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Spring Gobbler Withdrawals, The Cure

The temperature is hovering around zero degrees Farenheit outside of our house in Omaha’s Metcalfe Park neighborhood this early March morning.

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I’ve now begun to count the days until the archery edition of Nebraska’s spring wild turkey hunting seasons kicks off. I’m certain that the birds on my hunting property are still bunched up as they were a couple weeks ago.

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It shouldn’t be too much longer before wild turkey courtship rituals enter the picture, right? I know that breeding is dictated by photoperiod (day length or amount of sunlight in a 24-hour period) and is “fine tuned” by local environmental conditions.

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Truth be told, I’m going through spring gobbler withdrawals, big time! I’m finding it difficult to cope with March’s frigid arrival here in the Cornhusker State. Meteorologists are saying that this has been one of the coldest winters that we who live in Nebraska have endured in about fifteen years! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m really looking forward to hunting Snow geese soon with buddies, but it’s hard not to think about a day filled with warm sunshine, calm south/southwest breezes and a fanned out, strutting, vocal wild gobbler!

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I guess you could say that I am a spring gobbler-a-holic.

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Are any of you who hunt turkeys in the springtime experiencing these same emotions? Maybe we should form a support group? Never mind. Because, there is a cure — pre-season preparation. There’s plenty to do to get ready for the season. Spring wild turkey hunting with a bow or crossbow is not easy. Every bit of pre-season preparation can help. Here are some things I’ll be doing beginning today and in the coming weeks for my March 25th archery/crossbow opener. I’d encourage you, my fellow turkey hunter, to consider accomplishing these things as well. Here’s my turkey hunting to-do list.

– Establishing or firming up permission with landowners.

– Asking for or applying for time off from work to hunt.

Buying your turkey hunting permits and habitat stamp (youth turkey permits are only $5!).

Reading the regulations.

Brushing up on turkey hunting safety.

– Checking over your equipment.

– Purchasing new equipment.

– Practicing shooting and calling.

– Studying up on new hunting tactics or techniques for wily, old gobblers. 

Attending a spring wild turkey hunting workshop or seminar.

– Scouting … scouting … and more scouting, plus shooting photos or video of the birds, as the opening day draws closer.   

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GIL-OBBLE-OBBLE-OBBLE! … GIL-OBBLE-OBBLE-OBBLE!  … GIL-OBBLE-OBBLE-OBBLE!

About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

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