Cumberland Times-News

Outdoors

April 27, 2014

Pa. gobbler hunt starts May 3

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Another Pennsylvania spring gobbler season is just days away from kicking off.



The action starts May 3 and runs through May 31.



The season that awaits promises to be a memorable one for Pennsylvania’s turkey hunters, said Mary Jo Casalena, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wild turkey biologist. While the statewide turkey population has experienced moderate declines in recent years, Pennsylvania hunters for nearly 20 years have consistently harvested more than 30,000 turkeys in the spring season.



This year, Casalena said, hunters should see higher numbers of year-old males — commonly called jakes — as a result of above-average reproduction in 2013.



And while many hunters prefer to hold out for the bigger and larger gobblers, the abundance
of jakes out there could lead to increased sightings and hunter harvests, she said.



Hunting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and end at noon for the first two weeks of the statewide season (May 3-17). Hunters are asked to be out of the woods by 1 p.m. when hunting hours end at noon. This is to minimize disturbance of nesting hens.



From May 19-31, hunting hours are from onehalf hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. The all-day season allows more opportunity at the point in the season when hunting pressure is lower and hens are less likely to abandon nests.



During the spring gobbler season, hunters may use manually operated or semi-automatic shotguns limited to a three-shell capacity in the chamber and magazine combined. Muzzleloading shotguns, crossbows and long, recurve and compound bows also are permitted.

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