Eastern Turkey season quickly approaching


POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 5:52pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 8:47am

April 15, 2014 marks the first day of Eastern Turkey season. So grab your shotgun or bow, and get ready to bag a bird.

28 counties are participating in Eastern Turkey season. These include Angelina, Upshur, Panola, Nacogdoches, and Harrison counties among others.

However before you grab your guns, there are some specific regulations for hunting these birds. KETK spoke with the game warden, Dustin Dockery, who said, "You can use a shotgun, archery, and crossbow only. And all turkeys must be checked in within 24 hours of harvest". Along with these rules, you must also have a registered hunting license, and need to tag the turkeys. Each person is only allowed to hunt one gobbler. For a more in-depth look, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/regulations/outdoor-annual/hunting/general-regulations/ .

These rules are so specific because the local turkey population has been declining since the 1950's. In January, a local "Superstocking" method was used to repopulate the Eastern Turkeys. 80 birds were released during this effort. Dockery said, "We're hoping to increase the population and give the sportsmen, hunters, and wildlife enthusiasts another animal to either harvest or be able to see".

So the biggest concern right now, is helping these turkeys reach and maintain a stable population. Dockery said, "There will be a certain element in society that may want to illegally take a turkey or slip into a property and trespass and harvest a turkey". So they have many people at the release sights, keeping a look out for the birds. David Sierra, a biologist, said, "Within 3 years we should see some significant reproduction". Start preparing that bird call.

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