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Hunters encouraged to reduce surging turkey numbers
From the Denver Post:
Colorado's spring turkey season includes some of the words that hunters enjoy hearing most this year: early and often.
That's the recommendation ranging from the cottonwood creek bottoms holding an abundance of Rio Grande turkeys on up to the ponderosa hillsides favored by the elusive Merriam's species. And the lean high country snowpack of 2012 just might accommodate that early hunt.
"I was down in the Spanish Peaks area near Walsenburg in mid-March, and they were already gobbling. In fact, a local landowner told me they started in February this year," said C.J. Kausel, a 20-year turkey hunter and operator of Hunt Smart Productions guide service (Huntsmartpro.com). "Of course, this is Colorado, where nine times out of 10, it snows on opening weekend."
Sure enough, early bird chasers were met by one of the year's rare snowstorms as the spring turkey hunt opened April 14. But with fair skies in the forecast for the foreseeable future, the mating Merriam'ses that the majority of over-the-counter license holders chase could be slightly more cooperative in coming weeks — albeit in a relative sense.
"It seems like the rituals of spring are beginning a bit early," turkey hunter/Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunter outreach coordinator Jim Bulger stated recently. "But it's always a chess game out there."