Contributors to this thread:
I've read many of the threads on this topic, but now I'm really paying attention! I've filled my IA tags and am still craving more. I bought some bullheads and have shot them enough that after a little adjustment I'm ready to go. I've never hunted Nebraska, but was thinking of hunting the Niobrara River drainage near Spencer. I thought I would stay at the Niobrara state park. I could travel farther west, but 7 hour drive versus 11 hours. I'd like feedback on what I can expect in the Niobrara River area. What is the hunting pressure? Land access? Late season turkey expectations? Thanks for any help. I'm recently retired and have time to work hard at it, but just looking for ideas to avoid pitfalls. Thanks!
Cant help ya, but i wish you luck. Please share the hunt with us when u get back!
YES stick n string will sure try if anything to share. Thanks!
I can’t help you with that location. I am on the opposite end of the state (Sw). I will say that the best time of year to hunt turkeys is the middle of May around here. Hens are headed to nest so the toms are searching mid day. Also to your benefit is the cold spring. I’m guessing statewide harvest is probably down due to the cruddy weather we had the first half of the season so the birds may not be too pressured. There are so many turkeys down here I’m certain there are quite a few on private ground that haven’t heard a call yet.
GREAT AREA! Lots of turkeys! If ya do some door knocking, you'll find LOTS of land to hunt, also lots of state land! The folks in NE are GREAT people! Enjoy!
Thanks lineman, I'm wondering if the turkeys in the area I'm planning to hunt are mostly eastern or if I could get into some merriams or hybrids? Not a big deal, but would be fun to shoot something with the white tipped fan.
Thanks Bobbin Hood! That sounds very good! I appreciate the feedback!
I hunt near Niobrara, all hybrids that I have seen.
I killed two birds with the bow three weeks ago, just east of there on private ground. Lots of birds. Definitely hybrids. Merriam/Rio cross. Locals were telling me that there is some Eastern blood in the mix as well that has come across from Iowa.
The birds that I killed were mature toms, but a lot of Merriam traits. Overall, smaller in body size (I didn't weight them but I would guess 18# range), worn down spurs, long but thin beards. Very similar to Merriams that I have killed other places. But definitely a "mutt" cross bird ... not that that matters to me. Very vocal too. They gobbled their heads off for 30 minutes before committing and coming to the dekes.
Perfect DEC! Just what I'm looking for! I saw your pics on the meatpole! Nice work!
Good luck man. Interested to hear how your hunt goes. That area looks like it screams turkey by looking on Google Earth.
I'm looking forward to it! I'm planning to stay until it's not fun anymore which could mean the end of season. I will let you know how it goes.
Best of luck Trail! Keep us updated, I have less than 2 years until retirement and want to do the public thing up there
Great Jasper! I'm so glad I pulled the trigger on retirement. I worked my butt off for 46 years! Raised 5 kids all doing well. NOW IT'S MY TIME! I hope all goes well for You! I will keep all of you posted on how the hunt works out.
Thanks for weighing in Kadbow. I'm excited about shooting any turkeys. I'm not concerned about pure strains, slams, etc. Just want to hunt what's available. I will keep you posted.
Thanks Mark! This will be my second retirement. First the Air Force and this time from DOD. Maybe we can plan a hunt together sometime. Good luck!
Tomorrow I head to Nebraska! Got it all packed and hope to be set up and scouting tomorrow afternoon! I don't know how to pack any lighter, but if I took any more stuff I'd need to pull a trailer!
Good luck and keep us updated!
Looking forward to the updates on this one! Good luck and shoot straight
Good luck! Looks like you pack like me...........................................take 3x as much stuff as I really need, and don't use half of it! ;-)
Update Nebraska: I didn't find it easy to gain access, lots of leased land and no hunting signs in this part of the state. I did find a small piece of ground the landowner said I could hunt, but doubted he had turkeys on his property. I've been playing cat and mouse with two gobblers for the last two days. To be continued...
Much to my dismay I hit low on a Jake today. Lots of feathers but no meat for the larder. Maybe tomorrow.
Talked to game warden today. He agreed access is a problem due to outfitters leasing all the huntible land. I'm ok with that. I am a capitalist, but I won't ever pay an outfitter to put me on a turkey. Many will.
Hunted there in 2005 with Gobble and Grunt outfitters. Lots of birds on private land. The two I killed were buff in color but my buddy got one with pure white tips.
I hunted this morning with the plan that if the birds got by me today they are safe as far as I'm concerned! They walked by at 30 yds and I couldn't convince any of them to come a little closer. There was interest but they were on a mission. Anyway I've filled my turkey craving for this year. I had opportunity every day, I just couldn't close the deal. I had a great hunt here in Nebraska and will likely be back. Now it's time to head back to IA and get my food plots finished up before heading north to Plum Lake Outfitters! Thanks to all who contributed to this thread. I've learned a lot. Most of all these cornhusker birds aren't any easier than the birds we hunt in IA!