dnr-LOGO-thmbIowa’s spring turkey hunting season opens for youth-only Saturday.

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say about 50,000 turkey licenses have been purchased so far this year. Jim Coffey, a forest wildlife species technician with the D-N-R’s Wildlife Bureau, predicts an excellent season ahead.

“We’re going to be coming off of a good hatch, not just last year but two years ago,” Coffey says. “I would expect to see lots of two-year-old gobblers out there. Those are sometimes aggressive birds that will come to the call more readily than the older birds do. Don’t be surprised if you have a couple-three birds show up to your calls this year.”

The wild turkey population should be strong this spring, he predicts, as this past winter wasn’t too harsh. “Unless we have deep snow over 10-inches, turkeys survive real well in Iowa,” Coffey says. “They want to get out. The sun’s changing, the temperatures are changing. They’re ready to get out and start doing their spring thing and get the nesting season started.” Many hunters could benefit from a reminder about safety, Coffey says.

“We want to make sure we identify our target, we identify downrange so we know what we’re shooting at because if we shoot the wrong thing, we may be in violation,” Coffey says. “We’re going to shoot male birds or bearded birds. On the ethical side, be friendly to the other hunters. Don’t try to sneak in on somebody or do something that might disrupt their hunt.”

The youth-only season begins Saturday and runs through April 17. The first of the four regular seasons will be April 18 through 21. The second is April 22 through 26. The third is April 27 to May 3. The fourth season is May 4 to 22. The archery-only license is good from April 18 through May 22. Learn more at:

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City