Connecticut turkey hunting enthusiasts have a wide variety of options to consider in 2014. State land hunters may shoot two gobblers during the spring season while private land hunters may tag three birds. Approximately 1,500 wild turkeys were taken during the 2013 spring hunt, and state biologists expect a similar harvest in 2014.
Hunters targeting state lands can expect great opportunities in 2014. Pre-season scouting is important because competition is often fierce (especially on weekends) and prime turkey habitat is limited. Hunters who are willing to scour the back roads and more difficult terrain will have the best luck. Roost birds in the evening and plan to be on scene before dawn the next morning armed with decoys and a variety of calls. Plan a “run-n’-gun” strategy once the birds hit the ground and begin feeding.
Some of the best areas to hunt spring turkeys in Connecticut include the larger state forests including Tunxis, Peoples and Housatonic in the northwest region of the state; Natchaug, Nipmuck and Shenipsit state forests in the northwest portion of the state; Meshomasic and Salmon River state forests in central Connecticut and the huge (25,000-acre) Pachaug state forest in the western region.
Most of Connecticut’s state forest lands are open for spring turkey hunting under the general regulations. Shotguns, bows and crossbows are allowed for turkey hunting in 2014. Some areas are closed to hunting so consult current regulations and study the downloadable maps that are available on the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Web site.
For a quality experience, hunters should target remote portions of the largest state forest holdings and plan to spend their time far from convenient roadside parking areas, campgrounds and pull-offs. Hunters who are willing to hike well away from heavily-used areas will find more birds and more room to hunt them.
Connecticut’s 2014 spring turkey season for state lands, private lands and landowner hunters runs from April 30 through May 31 statewide. The Youth Training Hunt is scheduled for April 19 and April 26. For more information, log onto www.ct.gov/deep.com.
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