By John Newcom
— The warmer-than-normal temperatures did not seem to deter hunters from pursuing turkeys this past spring. A release from the Indiana DNR reports that the 2012 spring seasons had the fourth highest harvest numbers on record.
As the season approached, there was a lot of concern on how difficult it was going to be hunting turkeys with the vegetation growth much higher than most spring seasons. I know it affected my hunting area as I was limited to trails, as the weeds were so tall and filled out I could not see anywhere else.
It seems most other hunters adapted much better than I did and the total spring harvest was 12,594 turkeys. The youth season which was held on April 21-22 had 1,592 turkeys harvested this year. A special Wounded Warrior hunt held at Camp Atterbury added nine more turkeys to the total.
The spring season from April 25-May 13 showed a total harvest of 10,993 turkeys. I just wish I could have added another to the total for myself, but luck was not in my corner this past spring.
I have seen many young turkeys with hens these past few weeks as I have walked woods trails. I am ever confident that these turkeys are growing at a very good rate and my chances for killing a turkey grow all the time.
Hunters harvested 85 percent adult male turkeys, known as gobblers, this spring season, 14 percent were juvenile males, also known as jakes, and less than one percent of turkeys harvested were bearded females.
Over two thousand hunters made use of Indiana’s new Check IN game system to record their turkey harvest. I can not wait to give this system a try this fall and hopefully I can use it for a fall turkey as well as deer. It is going to be in effect for the fall hunting seasons as well as traditional check stations.
The DNR has also decided that a full version of the hunting/trapping regulations will be available at retailers sometime around late July. A condensed version has been available at retailers for a few years and a full version is on the web. You will now have full versions of regulations in print and online.
I think this is happening because of the multiple changes going into effect this fall for deer hunting. The DNR will be trying to get the new rules out as soon as possible so everyone has a chance to learn them.
You can find the new rules at the Indiana DNR website if you would like to start familiarizing yourself with them. I recommend checking the website out often as it contains a lot of information. The DNR also has a free app for smart phones and tablets and I have it on my iPad.
I hope everyone is enjoying the outdoors this summer and staying safe and as cool as possible. Stay safe and enjoy the outdoors!
• John Newcom is an outdoors columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He may be reached through the sports department at 574-732-5180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.