Too hot to trot?
Hey Hickoff … is it too hot too soon for good turkey hunting later? I asked in a text message after hearing a cacophony of gobblers in the woods one morning in March here recently. Then, I heard them again at about 11 a.m.
Those weren't my exact words to the turkey guru, aka Steve Hickoff, but close enough. He texted me back, It'll be fine. Hens breed when length of day photo period is right. He even added, Gobblers are a lot like men. As usual, the females of the species are smarter than the males.
Dale Bowman in the Chicago Sun-Times asks, Did the record March warmth cause the same response in tom turkeys (males) that it caused in guys observing the early-spring scene on Michigan Avenue sidewalks? Which I would assume means when women start shedding their coats and boots and opt for short skirts, sleeveless tops and strappy sandals.
And according to a wild turkey project manager in Illinois, Paul Brewer, Photo period is the most important thing that triggers breeding behavior.
One thing that turkey hunters agree on, is that the early spring caused early foliage to appear. That will muffle sounds and cut down on visibility somewhat more than what we're used to in the Midwest.
However, Brewer did say that turkeys might be more active in the warm weather.
We can only hope. It'll be like an extended spring break in Florida for those gobblers.
How about the turkeys in your neck of the woods? Are they hot to trot already or earlier than usual?