The tent caterpillars were bad in our area of north central PA again this year, hitting the beech and oaks something terrible. On top of that, an early frost this fall wiped out the apples and cherries. Spent a lot of time in the fall woods up north, not certain what the deer, turks and other critters will be eating to get ready for what is already a bad winter.
We did find a couple of ridges where the turkeys were scratching for maple seeds and small fern shoots, and eventually found the flock. I was lucky to score a first year jake using a push pin from Perfection and one of my trumpet calls. I had a really good season this fall, and yet I worry about the lack of mast on the ground -- its gonna be a tough winter in the big woods around our camp.
As far as the split season, it was strange being home for Halloween weekend, but the Saturday opener for bear this year brought a lot of guys to camp. I am disappointed the game commission opted for the change against the recommendation of the turkey biologists and the state chapter who are in the midst of a population study, but so it goes.
Looking forward to spring, seem to tolerate winter less every year. Walking to my deer stand this year in the snow it made me realize how nice it is to have our spring season, weather is great, season is long, golf in the afternoon, what's not to like about spring???
"So much of this business of hunting turkeys, you stupid it up right at the last.
You do everything right for an hour and a half, and then you sit down here
and there's nothing you can do about it, you made a mistake."
Tom Kelly, [i]Turkey Tales