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Recently the South Dakota wild turkey hunting season began for those looking to practice their archery skills. During the early phase of the hunting season only a bow and arrow can be used to hunt the ground bird.

The firearm hunting begins on April 11 and runs through to May 17. There are still opportunities for hunters to claim their prairie license. They are handed out on a first come, first served basis. However, residents can claim two licenses while non-residents are limited to one.

For Gary Howey Hartington, this will be his 41st season and he is hoping to add to a collection of 103 bagged turkeys over that time. This will also be the first season for his son-in-law and grandson and he hopes that they will both be able to bag their first South Dakotan turkeys.

Hartington recommends that you plan your hunting trip very carefully. It only takes a few moments and it does prevent disappointment. For instance, he had planned to hunt in one county only to find out that non-resident hunting licenses weren’t issued. Luckily, because of his planning, he could change and find a spot where hunting was allowed.

At the same time Hartington recommends that you avoid the opening weekend. There are just too many people who attend the opening weekend that you can sometimes feel crowded and opportunities are limited from competition.

He also suggests that you look at aerial maps before you go hunting to scout where the birds might be hunting. This can help improve your chances to find and bag yourself a turkey. One of the key landscapes to look for is a funnel area. This is where two terrains come together; an example would be a valley between two wooded areas. These are good areas because they narrow down the bird’s path, placing turkeys within the range of bows and shotguns.

Are you participating in the turkey season? What are your tips for a successful season?

Let us know in the comments below.

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