In West Central Wisconsin 2013 average spring temperatures have been running 15-20 degrees below normal with higher amounts of snow fall and rain. Causing many spring turkey hunters to ask-
” Are the turkeys gobbling and responding to calls?”
It has almost become a cliché “the turkeys are always there doing what turkeys do.” This is for the most part true but does little to reassure turkey hunters with upcoming valid tags as they look at weather forecasts predicting more of the same cold, rain, snow and wind.
A few more details are in order before answering definitively.
- Reports from dedicated turkey hunters in northern unit 4 & 7 indicate turkeys are very hard to find in areas that have been traditionally good hunting early spring. Keep in mind at this writing only season A has been completed.
- In unit 2 large flocks of turkeys have been reported leading many hunters to believe the winter turkey flocks have not broken up yet. Reports say turkeys are responding to aggressive gobbler calling. (challenging yelps, clucks and purrs)
- Western unit 1 those hunter who ventured out in the wind, snow and rain have found scattered groups of turkeys which in some cases responded well to their calls. However, they usually had more than one turkey come in, jakes being very numerous.
- Unit 3 about the same reports as unit 1 but typically turkeys in unit 3 are further apart and scattered.
Generally hunting pressure so far has been very light, many hunters choosing to stay home rather than bear the uncomfortable weather. Recently more late season OTC tags have been selling. Apparently some are deciding to forego hunting early season and try later. I have toured several public hunting areas in units 1,3 & 4 and found very few hunters or sign anyone had been there.
I hunted the morning of April 10 while a storm was moving through. The turkeys were not vocal until I gave them reason to be vocal and then they responded very well to my calls with full throated chain gobbling. I filled my tag before noon struck.
Because I am a total turkey addict and some would say nut I begin touring hunting areas. During these tours it was rare to hear a gobble that was not initiated by my calling. Where no one was hunting I moved through the areas mid day making turkey calls as I went. Turkeys did respond to me and many started to come in. So, I would say if you are in an area that holds turkeys and you call, they are responding. At this time don’t be surprised if the turkeys don’t sound of to tell you where they are before you give them a reason.