Let's face it, turkey season can't get here soon enough. The groundhog just popped out of his hole and has told us spring will come early. It's too bad for us that he doesn't decide when turkey hunting season starts, because who out there isn't ready to take a seat in the woods and listen for gobbles from the closest treeline, then match wits with the big boys and see if we have what it takes to fool them into shotgun range?
Turkey season for South Carolina gets the early jump on the Tarheel State. On private land, March 20 is the start of turkey hunting in the Palmetto State, which is earlier than it has been in years past. The season ends May 5, making it the longest turkey hunting season South Carolina has had in quite some time.
North Carolina's public turkey hunting season runs Apr 9 through May 7.
Bishopville's Kyle McCutchen is excited about the early start and the extended season, and said especially with an early spring in the forecast, it will be good to get in the woods early.
"Turkey season is pretty well planned by the DNR to take place at the peak of the mating season, but some years, that starts a little earlier than others. Getting the early start can only help in those cases," he said.
McCutchen enjoys calling turkeys in for others more than any other aspect of the sport. He has called in turkeys for many family members and friends, and he is the one doing the calling in the included video, which still ranks as the top turkey hunt I've ever been on, and I was only shooting with a camera.
Even with the season still over a month away, it's never too early to start scouting. McCutchen does his share of it by simply keeping a close eye on the areas he intends to hunt. He said the birds will change their daily routines between now and then, based in large part on the agricultural fields, but he said it doesn't hurt to observe them now.
"It's always good to find where turkeys are roosting. Even though their travel routes may change drastically between now and then, they are roosting where they are now for a good reason, and whatever they find attractive about that is going to stay attractive to them, no matter how much their daily travel habits change," he said.