Turkey population remains strong in Burke

While some across the state may have a hard time bagging a bird when turkey season opens Saturday, hunters could see a good many gobblers strutting around Burke County, according to Sgt. Max Boswell of the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division.

Many reports have predicted lower harvest numbers this year compared to previous years, pointing to lower poult production in Georgia.

However, Boswell said those figures result from a statewide census and can not always be applied locally.

“For this area in Burke County, I haven’t seen any decrease,” he said. “Our population seems to be doing very well here.”

Several landowners have reported seeing large flocks of turkeys around the county.

Turkey season opens Saturday, March 25 and runs through Monday, May 15.

While in pursuit of the wary gobbler, sportsmen should be most concerned about safety, Boswell said.

“The main thing we want everyone to do is enjoy themselves and be safe,” he said. “Turkey season is when we have some pretty bad shooting accidents.”

Boswell said that when hunters decide to pull the trigger, they should be sure of their target and beyond it.

Turkey hunting, unlike some other types of hunting, puts hunters on the ground actively pursuing their prey.

Everyone in the hunting party should know where their friends are hunting.

In addition, turkey hunters should be aware of other regulations, such as bagging only male turkeys and taking only three per season.

Shotguns loaded with No. 2 or smaller shot, a muzzleloading firearm, longbow, crossbow or compound bow should be used to take a turkey.

Also, a valid hunting license and a big game license are required to hunt the birds.

Those hunting on private lands must have permission, and if hunters choose to hunt on a wildlife management area (WMA), a WMA license is required.

Turkey hunting is open to sportsmen on all three Burke County WMAs, Alexander, DiLane and Yuchi, the entire season, but hunters should sign in when they arrive.

For more information on turkey hunting, call the local DNR game management office at (706) 595-4222 or go online to the WRD web site at www.gohuntgeorgia.com or

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