Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 21

YEARS

CHASING

And when the bird came out of strut, he
was greeted by a swarm of No. 6 pellets
from Joe's 10-gauge. The 19-pounder
had 1-inch spurs and 9-inch beard, but it
represented something more.
It was the 100th Pennsylvania turkey
Joe carried out of the woods in 55 years
of turkey hunting.
"I was shaking," Joe said. "Never in
my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd
reach that turkey-hunting milestone
when I shot my first turkey in 1964."

REFLECTING ON 100
Although Joe, who lives in Berwick,
Columbia County, hunts deer during
the archery and firearms season, turkey
hunting clearly is his thing.
"Luck plays a big part in deer
hunting," he said. "But with turkey
hunting, especially a mature gobbler,
it's one on one. Do you outsmart him, or
does he outsmart you?
"Plus, the excitement of waiting for
dawn to break, especially in the spring,
straining your ears for that first gobble,
can't be beat," Joe said.
Both Joe and wife Deb hunt turkeys.
While Joe is retired, even when he
worked, he could set his own hours,
which gave him plenty of time to spend
in the turkey woods, helping to set the
stage for his success.
When he first started hunting turkeys,
Joe readily would seize opportunities to
harvest hens in the fall, and after a spring
season was opened, he'd try to take the

BIRDS

first gobbler that came to his calls.
Now he hunts only longbeards.
There haven't been many years when
Joe didn't harvest a turkey. And he's
taken three longbeards - one in the fall
and two in the spring - many times since
the creation of a second spring gobbler
license.
While he's had his share of success
early in the spring season, he said his
oldest, biggest birds have come late in
the season.
"Usually the dominant toms are
'henned up' early in the season, but later
in the season become more vulnerable,"
he said.
Interestingly, Joe's largest gobbler -
a 23-pounder with 1-5/8-inch spurs and
six beards totaling nearly 41 inches -
was a fall bird, taken in 2008.
Joe had spotted the gobbler in a gamelands field in Columbia County before
the fall season opened, and he knew it had
more than one beard. Then one morning
during the season, while hunting near a
picked cornfield, two gobblers came in
to his calls.
"I remember thinking that's him
when I noticed three beards, then four,
then five. I dropped him at 40 yards. It
wasn't until I got the bird home when
Deb pointed out the sixth beard," Joe
recounted.

FALL & SPRING
Joe doesn't scout much for fall
birds. He allows the turkey sign and
available food he finds while hunting

OF PENNSYLVANNIA TURKEYS
APRIL 2020	

21



Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 21
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Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 26
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Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2020 - Cover4
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