Spring Gobbler Season 2015
Inside the Outdoors, May 8
, 2015

When I tried to interest one gent into buying some fishing items at the Latrobe Indoor Vendor Market at the American Legion, he stated, “I can’t think about this sport because spring gobbler season is just around the corner and I can’t wait to get out in the field.”

From a hunter’s point of view, one can understand his feelings. After all, that inter-drive and the fact that there is a lot of good eating from ‘the bird,’ pumps the adrenalin to the point that people of all ages would want to take to the forests and grasslands to pursue this bearded game.

The Youth Spring Turkey Hunt was held April 25 statewide. Each junior hunter 12 years of age and under had to be accompanied by an adult. A license was required for each child.

The statewide spring gobbler season for everyone kicked of May 2 and will continue until May 30, 2015. Only turkeys with visible beards are legal.

According to the Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest, one must only call turkeys. Stalking is prohibited. One may begin one-half hour before sunrise until noon from now to May 16, and then from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset from May 18 through May 30. “Hunters are asked to be out of the woods when hunting until noon,” the Pennsylvania Game Commission stated.

According to Mary Jo Casalena, the PGC’s biologist, “The season that awaits, promises to be a memorable one…” in as much as ‘…the population recently has been on the upspring.”

That ought to heighten hopes of rifle bearers.

With the population of an estimated 235,000 birds, statewide, just that fact should provide encouragement for any hunter aspiring to harvest these large birds.

One may think that the winter months may have played a number on turkeys. The PGC was curious about this, as well. So, “In the last five years, the Game Commission has monitored satellite-transmitted turkeys…,” and concluded, “…none of the 288 birds monitored ever had died due to winter conditions.”

One may think that the high snows and the frigid weather may take its toll on these creatures, but according to the PGC, “Survivability is actually higher in winter.” Could it be that since there is no hunting season during those months, that may be the reason?

According to Travis Lau, press secretary for the PGC, “Turkeys are much hardier birds than one may think.” He added, “Hunting season does play into the fact, as well.”

As per request, Lau contacted Casalena who additionally answered my question. She said, “We separated natural mortality from hunting mortality. Natural mortality is lowest in winter. I think that is due to them flocking – more eyes and ears. That’s a theory, but is reasonable, especially because once they disperse in the spring, natural mortality increases,” she said.

The PGC stated, “Year in and year out, Pennsylvania ranks near the top for turkey harvests. In 2014, the state’s hunters harvested more than 41,000 turkeys during the spring season.

God’s blessings to area hunters.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In as much as we have also entered walleye and sauger seasons that began May 2, many avid anglers including the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission have suggested one make his own rigs to catch these fish. I have done so and it’s really a lot of fun. All one needs are line, hooks, beads, swivels, clevises and blades. There are any number of places one can get these components.

One could probably go to Michaels behind Westmoreland Mall and pick up all kinds of craft beads for starters. Jann’s Netcraft is where I get my parts to put these rigs together. It can be found on the Internet with many different websites. One can also call them and request a catalog and order from it.

In the recent Pennsylvania Angler & Boater magazine, May June 2015 issue, there is a great article including pictures on how one can make rigs any number of ways.

Since one will be using them to catch walleye and sauger, the PFBC’s Ross Robertson suggests 20-pound fluorocarbon test line. He recommends one make a 36 to 72-inch leader line.

“Number 4 hook is best for all inland waters,” There are three different blades from which to choose – Indiana, Colorado and Willow. His choice of colors pictured includes chartreuse, red, white and chartreuse or chartreuse, yellow and brown.

There are different clevises on the market today. Many anglers prefer the quick-change devices. These are used to hook on the blades.

When one’s rig is completed, it will have a lead line, a clevis holding a blade, beads and a hook. It’s that simple.

To get the complete scoop, pick up this issue at any newsstand and read the article.


- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.