Open season on the "wary gobbler"

Spring hunting season for turkey is almost upon us, according to a New York Department of Environmental Conservation press release.

The official season starts on May 1, but this weekend the kids get an early start during "Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend," when anyone between the ages of 12 and 15 gets to attempt to bag a bird. Above, a photo of 13-year-old Michael Picariello (with brother Joe) in Sullivan County with a 19-pound turkey shot during last year's Youth Hunt.

The DEC is asking anyone who is outside hunting turkey this spring to do double duty. In the same press release, the Department describes how hunters should listen carefully for the drumming sound of ruffled grouse gone a-courting:

Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. The characteristic sound of a drumming male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms. Turkey hunters can record the number of grouse they hear drumming while afield to help us track the distribution and abundance of this exciting game bird. To get a survey form, go to or call (518) 402-8886.