A sure sign of spring is the beehive buzzing a little more vigorously in my backyard apiary. The accelerated activity indicates a change in hive temperature. To be more precise, the hive is raising its temperature as the calendar moves to March, from around 85 to 95 degrees. This added heat is necessary for the queen to start laying eggs. 21 days after she lays, the next generation of honey makers & pumpkin pollinators will emerge, possibly on Montana’s opening day of spring turkey season, April 8th.
Similar to my bees, turkeys in Montana are also starting to get a little more active. Longer days and temperatures finally above freezing have begun the frenzy of flaunting feathers and drumming of the earth. The gravel ridges and wheat fields rising above the Yellowstone River Valley in Eastern Montana, once ruled by wild sheep and grizzly bears, are now kept company by these wild birds.
Montana is home to mostly the Merriam’s subspecies, and from my experience, some of the prettiest examples of the white-tipped fans a hunter can pursue. If a run & gun, western style turkey hunt is on your bucket list then you may want to check out Montana. With plenty of public land, over the counter tags and a lengthy season, Montana is the place to be this spring.
Special turkey permit applications were due March 2nd. If you missed the application deadline don’t worry, there are over the counter options available. Check out fwp.mt.gov for planning your Montana hunt or buying your license.
If you have questions about chasing the spring stRUT in Montana, drop a comment below and I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction.