The 2010 Maine turkey season is currently underway! So far, several family and friends have stopped by the house to try their luck at shooting the majestic eastern wild turkey. Despite hearing many birds on the opener, yesterday was eerily quite. Huge crowds of sportsman hit the fields in droves for the opener, causing a sizeable disturbance in the patterns and behavior of the flocks. This obviously made for difficult hunting yesterday for the visiting New Hampshire cru and that old curmudgeon Lenny who watched several birds run screaming away from his decoys. For the turkey hunter, looking to bag a bird, Thursday and Friday promise to be great days to get into the woods. Typically, there is a huge drop off in the number of people in the woods near the end of the first week as many try to get some much needed sleep after day early mornings getting up at 3:00 AM.
I have seen some beautiful mature birds during my scouting outings, including an absolutely HUGE double bearded bird that I will be pursuing on Thursday and Friday morning. Saturday will be my first full day (till 12:00pm) in the woods and will be joined by family on this outing. Depending on how Thursday and Friday go, I may even be talked into pulling out the bow, as long as the weather conditions and birds corporate. The Old Man will be attempting to take his first turkey with his new compound bow and to assist him with this endeavor I have patterned several birds working the property along fairly regular travel corridors.
New this season is a chance to shoot an additional bearded bird if you purchase a “2nd turkey tag” for $20 dollars. For many, this change in the law that provides a great chance to shoot a turkey for the table and then hunt, if you desire, for a truly trophy class bird. For those looking to spend some time glassing fields and likely spots, it is quickly apparent that there are some really nice birds out there strutting around. If I had to give one word of advise, it would be “walk”. By putting some miles between you and the “road hunters” you will quickly find unpressured birds. We continue to be fortunate in this state, that much of our property continues to be largely unposted. For both the resident and non-resident hunter, please make sure to respect landowner property by continuing to be considerate and asking permission when and where possible.
Turkey season has only just begun, so if you don’t yet have your bird you soon will! Just remember to remain positive, get off the beaten path and bring PLENTY of bug dope! Good luck everyone!