Granite State spring wild turkey hunters tagged over 4,000 birds in 2013. Turkeys may be found statewide but are most abundant in areas where hardwood ridges border open fields, farmlands and upland areas.
Most successful turkey hunters use a combination of roosting and run-n’-gun tactics, which can often mean long hours spent scouring large parcels of land. For this reason New Hampshire turkey hunting enthusiasts would do well to focus their efforts on the White Mountain National Forest lands, which consist of over 700,000 acres in central and northern New Hampshire. Roads, hiking trails and paths provide spring turkey hunters with plenty of easy access to the forests most remote acreage, where many local turkey flocks rarely encounter human activity.
Hunters are advised to work the high ground at dusk to roost potential gobblers for a morning hunt, or come in before daylight to locate birds working the ridges and valleys for acorns, insects and green sprouts. Expect to spend some time hiking along steep mountain trails and into deep valleys. New Hampshire’s wild turkeys can cover a lot of ground very quickly, so hunters must be ready to locate birds, set up quickly on a ridge above the flock and then, using decoys and seductive calls, lure the birds in close enough for a shot.
The WMNF is a huge area so plan to spend several days scouting potential hunting areas in an effort to pattern local flocks.
Only shotguns and vertical bows are allowed to hunt spring turkeys (no crossbows except for disabled hunters). The 2014 spring season will run from May 3-31 and there is a special Youth Weekend hunt scheduled for April 26-27. The season bag limit is one bearded turkey. For more information, log onto www.wildlife.nh.us.
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