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North Carolina's spring wild-turkey harvest was off 8-percent this year, but it was still the second-largest on record. North Carolina turkey harvest is off 8 percent from 2013 levels
1269 Views - Posted: June 06 at 6:02 am

For the first time in seven seasons, North Carolina wild turkey hunters saw a decline in the total spring harvest. During the April 12-May 10 gobblers-only season, hunters downed 16,912 birds. 


Aggressive cutting late in the season will often cause a turkey to shock-gobble, giving a hunter the chance to set up closer to the bird. Two slam-dunk, late-season turkey calls
362 Views - Posted: May 15 at 8:00 am

Of all the game species with which North Carolina is blessed, wild turkeys are one of a very few that must be pulled into shooting range with a series of calls.


The length of a gobbler’s spurs are a better indication of his age than body size. Judge a gobbler’s age in the field
379 Views - Posted: May 15 at 8:00 am

Hunters judge turkeys by a collection of characteristics, including weight, spur length, beard count and beard length. Every hunter wants to harvest an old, trophy gobbler, but, knowing a tom’s age is a tough task in the field — before and even after the kill. However, a tom’s age can be estimated fairly accurately by following a few general guidelines.


Hunters can often get to turkeys that are unpressured by paddling streams or swamps and accessing land unavailable to other hunters. Paddle up a gobbler
429 Views - Posted: May 05 at 9:00 am

Late-season gobblers can drive a hunter insane. They become wary of the same old calls from the same old spots in the same old fields. Though they may still roost in the same areas, they may avoid feeding grounds that have had constant and consistent hunting pressure in prior weeks.


Late season birds can be tougher to lure into range because they’ve been called to for weeks, but with hens on the nest, they’re apt to fall for a make-believe girlfriend. Birds at the bitter end - Late-season turkey hunting requires a change in tactics to tag a North Carolina tom
1057 Views - Posted: May 01 at 7:00 am

Spring turkey season arrived for North Carolina hunters a couple of weeks ago, so it’s been long enough for the drive to tag a longbeard to falter when normal tactics didn’t produce. But instead of hanging up their camouflage and trading their calls for a fishing rod or golf club, the last two weeks of the season can be the best time to lure a gobbler into range and should never be avoided for a true feathered fanatic. 


Brian Sykes' Orange County gobbler had five beards that measured between 7 and 9 3/4 inches. Orange County gobbler with five beards will rank No. 10 all-time in North Carolina
2053 Views - Posted: April 28 at 7:32 am

Veteran turkey hunter Brian Sykes of the Caldwell community in northeastern Orange County has had little trouble filling his tags in recent season, but a gobbler he took two weeks ago is a first for him: a 5-bearded bird that ranks in the top 10 all-time in North Carolina.


When gobblers are ganged up early in the season, the bird not doing the aggressive strutting and gobbling is often the dominant bird. Shoot the lookers
417 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

Early in the season, gobblers will often be grouped in pairs or larger groups. Seeing several toms coming into decoys gobbling every step can be one of the most exciting sights of any hunter’s season.


Hunters have a unique opportunity to take turkeys during rainy weather because their behavior is more predictable and one of their sharpest senses is dulled. Bad weather, good hunting
569 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

For a species with a brain the size of a walnut, wild turkeys are fairly clever at avoiding the talons or the teeth of predators, but their poor sense of smell allows hunters and other predators to take a few turkeys each year.


Hunters often find that mid-day and afternoon hunts on public lands can be more productive because most of their competition has left the woods and given birds a chance to settle down. More turkey tips
663 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

For more tips on taking wild turkeys in the Carolinas, visit these links on NorthCarolinaSportsman.com and SouthCarolinaSportsman.com:


Set up a decoy slightly back in the woods from a field for best results. Decoy and setup wisdom
453 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

Mitchell Johnson feels that when hunting a field, too many hunters set up too close to its edge. Try this approach: position decoys about 15 to 20 yards inside a fence line and a hunter another 20 yards or so back. Look for trees that lie in deep shade. The decoys should keep an approaching gobbler’s eyes from wandering too much. Once the tom steps inside the fence line, he will be within range.


Mitchell Johnson has designed his Dead End turkey calls to do what he does in calling contests: sound like a real turkey. Whatever you do, sound like they do
428 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

Mitchell Johnson, 32, attributes hard work for the success he has experienced in competitions and with his call company, but he also lists another reason.


Young hunters like Sarah Johnson, who took this bird with her father, Mitchell, get a 6-day season of their own before North Carolina’s month-long spring season comes in. North Carolina 2014 turkey season details
796 Views - Posted: April 15 at 7:00 am

North Carolina’s statewide spring gobbler season runs from April 12 to May 14. The daily bag limit is one bearded bird, with a season bag limit of two.


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