Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 New State-Wide Wild Turkey Season Dates Take Effect

Guide Hamp Wall, youth hunter Big Al and guide Joshua Moore
after a successful hunt in Ridgeland on March 12, 2016
With the Lowcountry reaching its seventh day in a row of temperatures in the 80's on March 15, 2016 it is safe to say that spring has sprung. However, due to changes in the South Carolina wild turkey season the traditional start date of turkey season is no longer the Ides Of March, and has been changed to March 20 in order to appease those who called for a uniform state-wide turkey season. It is clear that on this inaugural season with the new dates, the season date changes will hinder Lowcounty hunters. With the spring mating activity already beginning, the best chance to harvest a wild turkey may be passing by.

Case in point is the turkey harvest success that many youth hunters reported in the Lowcountry on the March 12 youth day. Yes, the adults will still have an opening day filled with excitement on March 20, but this date seems to fall particularly flat in 2016 since it brings opening day of turkey season in on a Sunday morning, in conflict with church goers. Perhaps the new state-wide turkey season dates will even out over the years in terms of fairness, but that won't change the ill effects on tap for 2016. Another big change for turkey hunters to know is that the bag limit per hunter was reduced from five gobblers to three due to a reduced overall turkey population.

Even though it's the Boat Issue,
I was glad to contribute the Turkey Time article
I write in the latest issue of Tideline Magazine that if you hear any turkey talk at all in 2016, know that other turkeys in the area are also listening and they should be more at ease in close proximity of the others birds. This doesn’t translate to all the turkeys making noise though, so a pro tip would be to stay alert for the romantic tom that saunters into gun range without ever making a sound.  Dwarf palmetto fronds, hardwoods with a large buttress at the base and other natural formations can conceal a slow-moving and silent turkey. Each spring encounter with wild turkeys offers a chance to tap into the rich memories from past hunting seasons, and of course offers a chance for the seemingly unattainable opportunity for the hunt of a lifetime.

To read more of my feature article on 2016 Turkey Hunting Tips click on Tideline.

To view past blog entries from the start of Turkey Season click 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2010 - 2009

To view past blog entries on turkey hunting click Grand Slam - Mark Prudhomme - Eddie Salter - Tony Chachere - H.S. Strut 

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