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Brad Eden

Maine Fall Turkey Season

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Brad Eden

Youth Day was Saturday. Today marks the beginning of the Fall season. It runs from 9/16/19 until 11/7/19. They increased the Fall limit to 5 birds of either sex. There are some juggling in certain areas as far as how many can be killed, but the overall limit is 5. Total "overkill" in my opinion, but so few people actually hunt wild turkeys in Fall up here it hopefully will even out. I'll keep a shotgun and shells and gear in my truck for any birds of opportunity.

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WAGinVA

Wow!  Five in the fall and how many in the spring?  Here we only get a combo of three fall and spring total.

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Brad Eden
6 minutes ago, WAGinVA said:

Wow!  Five in the fall and how many in the spring?  Here we only get a combo of three fall and spring total.

 

Still 2 bearded birds in Spring.

 

A load of Maine people absolutely despise wild turkeys. Granted the droves can screw with a farmers feed and bails so that's understandable. But a lot of those are deer hunters who resent them and are convinced they eat all the deers food. Which is ridiculous IMO.  Since they can be so visible at certain times of the year like spring and early summer before the fields grow and before they are hayed, people think we are overpopulated. I have no idea why the state biologists increased the Fall limit so high. I hope it's based on sound game management and not a product of all the hate.

 

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Msteffen

I was thinking of taking a walk this Saturday to see if I can stir any up at a place I shot my second maine bird this spring. Haven't really scouted it since then, so no clue if they still hang out there. 

 

-Mike 

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WMassGriff

Would love to have this long of a season. Ours is two weeks for shotgun and then concurrent with Archery Deer.

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Dave in Maine
8 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

 

Still 2 bearded birds in Spring.

 

A load of Maine people absolutely despise wild turkeys. Granted the droves can screw with a farmers feed and bails so that's understandable. But a lot of those are deer hunters who resent them and are convinced they eat all the deers food. Which is ridiculous IMO.  Since they can be so visible at certain times of the year like spring and early summer before the fields grow and before they are hayed, people think we are overpopulated. I have no idea why the state biologists increased the Fall limit so high. I hope it's based on sound game management and not a product of all the hate.

 

#1 nuisance animal when it comes to complaints.

 

 

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Brad Eden

IMG_1242.JPG

 

Dead critter Inspection. It's a thing. Mature hen. I'm really not into fall turkey hunting though. It pales so much in comparison to spring Gobbler hunting that I doubt I'll put in any concerted effort. Plus although tasty, the small poults I'm seeing, hardly bigger than a mature Grouse, don't appeal to me as targets.

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Treerooster
2 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

 Plus although tasty, the small poults I'm seeing, hardly bigger than a mature Grouse, don't appeal to me as targets.

 

I'll be the contrarian here. Small poults are the best eating bird IMO, tame or wild. Plus if someone is really concerned about the turkey population and is still going to fall hunt...taking out a mature hen is not as beneficial to the pop as taking a poult. The mature hen is a proven survivor and possibly a proven breeder. If I can, I will avoid shooting a mature hen and take a young of the year bird. Have done that quite a few times. But I admit I do that mostly because I like to eat them. They are a delicacy IMO.

 

I've got some poults that were only 1 1/2 lbs. Delicious!

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I agree with you on not being as serious a fall turkey hunter as I am in the spring (I think you meant to say "SPRING gobbler hunting" in your OP). But for me the reason is there are so many other birds to hunt in the fall. I do enjoy the fall turkey hunt tho and will get 3 to 5 fall birds usually between Wis & Colo.

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Brad Eden

I did mean spring (edited). I’ll have to buck up and kill some poults. I’m getting soft. I could have killed several, but flinched on it. The hen was with a bunch of other older birds. No poults with her. 

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Msteffen

Do you guys split up a group and then call them back in? 

 

-Mike 

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Brad Eden
1 hour ago, Msteffen said:

Do you guys split up a group and then call them back in? 

 

-Mike 

I've given up doing the "traditional scatter". Can't run fast enough (can't run period at the moment) to get a good scatter, they all end up running or flying or both in the same direction. If you can get a good scatter, (a dog helps), sitting in the hub of the wheel, so to speak, and doing yelps and/or kee kee calls will gather them back and you can shoot the bobbing heads. It works. Now I simply find a flock in my travels, and do a sneak, or if I have time I stop and watch their general direction of  travel, if in a field or blueberry Barren, park out of sight, hike in and set up just inside treeline and so some yelps. They get curious and more times than not wander in your direction and Boom.

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NCgrouse

Doing some scouting on a few new spots to deer hunt, me and my French Brit nelli happened upon a bachelor groups of 3 monster Tom's. I mean, paint brushes for beards. Big. Made me miss spring a little. We have no fall season, so just made a quick mental note to check back on them about April. 😉

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Brad Eden

It's amazing how secretive the mature Tom's (last springs Jakes and older)  are in Fall. I'm seeing quite a few flocks of hens with grown poults and some flocks with tiny poults as already mentioned but haven't seen a rope dragger.

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Millriver

Saw a “rope dragger” last week. He was with a lone hen. Pretty sure he’s the same one I toyed with in the spring during my limited mobility hunts.

 

I’ve never shot one in the fall, I might have to plan accordingly in case I see one during my travels and can put a sneak on one. A few years ago I was driving to a woodcock cover and saw 4 mature Toms feeding together in a field. It was a perfect spot to put a sneak on, had I not been wearing a full blaze orange shirt and had nothing bigger than 20 gauge 7 1/2’s! 😬

 

Will probably throw some camo and number 5’s in the truck this year 😊

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Randy S

I think the split them up and call 'em back was just a "Woodland Myth" perpetuated by outdoor writers. In Iowa's first fall season I tried that routine on several flocks. It only took a couple of efforts to realize that no matter how close I got they were already reassembled before I got situated to call them back. Considering that I was in shotgun range when I went yelling after them I decided to just pick out a bird and shoot it. 

 

Fall turkey have always been meat hunt diversion while chasing other upland birds, but I still feel a little pride when I sling one over my shoulder. I don't know if it's the poundage or just realizing there are very few hunters who even try. I think of them as eastern sage grouse. 

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