Agriculture, Central New York, Environment, Guns, Sports

Spring Hunting Options Are Fanning Out

Tim Nelson, owner of Intimidator Sports in Nedrow, is working behind the counter as he helps a customer on the phone. (c) 2018 Chelsea Siegal

Click above to hear the fundamentals of turkey hunting and how it has become a family outing.

Audio Transcript: Turkey Hunting Script

By Chelsea Siegal SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — It’s time for Central New York hunters to load up their guns and arrows for the beginning of Spring turkey hunting season.

The lobby of the Syracuse DEC office. (c) 2018 Chelsea Siegal

Hunting in Central New York is a common pass time. The region has healthy populations of deer, geese, ducks and other waterfowl and small game animals, which is great for hunters because these are popular prizes in the area. And, as of May 1 turkeys became fair game, too.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Spring turkey hunting season lasts from the beginning of May until May 31. Additionally, Fall turkey hunting lasts from October 21 to November 3.

The DEC has special regulations for Spring turkey hunting that do not apply to other animals. For example, hunters are only allowed two birds per season, and only one may be taken per day.

A case of guns at Intimidator Sports that can be used for turkey hunting. (c) 2018 Chelsea Siegal

Additionally, hunters must be very accurate about the measurements recorded when documenting birds that are killed. The spur (the back part of the foot that is not used for walking), beard and weight must be reported.

Tim Nelson, owner of Intimidator Sports in Nedrow, says that shotguns and crossbows may be used to hunt turkeys.

“You can use 410, 28, 20, 16, or 12 [gauge],” Nelson said.

Erik Nelson, Tim’s son, showing off a turkey he killed while hunting. (Courtesy of Erik Nelson)

Also, Nelson said turkeys are one of the smartest animals out there. They have excellent eyesight and hearing. In order to successfully hunt a turkey, it takes a lot of waiting in silence. He also provided insight as to the best way to hunt them.

“Usually the forest in the early, early morning,” Nelson said. “But then they’re coming out in the fields to eat, and you can only hunt them until noon.”

One of the most important things to remember about turkey hunting, or hunting in general, is to be safe while hunting. Turkey hunting is a sound driven sport, so it’s important to make sure that when listening to sounds, hunters are shooting at sounds coming from turkeys and not hunters using turkey calls.