Turkey season starts on Monday

The three turkey seasons in the local area are April 23-29, April 30 to May 6 and May 7-31. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS – Turkey hunting season starts on Monday, April 23, but the recent blast of wintry weather could impact success potential for hunters.

Area DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing indicated the recent weather could be a problem.

“The turkeys are out there gobbling and doing their thing, but this cold snap doesn’t help,” Kailing said. “Hopefully the ground will be bare by then. If you have cold, precipitation and there’s wind, that won’t be good. You have a couple nice days, that could make a difference.”

Its been no secret the turkey population has been favorable for hunters.

“We had two good hatches the last two good springs,” Kailing said. “Birds are out in decent numbers.”

The three seasons in the local area are April 23-29, April 30 to May 6 and May 7-31.

The first two hunts are by license quotas. The quota in Area K is 4,000 for each of the first two hunts. There is no quota for the third season, which is hunt 0234.

“The first hunts are normally very popular because the birds have been hunted, it’s the peak of the breeding season and the toms respond readily to calling,” Kailing said. “The third season is nice, mainly because it’s the longer season. Then it’s starting to wind down. There are more days to hunt and you can pick your day to hunt. People have been transitioning to that May hunt for several reasons.”

Hunters are anxious to enjoy some spring hunting, Kailing agreed.

In related outdoor news, Kailing said he got a photo on Monday taken of a sow and four cubs in Newaygo County.

“If you don’t want bears in your yard, now’s the time to pull your bird feeder and suet,” he said.

Editor’s note: An upcoming lifestyles edition in the Pioneer, already printed, has the wrong day of the week for the opening day. It’s Monday, April 23. We apologize for the error.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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