A majority of the hatch occurred during May, because the mildest winter in 40 years stimulated early green-up and nesting. Walski reports numerous observations of abundant turkey flocks throughout the state during September and October. All this means there should be some good opportunity for turkey hunting in New Hampshire this fall. With the virtual absence this year of beechnuts, wild apples and other small fruits, turkeys are more likely to be found in fields rather than in the dense woods.
Last fall (2011), hunters registered a total of 643 turkeys in New Hampshire during the fall season, 432 of them taken during the five-day shotgun season.
Since turkeys tend to gather in groups in the fall, hunters are advised to be extremely selective in deciding when to shoot, both as a matter of safety and to guard against hitting more than one bird with a single shot.
“Even if the turkeys are not ‘flocked up,’ their cryptic coloration, coupled with the pellet pattern cast by a shotgun, requires that hunters exercise extreme restraint when choosing a shot,” says Fish and Game Wildlife Division Chief Mark Ellingwood. “Pursuit of flocks visible from public roadways is discouraged for reasons of safety and fair-chase.”
Licenses, permits and more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire is available at huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm.
Want to take a friend hunting? Check out the new Apprentice Hunting License, which allows people a chance to hunt under the guidance of an experienced hunter age 18 or older, without having to take a Hunter Education course first. Learn more at huntnh.com/Hunting/apprentice.html.