Time to talk turkey hunting

It’s time to get serious about turkey hunting.

By now, my neighbors are used to the strange sounds coming from my yard as I practice yelps, clucks, gobbles and kee-kees. The camouflage blind next to the house is something I’m sure they’re ready to see go away, and to their sure delight it’s moving to the turkey woods this weekend.

I couldn’t be more excited.

Indiana’s 2015 spring turkey season is April 22 through May 10. Hunters are allowed to kill one bearded or male turkey. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

Finding a place to turkey hunt in southern Indiana isn’t difficult at all.

Most public land in this half of the state has a healthy population of birds. The Hoosier National Forest consists of about 200,000 acres of public hunting ground and has a ton of turkey. The numerous state forests dotting the southern half of our state also are prime turkey hunting destinations. Yellowwood State Forest, Morgan/Monroe State Forest, and the Jackson/Washington State Forest are three examples of public forests that produce many turkeys every year.

It is always important to keep in mind when turkey hunting, especially on public ground, that some of the turkey sounds you hear may actually be other hunters using calls to sound like a turkey.

Always be 100 percent positive of your target before pulling the trigger. A dark-brown, fanned out gobbler and a camouflage clad hunter who’s sitting down look a lot more alike than you could ever imagine, especially in the heat of the moment.

If you have never been turkey hunting before and have no idea how to go about it but would like to learn, then you should attend the DNR’s Hunt, Fish Eat: Wild Turkey workshop in Indianapolis on Wednesday. This event takes place at Fort Harrison State Park from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The workshop will teach participants all the rules and regulations of turkey hunting, how to safely and effectively fire a gun and how to use the right equipment to be successful.

Youth season

Youth turkey season is my favorite weekend of the year.

My oldest daughter, who is 9, has developed a love for turkey hunting. Youth season weekend is our special time to share together in the woods. Watching her develop as a hunter over the past couple of seasons has been the most rewarding experience of my hunting career.

This year, Indiana’s special youth wild turkey hunting season is April 18 and 19. To participate in youth wild turkey season, hunters must be younger than 18 on the day of the hunt. Each youth hunter can take a bearded or male wild turkey. Jakes are legal. This bird does count as the youth’s one turkey limit for the entire season. Youth hunters may use any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow.

Someone 18 or older must accompany youth hunters during their hunt, and they must not possess a firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow while in the field. If the adult plans to call the turkeys they need to have a turkey license. Also, if the youth is using an apprentice license, the adult must have a license. Otherwise, the adult does not need to be in possession of a license.

See you down the trail.