Iowa hunters have reported harvesting nearly 8,600 turkeys so far this spring, making the 2020 season one of the more successful seasons to date, with the fourth – and longest – season still to come.
Iowa’s fourth and final spring turkey season is April 29 to May 17.
Turkey virus study seeking additional samples
Hunters who bag a turkey this spring are encouraged to keep one of the lower legs to be tested for the presence of Lymphoproliferative Disease (LPDV).
“Our goal is to collect 500 samples from across the state, with each county represented,” said Jim Coffey, forest wildlife research biologist for the Iowa DNR. “All samples are appreciated and will only give us better information on the presence and distribution of this disease.” Hunters have requested around 200 postage paid virus sample packets.
To provide a sample, after hunters’ tag and report their bird, they can cut the leg off at the joint where the feathers end and the leg becomes scaly, wrap the leg in a paper towel, put it in a zip top bag and place it in the freezer. They can then go online to https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Turkey-Hunting and click on the Wild Turkey Sample Submission Form on the right side of the page. They will receive a postage paid envelope, instruction sheet with short questionnaire, and an additional zip top bag.
Hunters are encouraged to send one whole lower leg, however if they would like to keep the spur it can be removed and the scaled portion above the spur can be submitted.
Mushroom hunters entering the timber
Iowa’s fourth spring turkey season coincides with morel mushroom season, putting two popular springtime activities in the timber at the same time.
Mushroom hunters should avoid wearing colors associated with male turkeys – red, white and blue – and are encouraged to wear some blaze orange clothing. If mushroom hunters encounter a turkey hunter, they should quietly back away to minimize impacting the hunt.