Allen Earl | Claiborne Progress

An East Tennessee tom turkey walks the field edge looking for hens.

Tenn. spring turkey season now open

The Tennessee spring turkey season began March 31 and continues through May 13. Bag limits are one bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four per season. Hunters from all over the state and many non-resident hunters took to the fields and woodlands in pursuit of the Eastern wild turkey.

There are many different ways that hunters choose to pursue the bird including the run and gun style and the hunting blind method.

In the run and gun style the hunters will locate the bird on the roost and then pursue it after it pitches down. The idea is to quickly get where the bird wants to go. This method sometimes causes a flock to temporarily leave the area, thus making the hunt tougher for the next few days; however, it sometimes breaks the flock apart and makes it easier to call the turkey back to the hunter.

The hunting blind method is effective as well. Hunters set up a ground blind where turkey activity is being seen and wait for the birds to enter his calling range. This method is a little less invasive as the hunter stays hidden out of sight to the flock.

Why do hunters get up so early in the morning to pursue wild turkey, one might ask? The quick answer is its delicious taste. Few things, when prepared properly, taste as good as the wild turkey.

Many new hunters will spend countless dollars on new calls and such but the best advice to beginners is to learn a couple of calls and pay attention to the turkey movement in your area. A good turkey hunter is a great woodsman. He or she knows the movement of the flock and how to get in front of them no matter the time of day.

Tennessee is a great state to hunt these colorful birds as nearly 35,000 wild turkey were taken last spring by hunters. For more rules and regulations check out www.tn.gov or tnwildlife.com.