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Forecasts Hunting Turkey

Pennsylvania Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014

by Mike Bleech   |  March 11th, 2014 0
Gobbler, Turkey, Turkey Hunting, Hunting Turkey, Pennsylvania Turkey Hunting

Johnson brothers, Luke, 14(L) and Josiah, 12(R), both bagged their first turkeys on the same day in Mount Pleasant.

Thinking about the opening morning of the spring Pennsylvania turkey hunting season is the only thing keeping some hunters’ toes warm by the time that day draws near. If any day in Pennsylvania rivals the opening day of firearms deer season, or the opening day of trout season, it is the opening day of spring gobbler season. That it happens at a beautiful time of the year just adds to the pleasure.

While springtime weather is awakening our minds, many of us are wondering about the Pennsylvania wild turkey situation. It has taken extensive management with strong support from hunters to bring our turkey population to where it is today. Not so long ago, wild turkeys were an unusual sight in many parts of the state.

Now the Pennsylvania wild turkey program has matured. The birds have expanded their range, either by natural means or through the trap-and-transfer program, until now they inhabit virtually all suitable habitat. The population reached a peak. Soon after the peak, it has leveled off below that peak.

“We hit the plateau right around 2001, but we were still transferring birds into the southeastern part of the state up until 2003. So 2003 was pretty much the end of our trap-and-transfer,” said Mary Jo Casalena, turkey biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“We transferred birds over in 5B, and we saw an initial increase in the population, but now the population has pretty much stabilized, and we haven’t been able to open up the fall turkey hunting for 5B. We just don’t have a dense enough population down there.”

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