Late-season toms can make exciting quarry
PRATT -- It's late May, and many outdoorsmen and women have given up on turkey hunting in favor of fishing or other pursuits. But if you haven't filled your turkey permit, don't give up. All late-season toms belong to the lonely-hearts club because most hens have been bred, making mates harder to find. With just over a week to go in the 2009 season, now may be the time to bag that big tom. He can be just as vulnerable to a well-placed hen decoy and call as he might have been when the breeding season began.

While it's true that late-season gobblers can be wary from having been hunted, in isolated areas, toms may have been bothered little. Those that have been hunted may still respond to the hunter who is quiet and patient. Moving little and calling with caution are the keys. Low clucks sparingly used may be the most effective in late season.

Hunters who haven't bagged a turkey this spring, or those who still have a tag to fill, shouldn't give up. The crappie will still be there once that bird is in the bag.

The 2009 spring turkey season runs through May 31. Turkey permits allow hunters to use either a shotgun or a bow. Online license and permit sales are available at the KDWP website,, under "License/Permits" at the top of the home page. Permits may also be purchased over the counter, and second turkey game tags are available in units 2 and 3.