Calling All Gobblers Georgia Turkey Hunting Season Opens Mar. 21 2009

Calling All Gobblers Georgia Turkey Hunting Season Opens Mar. 21 2009

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. – -( Turkey hunters across the state are dusting off their calls in preparation for the upcoming turkey season. Opening day is Sat., Mar. 21 and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division anticipates another enjoyable season.

The 2009 season should be respectable, and harvest levels should be similar in comparison with past years’ harvests.

Last year’s reproduction data suggests that turkey production was good in many parts of Georgia in 2008,” explains Kevin Lowrey, Wildlife Resources Division wild turkey project coordinator. “In fact, last year’s hatch was the best since 2002.”

“However, reproduction rates in four of the last five years have been poor and we have seen a decline in the overall turkey population,” continues Lowrey. “While it likely will take some time for the population to rebound, last year’s increase in reproduction is a positive reminder that when habitat conditions are right and weather is favorable, the turkey population is quick to respond.”

Statistics from the 2008 season harvest summary indicate that an estimated 49,237 resident Georgia hunters bagged 24,297 turkeys last year. The bird to hunter ratio (harvest rate) for 2008 was .49 birds per hunter – the same as in 2007.

According to Lowrey, Georgia’s current turkey population is estimated at 300,000 birds.

Georgia turkey hunters are privileged with one of the longest turkey seasons nationwide. With a bag limit of three gobblers per season, hunters have from Mar. 21 through May 15 to harvest their bird(s).

Because most hunters pursue wild turkeys on private lands, the Wildlife Resources Division reminds hunters to always obtain landowner permission before hunting.