As the country’s latest running turkey seasons close out this week, preliminary totals are rolling in from a number of states. At first blush, while it was an incredible season for many hunters, it was all in all a pretty weird season. Rainy weather, a gazillion hens and early hot weather were all to blame by hunters from South to North who tried to figure out exactly why they were still holding tags at the close of their seasons.
In Missouri, still in my opinion the best state in which to turkey hunt, they saw the lowest harvest since 1999 with hunters checking in only 51,018 turkeys, the Kansas City Star reported. State biologists, while still calling the numbers “robust,” blamed poor weather for the drop-off. Indeed, talk to anyone who journeyed to the Show-Me State this spring and most had to contend with poor weather.
Meanwhile, over in Ohio, another big turkey hunting state, sportsmen there actually took just slightly more than 20,000 birds according to the Columbus Dispatch. It is the first time in several years, Buckeye hunters have tagged that many, though most of the hunters interviewed in the article contended that the birds had quit working to the call by the final week of the four-week season.
We’ll have more harvest reports for you as they become available, and throughout the summer, will be speaking with state biologists to get a fix on how well each state’s hatch does during the warm weeks ahead.