30 May 2009

Missouri Spring Turkey Season Results

Posted by Darrell under: Turkey .

My First Turkey of the Season   Assuming I did my math right, the total 2009 Spring Turkey harvest was 44,712 birds. That is 41,829 during the 3 week Spring season and 2,883 during the Spring Youth season.

Of those totals, I’m happy to admit that one of those birds taken during the Youth season was by my son Caleb. Unfortunately, Caleb was not able to fill his other tag during the regular season. And, we certainly tried! The Spring season is tough for kids to be able to fill their second tag. If they filled a tag during the Youth season, they cannot hunt the Spring season until the second week starts. The second week starts on a Monday (which seems ridiculous). Kids are in school on Mondays (and you can’t hunt after 1:00pm) so they can’t go hunting after they get out of school.

So Caleb didn’t get to hunt until the 13th day of season. My guess is that whomever sets the seasons for Missouri doesn’t have kids. By the 13th day of season, the birds are what you could probably describe as pretty wary. Going out and calling one in isn’t a simple matter anymore. We hunted as hard as we could but couldn’t close the deal. A kid that is successful during the youth season can only hunt 4 days of the three week regular season if they are in school. If a couple of those days are violent storms (as ours were), then you are simply out of luck.

My season went really well. I filled both of my tags. I took my first bird at 44 yards with my compound bow. I was hunting alone out of a blind that was set up on a fence row between a field and a patch (80 acres) of woods. The turkeys spent the morning walking back and forth down the fence line. I saw about a dozen different Toms during the morning (2nd day of season) and took the first one that got within bow range. It was a Jake with about a 5″ beard and I put an arrow through his back as he was walking away from me. I couldn’t get him to stop and so eventually I stopped trying and just set up to take the shot as he walked away. By the time I shot he was at 44 yards. My arrow punched through his gullet just above his breast bone and he died quick.

I stayed still and quiet because I didn’t want to spook the other birds that were around. I was shocked by what came next. One of the other Toms saw him flailing and came running over. He jumped on his back and started (and I’m going to try to put this nicely) … humping him. He kept going at it for at least 5 full minutes. I’d never seen anything like it and thought I would likely never again. I was wrong.

The next day I took a friend of mine to the same spot. My 1st week tag was filled so I was just along to observe. My friend ended up getting a really nice bird with a 10″ beard.  Again, we waited to see what would happen. Well along came a couple of BIG gobblers that were travelling together. (We ended up nicknaming them the “Gays” as I saw these same odd acting birds all season long). When these birds saw my friend’s dead bird laying on the ground they both ran towards it. The immediately attacked it and began kicking it, pecking it, and then umm….. excuse the language, but humping it. They took turns for about 20 minutes. Seriously! We were both in shock. My friend got some pictures but we could have shot ourselves for not bringing a video camera. I’m planning on getting the pictures from my friend and posting them. I just don’t want this site to be filtered by the granny patrol!

I got my second bird early on the second week in basically the same spot. By this time the birds were more wary. The Gays still came through like clockwork, but for some reason I didn’t bother them. Something about cleaning and eating one of them just didn’t appeal to me. Anyway, I got pretty nice bird - this time with my gun. I switched to a gun to try the new Winchester X-tended turkey shells. I’m planning to write a post about them soon, too. Unbelievable!

All in all, it was a really fun season. I got to witness  my friend Zack take his first bird ever, two others getting their only birds of the season, and one that missed repeatedly (you know who you are and only my overwhelming kindness prevents me from going into great detail on the repeated misses!)

I probably saw at least 3 dozen different Toms during season. Only a handful of these birds were taken. The Fall turkey hunts should be great. I can’t wait!

One of my turkeys

Zack and His First Tom

Bird #2

15 Comments so far...

nimrod243 Says:

31 May 2009 at 5:33 pm.

I really enjoyed this write-up about the Spring Turkey Season! You can go through life and have some interesting experiences, but out in the field is where some of the most inexplicable phenomenon can take place. I kind of wish you had done the rest of the Missouri hunters a favor and taken those two “Gays” out of the gene pool. That must have been crazy.

Arthur Says:

1 June 2009 at 9:15 am.

It sounds like you guys had one heck of a turkey season. And while I’ve never witnessed it before, I’ve heard of this “humping” activity from a couple different people. I’m thinking it is some sort of dominance thing - like when one male dog humps another. It is very unique, though.

Congrats on the all the birds, and you are a nicer friend then I. I would have been point and snickering at the person responsible for all the misses…..and posting their picture:):):)

Tom Sorenson Says:

2 June 2009 at 8:34 pm.

Very nice work - and congrats to your son! Nice work with the bow, man!

BigKill Says:

5 June 2009 at 8:23 am.

Man I miss turkey season.. Nice Kills!

HuntingLife Says:

15 June 2009 at 8:02 pm.

Awesome pictures and a really great article. I think your opinions on the state of Missouri hunting situations for Turkey is a fair assessment and something needs to be done specifically for the youth in Missouri.

Matt Says:

16 June 2009 at 12:18 pm.

Great post and pictures. I agree with you and Kevin about the misguided hunting regulations. We have a somewhat similar situation here in Virginia. You can’t hunt in the afternoon, and you can’t hunt on Sundays, so that leaves only Saturday morning to take a kid turkey hunting. If your kid plays sports on Saturday mornings, you’re out of luck. This keeps not only my kids but also me from doing much turkey hunting as I am usually coaching whatever sports they are playing.

Just as Missouri’s complicated regs. keep some kids out of the woods, the Sunday hunting prohibition here does more to discourage youth hunting than any other factor.

AR Says:

8 August 2009 at 5:15 pm.

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Robert Says:

5 October 2009 at 7:26 am.

That is what I call SKILL and TALENT. Awesome article…. I agree with nimrod243 you should of taken those “gays” out.
That has happened to me once except the only difference was that after I shot one of them the others started attacking my decoys. I ended bagging my limit that morning since they stuck around.

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Game Camera Says:

8 July 2010 at 11:10 am.

Birds humping a dead bird… totally weird. Crazy stuff you get to observe with nature sometimes.

Nice catch and thanks for sharing your story.

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