Massachusetts Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014

Massachusetts Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014
Joseph Hall from Lunenburg Massachusetts shot this great tom this season.

Bay State hunters can expect a fairly average season this year.  Adult gobblers dominating the 2013 harvest suggests a lower proportion of jakes available last year, which translates to fewer longbeards this spring.  However, at around 30,000 birds the statewide population is still robust and should provide plenty ample opportunity.

Worcester County in the Central District annually accounts for the most birds with predominantly small to medium-sized public parcels well distributed throughout.  Hunting pressure can be higher on more popular areas but savvy hunters can find lighter hunting pressure by doing a little homework.  Northernmost Franklin County tops the Connecticut Valley District at nearly double either of the other two counties, and has more and larger public parcels.  However, the entire valley contains ideal habitat and patchily distributed pockets of birds.  The Western District's Berkshire County has some of the state's largest parcels.  Many are heavily forested so hunters should concentrate on the fringes, particularly areas adjacent to farmlands.

Benelli SuperNova

The Benelli name has always been synonymous with reliability and quality. The 12-gauge SuperNova continues that tradition. The SuperNova turkey version comes with a synthetic SteadyGrip stock and a ComforTech recoil reduction system and weighs 7.8 pounds. It's a superb turkey gun that not only performs in the field, it will make you the envy of your hunting buddies. It's wrapped with Realtree APG camouflage. It's a great turkey gun that will last a lifetime of spring turkey seasons.

Price: $669

Escort Turkey Tactical

Escort certainly got the name right when they called their turkey shotgun the Turkey Tactical. They got everything else right, too. The 12-gauge semi-auto features upper and lower Picatinny rails, a cushioned pistol-grip stock, a fiber-optic front sight and a ghost ring rear sight.

The stock has a cut-out that holds two shells and is fitted with a low-density recoil pad. The SMART Valve gas piston ensures reliable follow-up shots and lighter felt recoil. The 7.4-pound Turkey Tactical autoloader is packed with all the features a turkey hunter could want, including a full wrap of Realtree APHD camouflage and a 24-inch barrel.

Price: $659

Mossberg 500 Turkey THUG

The Mossberg name has long been a favorite among turkey hunters looking for a shotgun that will break the heart of love-struck longbeards without breaking the bank. The Turkey THUG edition provides a modern twist to a time-tested classic, featuring a tactical, adjustable stock, a 20-inch barrel for added maneuverability, a pistol grip to lessen recoil, and rifle-style fiber-optic sights to aid in rapid target. Compact, concealed, and quick, the Mossberg 500 Turkey THUG is a shotgun that will impress your buddies and perform time and time again.

Price: $698

Mossberg 935 Magnum Turkey

The 935 auto-loader is crammed with features, making it an ideal companion in the spring gobbler woods. The 3 ½-inch chamber gives you extra firepower for gobblers that refuse to take that extra step.

Mossy Oak Obsession camouflage and a synthetic stock not only help you hide better, they help you hunt in the most extreme conditions without worry. Adjustable fiber optic sights, a 14-inch length-of-pull, and an easily-accessible top thumb safety make this auto-loader the perfect tool to ruin the morning of turkeys around the country.

Price: $840

Remington 11-87 Sportsman SuperMag ShurShot Turkey

The 11-87 SuperMag is a reliable, smooth-cycling, heavy-hitting auto-loader that gives you the security of a rapid, just-in-case follow-up shot. You may not need it, but it's there if you do. Chambered for shells up to 3 ½ inches, this 12-gauge comes with fully adjustable TruGlo rifle sights, a Wingmaster HD turkey choke and a ShurShot pistol grip stock. It's a hunter's dream gun and a gobbler's nightmare.

Price: $998

Remington 870 SPS Shurshot Synthetic Turkey

A traditional pump with a modern twist, the 870 SPS Shurshot is built specifically for spring turkey hunters. A Shurshot synthetic pistol-grip stock comes standard on this 3 ½-inch magnum, giving you more mobility and knockdown power at extended ranges.

It features fully-adjustable TruGlo fiber optic sights and a Wingmaster HD Extended Choke. It weighs 7 ½ pounds and comes with a 23-inch barrel. The SPS Surshot is well within reach of even the most budget-conscious turkey hunter looking for a gun that will last a lifetime.

Price: $671

Stoeger P-350

Stoeger's popular and affordable P-350 pump is now available with a SteadyGrip pistol-grip stock, making it a great option for any hardcore turkey hunter. Thanks to a compact 24-inch barrel and comfortable weight of just 6.6 pounds, you can swing on a silent strutter before he can take another step.

It handles everything from light 2 ¾-inch loads all the way up the largest 3 ½-inch magnum turkey loads, giving you the freedom to shoot, shoot, shoot until you run out of shells or tags. The Stoeger P-350 is a fine choice for a turkey hunter who doesn't want to drain the bank account.

Price: $479

T/C Encore Pro Hunter Turkey

Thompson Center's break-open, single-shot Encore Pro Hunter is available in 12 or 20-gauge and is capable of firing up to 3-inch shells. It will put a lethal payload on a love-struck tom at extended ranges thanks to the included T/C extra-full choke tube, and the patented recoil management system takes the punch out of even the heaviest turkey load.

Complete with the security of a T/C lifetime warranty and the freedom to convert the gun into a rifle or muzzleloader simply by changing barrels, this turkey gun will be silencing the spring woods for generations. The Encore Pro Hunter Turkey is a great choice for turkey addicts who recognize that the first shot at a gobbler is the one that counts.

Price: $892

Check out all the newest turkey gear for 2014.

Winchester SXP Turkey

Touted as the world's fastest pump shotgun, the Winchester SXP is loaded with features that make it appealing not just to turkey hunters, but to other hunters and target shooters, as well. Offered in 12-gauge and chambered for 3 ½-inch loads, the SXP is drilled and tapped for a scope and it comes with adjustable fiber optic sights to make those longer shots just a little bit easier.

The turkey version also comes with an InvectorPlus extra-full turkey choke for more killing power at longer ranges. Black chrome coatings inhibit corrosion from wet spring weather and Mossy Oak Obsession helps you hide from the most wary longbeards in your woods.

Price: $520

Check out all the newest turkey gear for 2014.

Weatherby PA-459 Turkey

Weatherby's PA-459 pump shotgun started out as a tactical offering but evolved into a turkey-killing machine. It features Mothwing Spring Mimicry camouflage on all stock components, a 13 ½-inch length-of-pull for added comfort, a pistol-grip stock, and a compact 21 ¼-inch barrel mounted with a ported, extra-full turkey choke.

It also comes with Picatinny rail, allowing hardcore turkey hunters the freedom to customize their gun. Weighing only 6 ¾ pounds, hiking out of the woods with a gobbler in tow won't break your back. It won't break your bank account, either.

Price: $549

Check out all the newest hunting guns for 2014.

Massachusetts turkey hunting in spring is permitted in Zones 1-13.  The Bay State's season kicks off with a youth hunt on April 26, and youngsters are required to participate in a pre-season workshop to be eligible.  During the four-week regular season (April 28 - May 24).  Properly licensed hunters may take two bearded birds (one per day).  Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to 12:00 noon and gun hunters must affix an official green "Hunt Safely" sticker (available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to any DFW office) to their firearm such that it's visible to the hunter when sighting down the barrel.   Successful hunters must fill out and attach tags immediately, and must report their harvest, either online or at an official check station within 48 hours.

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