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Promising 2013 Spring Gobbler Season May Be Around Corner

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The cool spring so far throughout much of Pennsylvania may lead to increased gobbling for hunters planning to take part in the state's spring wild turkey season.

The state's one-day youth spring gobbler season is April 20, and will run from one-half hour before sunrise until noon.  The general spring gobbler season is April 27 to May 31, with the traditional noon closure for the first two weeks – through May 11, and from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset the remainder of the season, beginning May 13. Hunters who purchase a second spring gobbler season license may harvest up to two bearded turkeys, one per day. Second tags must be purchased by April 19; they're available from any license-issuing agent.

"Unlike last year's warm early spring weather, which triggered an early start to gobbling, this year's cooler-than-normal March and early April have suppressed gobbling activity," explained Mary Jo Casalena, Pennsylvania Game Commission wild turkey biologist. "The arrival of warmer temperatures will bring more gobbling activity, and just in time for the spring turkey season.

"Our research has shown that, although weather affects gobbling, it does not affect the onset of egg-laying by hen turkeys," Casalena said. "Rather, photoperiod, the amount of daylight, triggers it. And, similar to previous years, the hen turkeys that are equipped with radio transmitters are on course to begin incubating their nests as the spring turkey season opens. We open the spring gobbler season around the peak of nest incubation to minimize hen disturbance and mistaken kills. Nesting hens are less prone to come to a hunter's call and abandon their nests."

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