THE OUTDOOR JOURNAL
I was wrong, by quite a bit. I had predicted that the spring turkey season might be better than Missouri Department of Conservation biologists had forecasted. They had described the coming 2018 season prospects as “challenging.” I thought with an open winter, even factoring in the cold, we might have more birds survive and that might translate into a better spring season than a year ago. Well, that didn't happen. In large part because of the combination of an early date for the season on this years calendar and the extra cold April that we had, turkeys were more interested in feeding to offset the energy burned in the cold than they were with normal “spring rituals.” At least that is what I told myself when they constantly ignored my calls. This was the most challenging season I can ever remember since the season opened in DeKalb County in 1981.
It was fairly tough statewide as the state-wide harvest numbers continued their downward slide again this year, coming in at 35,765. Missouri's spring turkey harvest exceeded 60,000 in 2005. The last three seasons have come in at 44,000, 39,000 and 35,000 respectively.
Franklin County was again the high harvest county at 759. Counties in this area and their total season numbers were; Harrison with 376 birds taken, Daviess came in at 371, Grundy 279, Gentry 174, Caldwell 167, DeKalb 163 and Clinton County at 86.
I was encouraged with the number of Juvenile birds I saw in the field, so there is some reason for optimism next year. We'll see how the nesting season goes.
In the meantime, temperatures have returned to normal and the crappie are on the verge. Get outside and enjoy creation.