Preparing for turkey season in mid-Missouri

Fall turkey hunting season starts October 1.

Fall turkey hunting season starts October 1, and mid-Missouri hunters are making sure they have everything in order.

"The most important thing you need is a firearm, typically you use a 12 gauge shotgun...Besides that you're going to need camouflage gear, blinds, you definitely need some decoys and of course the turkey calls are very important to get the turkeys to you," Deanne Bogg of hunting supply store Jefferson Armory said.

Bogg said spring turkey season is generally more popular than the fall hunting season, and she has not seen many people coming in to buy turkey hunting gear yet.

The Missouri Department of Conservation believes there will be more mature turkeys this year and fewer young ones.

"We had a late spring and we also had quite a bit of heavy rain toward the end of May. And that was a time when a lot of hens would be incubating their eggs in their nests. So when you tend to get wet weather, especially that heavy wet weather, that time of year it can lead to reduced production," resource specialist at the Missouri Department of Conservation Jason Isabelle said.

But Isabelle added that this year's production is about equal to what it was from 2007 to 2010. During 2011 and 2012 there was a large increase in production, which has since dropped.

As with all hunting, it's important to be safe. Because turkey hunters generally wear full camouflage and use calls to attract the birds, Isabelle warns to double check before firing the weapon.

"If you hear what you think to be a turkey calling, just always assume that that could be another hunter. Keep that in the back of your mind until you actually see that bird and confirm that turkey as a legal turkey that you're going to harvest," he said.