According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, spring turkey season for youth 15 and under will begin Saturday and last through Mar. 14, while spring turkey season for adults will begin Mar. 15 and. Those areas closed for turkey hunting are in Coahoma County, Quitman County and Sunflower County.
Turkey season is another opportunity for hunters to go after big game or put more food on the table.
Cleveland resident John Lienard, who grew up in Drew, said the spring season is an aspect he likes more about turkey hunting.
“Being in the spring woods, everything is coming back to life,” Lienard, 32, said. “Everything greening up and coming out of winter.”
Lienard said turkey hunting is not easy.
“Turkey hunting is a challenge,” Lienard said. “You can’t just go sit on a deer stand and wait for a turkey to walk by. You have to actively pursue a turkey. From the calling to the set up to knowing what to do when to do it, it’s kind of like chess I guess. You’re trying to pin down where that turkey is going. You’re trying to predict his next move and be two steps ahead of him.”
Lienard has been turkey hunting since he was a child. Some of the most enjoyable times he's had turkey was when he hunting with his father Rich.
“It was his passion, and he built that passion into me to turkey hunt,” Lienard said. “It’s a lot different seeing a deer in the woods or duck hunting seeing the ducks, but getting that turkey close and seeing how his head changes color and hearing him drum and gobble, it’s hard to explain. That’s what hooked me.”
Cleveland resident Malcolm Dye, 59, said one thing he likes about spring turkey season is watching the seasons change.
“As the season progresses, you watch the leaves come out on the trees and it starts warming up a little bit,” Dye said. “You just sit out there and basically watch the woods come to life over about a three week period.
“Early morning you sit there and it comes to life also,” Dye continued. “There’s nothing happening right before daylight. You hear a turkey gobbling, and you kind of go to it. When the first bird chirps, it’s like somebody flips a light switch and there they go — every bird in the woods gets to chirping too. When you’re deer hunting, it’s cold and it’s going to be that way the whole season.”
Dye said there is a certain level of excitement you get when you hunt for turkey.
“When you hear a turkey gobble, it sends chills through you,” Dye said. “Most of what you want to try to do is get up as close to it as you can. You want to sit still and make a few yelps and see if you can draw that turkey to you. With the yelp, you’re imitating a hen, and you want to get that gobbler to you.”