posted on July 24, 2014 21:40
A while back in 1968, Doug Noteboom decided that he would give Turkey Hunting a try. After getting some advice from a local child in Sturgis he went to find a flock behind the Black Hills National Cemetery.
After following strict instructions on how to get to the area, Doug got out and decided to give it a go. He almost instantly got a response and for 45 minutes was ‘talking’ to a turkey. After this period of time the bird walked into range and Doug shot it.
But for Doug it would be seven years before he would shoot another turkey.
Though this year, he was more active, with five kills. And he even gave moral support to his son who drew a tag on one of his favourites spots in Custer State Park. The South Dakota spring season ended May 18 and the gall season is right around the corner.
Hunters like the turkey hunting because it gives them a chance to practice their skills during the spring. The snow geese are all gone and so the only option is to hunt turkeys.
Yet Jeremy Roe states there is more to it than that. “Spring fever factors into it. The birds themselves are impressive and a culture of hunting them has developed.”
Doug Noteboom, who is mesmerized by the birds, including their conservation, started the South Dakota National Wild Turkey Federation chapter. This chapter now has more than three thousand members.
Turkeys are equipped with good eyesight. But luckily for hunters they do not have as good a smell as other hunted creatures such as deer. Yet the birds are resilient. According to a student’s thesis for a South Dakota State University masters, 48% of the kills were made by hunting, whereas 12% were due to the 2008-2009 spring blizzard. Predators had a remarkably low kill rate with only 17%. And only one bird died in a vehicle collision.
With wild turkeys such a resilient species, they do make for some good hunting. If you missed out on the spring hunt there is still time to get your application in for the fall hunt.
Do you go turkey hunting?
Let us know your experiences in the comments below.