PENNSYLVANIA GAME COMMISSION PRESS RELEASE #038-09, April 8, 2009:
SPRING GOBBLER SEASON SNEAKING UP ON THE CALENDAR
HARRISBURG - This year marks the 41st anniversary of the Keystone State's spring gobbler hunting season, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission is reporting turkey hunters should expect to find exciting opportunities afield as they head out for both the youth and traditional spring season openers.
The state's one-day youth spring gobbler season is April 18; the general spring gobbler season is April 25 to May 25. Hunters who have purchased a second spring gobbler season license may harvest up to two bearded turkeys.
"For the springs of four decades, wild turkey hunters have had a chance to match wits with gobblers in the fields and forests of Pennsylvania, and to say they have taken a shine to this special season would be an understatement," explained Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "Although the season was somewhat controversial when proposed, and we started it conservatively to ensure the resource could handle it, today it is one of our most popular seasons and annually provides recreation for hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, it's hard for most of us to imagine a time when Pennsylvania didn't have a spring gobbler season, or what spring would be like if we didn't have one."
The first spring gobbler season started on a Monday and ran only six days so biologists could get a pulse on hunter success and the season's impact on the more than 60,000 wild turkeys inhabiting about half of Pennsylvania's forestland at the time. It worked! More hunters were afield on the last day of the season - a Saturday - than the opener, and hunters took a total of 1,636 turkeys in the new season.
In 2008, hunters took 40,522 bearded wild turkeys in the spring gobbler seasons (including 1,954 with second spring gobbler licenses) from an estimated statewide spring population of about 335,000. The spring wild turkey population peaked in 2001, when it numbered 410,000. So, it's fair to say the status of wild turkeys has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. Read more at the PGC website:[url=http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/browse.asp?bc=0&c=70194&A=11] http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view ... 1&Q=176347