The Outdoor Journal by Kyle Carroll
Another October has flown by. November is a good month in its own right, but I'm always a little reluctant to see October go.
With the turning of the calendar, the fall turkey firearms season came to an end. How did the season go? Well, the MDC harvest reports page indicates that we have reached a new record low fall firearms turkey harvest. You might even say the bottom fell out. The total kill for the 30 day season was 2,127. That's half of what it was just five years ago. Keep in mind that each tag holder is allowed to kill two birds. One county in the northwest region, Gentry, only checked one bird for the entire season! That's half of a limit for one hunter for a 30-day season. They did, however, check ten turkeys in on archery tags and that is worth noting. Statewide, the archery kill is only 428 birds behind the total take for the firearms season at 1,699. Some of the other northwest counties and their fall firearms turkey season totals were: Daviess and DeKalb with 11 each; Harrison checked 20 birds; Livingston 21; and Caldwell added 6; Grundy checked 11; and Clinton added another 8 to the total.
Watching the archery total catch up and in some counties pass the firearms total, confirms a trend that his been happening for some time. Grundy and Daviess both had more archery kills than firearms as did Gentry. With the legalization of crossbows, archery hunters in many cases are opting to forgo the firearms turkey hunt. They are choosing instead to hunt with their archery tag and take a turkey if the opportunity presents itself while concentrating on deer. It's also normal for fall firearms turkey tags to drop off in sales when turkey numbers are low.
The deer rut is on and the time has changed, so drive careful for the next two weeks.