state has a healthy population of birds. The Mark Twain National Forest consists of nearly 1,500,000 acres of public hunting ground and has a ton of turkeys roaming all across it. Conservation Areas scattered throughout Missouri are also prime turkey hunting destinations. Hunting Army Corps of Engineers land by water is a favorite tactic of mine. Not many hunters go to this length to locate birds.  Around many reservoirs, you can find secluded areas and have them all to yourself. Plus, if the hunting is tough, you can go fishing.

It is always important to keep in mind when turkey hunting, especially on public land, that some of the turkey sounds you hear may actually be other hunters using calls to sound like a turkey. Always be 100 percent positive of your target before pulling the trigger. A dark-brown, fanned out gobbler and a camouflage clad hunter who’s sitting down look a lot more alike than you could ever imagine, especially in the heat of the moment.

Youth Season

Youth turkey season is my favorite weekend of the year. My oldest daughter, who is nine, has developed a love for turkey hunting. Youth turkey season is a special time we share together in the woods. Watching her develop as a hunter over the last couple of seasons has been the most rewarding experience of my hunting career. And watching her work a slate call is mesmerizing.

This year, Missouri’s special youth wild turkey hunting season is April 11-12.  To participate in youth season, hunters must be between 6-15 years old. Each youth hunter can take a bearded or male wild turkey. Jakes are legal. This bird does count as the youth’s one turkey limit for the first week of the season. Youth hunters who are successful during youth season may not shoot their second bird until April 27 or later. Youth may use any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow. During youth season, hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until sunset.

See you down the trail…

Brandon Butler


Youth turkey hunts are both educational and fun for kids.


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