Spring turkey youth shotgun season opens April 8 and Hunter Nikolai, Nebraska hunter education coordinator with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, reminds hunters to always practice the four basic rules of firearm safety.
Nebraska’s spring turkey archery season opened March 25, and the spring shotgun season opens April 15. All spring turkey seasons close at sunset on May 31.
“Turkey hunting brings excitement and anticipation for many, but never let your emotions get in the way of a safe hunt this spring,” Nikolai said.
The four basic rules of firearm safety are:
Treat every firearm as if it is loaded;
Always point the muzzle of your firearm in a safe direction;
Be sure of your target, what is in front of it, and what is beyond it; and
Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until you are ready fire.
Spring turkey hunters should also practice these safety tips:
“Stalking” or “reaping” turkeys with a tail fan or strutting decoy is a popular hunting technique. Never shoot at movement, always positively identify your target, and check your surroundings for other hunters before picking up or moving your decoys.
If you encounter another turkey hunter, remain still and speak in a loud clear voice to announce your presence. Never make movements to signify your presence.
When hunting turkeys in the timber, sit against a tree or stump wider than your shoulders and taller than your head.
Do not wear white, blue or red while turkey hunting, as these colors are displayed by male turkeys in the spring.
Carry decoys and any harvested birds in a bag when moving or packing in or out of your hunting spot. Wear a blaze orange cap and vest when you’re on the move to increase your visibility to other hunters.
Check yourself for ticks after a hunt, especially along waistbands and in hair. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and other hunting gear to help reduce tick exposure.
“Hunting is one of the safest outdoor recreational activities, thanks in large part to the many volunteer hunter and bowhunter education instructors across Nebraska’s communities,” Nikolai said. “Be sure you’re reviewing these basic safety practices with your friends and family before you hit the field this spring.”
Several changes are in place for the turkey season. Read about them on page 5 in the Turkey Guide at digital.outdoornebraska.gov/i/1489064-turkey-guide-2023-web/0.