May hot month for fowl

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Local anglers can also expect big things after a slow ice fishing season

With an early thaw bringing open water and open fields, May sportsmen turn their attention to chasing gobblers and trout in local woods and waters.

This past winter, spotty ice conditions turned folks away from local ponds and lakes, so the trout population is bound to be up.

Similarly, with minimal snow and an extremely mild winter, our burgeoning local wild turkey flocks have fared well, to the delight of hunters in this region.

This season, any hunter who desires to hunt the wild turkey can do so by purchasing a permit. The population of birds has increased so dramatically, that the permit system has been eliminated. Chad Syphers of Lewiston, an avid turkey hunter, has been spotting huge flocks of birds in and around the Auburn area since early April. Apparently the light blanket of snow that left the fields early this year, has drawn birds out during sunny days to probe for new growth. Syphers took 13-year-old Michael Lucas of Auburn out during April’s Youth Hunt day, and they spotted several gobblers, including a “humongous tom,” as Chad described it.

While Michael got a shot at the big bird, all he did was ruffle his feathers, and the gobbler flew off. No doubt Syphers and Michael will be back after this bird, although they may find he has grown wary of hunters wearing camouflage clothing.

Perhaps the best place to scout out a gobbler would be around a dairy operation, where farmers spread manure over their fields.

The undigested corn from the farm waste draws turkeys in like a magnet.

Green fields are another top spot for gobblers, who ravage new growth and also hunt for insects on hayfields.

The rolling farmland of Turner, South Auburn, Leeds and Greene holds birds galore for hunters with patience and permission to hunt.

This year, the turkey season runs from May 1 through June 3. Hunters having even birth years are assigned to season A, which includes the following days: May 1-6, May 22-27 and May 29 through June 3. Season B hunters (with odd birth years) can hunt on May 8- 13, May 15-20 and May 29 through June 3.

Hunters must purchase the $20 permit and may hunt from one-half hour before sunset until noon.

Heavy stocking activity coupled with an obvious reduction in winter angling pressure should spell optimum conditions for trout anglers on lakes and ponds this month. Several local waters saw extensive stocking this past fall for brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout thatshould still be present for the open water crowd.

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