Itís been a long, frustrating April for many folks. We didnít get the same level of severe weather that devastated the Souteast and mid Atlantic, but seemingly daily rains, cool temps and then flooding destroyed our hopes for a ďnormalĒ spring season. Now it appears those conditions have extended into the month of May, much to many outdoors peopleís frustration.
Itís not as though we havenít seen lousy springtime weather before. In fact, we had a similar situation three years ago, but this yearís version seems worse because itís been so consistent. Whether itís turkey hunting, fishing, gardening, or general outdoor tasks, conditions have been unfavorable to do them effectively. Now, just trying to keep our lawns mowed has become a challenge.
In reality thereís not much we can do to improve conditions, so the alternative is pretty simple Ė wait for the northern jet stream to move farther north and in a more normal pattern. However, if those previous springs that were basically washouts are any indication, we may jump ahead rather suddenly into summer-like conditions. As I and others have noticed in recent years, we often donít have traditional spring and autumn weather seasons now, but rather summer and winter seasons, with little transition periods in between.
The worse thing about not having a normal spring season is it impacts so many activities. The below normal temps and above normal precip delay hen turkeys from nesting and also slows turkey mating activities. If it continues too long, it can also decimate the yearís poult production and survival, meaning fewer turkeys for not just this year but next year as well.