Officials say spring season looks promising for turkey hunters

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[su_divider top=”no” size=”4″ margin=”45″]Emily Miller[/su_divider]

Brad Cieslewicz | LUTV
April 19, 2016; 4 p.m.

Monday marked the start of the 2016 spring turkey hunting season in the state. Missouri is one of the top states in the country when it comes to turkey hunting. I talked with

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The Missouri Department of Conservation has an office located in Chesterfield, Missouri. At this facility, several members of the staff help conduct surveys of the turkey populations in the area.
Photo by Brad Cieslewicz

Dan Zarlenga from the Missouri Department of Conservation says preparations of the season began several months ago. From monitoring the birds to working with their habitat, the department become involved on several different levels.

“Well the Department of Conservation does regular surveys to abstertain a general idea of how many turkeys we have what our population is. We also do a lot of work on our conservation area to manage and create good habitat for turkeys,” Zarlenga said.

The turkey population has slowly increased over the past few years, and Zarlenga believes this 2016 season will be a successful.

“2014 was a very good year for turkey production,” Zarlenga said. “We had a lot of turkeys hatched at that time, so right now we are looking at 2 year old young turkeys out there, so hunters should have a pretty good success this year.”

There are many different ways you can call in a turkey, including slate, glass, box, or even with your mouth. And fortunately, Lindenwood University’s Trevor Shockley was able to bring a bird in.

“So we got set up, called a couple times and it wasn’t five minutes before we seen them crossing the fence lone, coming right into the decoys, it was about a ten yard shot and I got one down,” Shockley said.

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Turkeys can be found in a variety of different habitats. The birds can often be found feeding in farm fields during various times of the day.
Photo by Brad Cieslewicz

Kody Neagles didn’t go out on opening morning but enjoys going out.

“It’s kind of just you against nature, it’s an enjoyable thing and I enjoy getting out every turkey season and killing a turkey,” Neagles said.

The first weekend of April was the youth hunt and it was very successful.

The Missouri turkey hunting season goes until May 8.