Toms. Gobblers. However, for your reference, there are, as of today, a mere seven days remaining in the segmented 2024 spring turkey hunting season that started April 22 (Youth Day was April 20).

Jakes (immature males) are also legal quarry.

This “Period D” portion for permit holders extends from May 13 through May 17 and again from May 20-24.  (The Period Y youth portion also runs May 13-24; the Saturdays only Period E has one day remaining, that being May 18.)

This last portion of the season has half an hour before sunrise to sunset hunting hours as opposed to the first segment’s noon closure. The advantage to this extensive gives those unable to be afield the opportunity to hunt the afternoon to sunset and also locate (put to bed) gobblers settling in to roost, thus aiding future set-up strategies.

turkey hunting
L. Gambale

These are offset by the fact that:

1) the gobblers have been pressured for weeks and those not bagged have certainly been educated to every kind of call and are wise to even the slightest of tones out of the norm, and

2) after servicing hens for weeks, sometimes wing bone and spurring with other toms for the rite of spring, these survivors oftentimes show half heart interest in responding “Hey, I’m here and available” cajoling even from the most accomplished of receptive hen imitators.

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From this corner, Period D represents the most challenging time to get a gobbler in range. Hey, any time during the spring season is a test of turkey hunting skill and acumen, but D in particular can be a hairpuller.

L. Gambale

The reward, though, is especially sweet.

Check pages 50-51 in the 2023 Hunting & Trapping Digest for the particulars of the spring season, including youth age restrictions/adult supervision.

Listen to the May 11 podcast of Rack & Fin Radio on 97.3 ESPN FM South Jersey for tips, tricks, and calls for Period D gobblers during Tom P.’s interview with New Jersey turkey hunting veteran and call manufacturer Ron Jones of ACP Rednecks Pride Outdoor Products.

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