Start Now! If You Are Looking For A New Place

Already looking for Gobblers for 2016! ~postoak~

Many of us hunters find ourselves looking for hunting land or a membership in a new hunting club during the summer months. I have found that the quicker you start the better your chances of finding a good place to lease for the next season or finding a good hunting club.

I am constantly looking for new leases for turkey hunting and they are very scarce. If you find one, it is likely to be priced way too high for anyone except a retired and rich guy! I just don’t have enough time to hunt but, I still pay high prices for leases! I leased three tracts this past year, two in Alabama and one in Tennessee and right now, I hold first option on each of those for 2016. However, I have already advised one lease holder to count me out. I made a mistake when I leased that tract and even though I hunted it 20 years ago and killed a sackful of turkeys from it, when I looked at it last year I suspected the urban sprawl that had splattered all around it had reduced the hunting to minimal. I WAS RIGHT. I saw three gobblers on it late one afternoon during the season so I went back the next morning and did not hear any turkeys but, I did hear all kinds of automotive noise and shouts from the neighborhoods near the tract. I did not waste anymore time on it. I just counted that as money lost!

The place I leased in Macon county was pretty good and I took some nice gobblers off it. The woods are nice and the property is laid out so that it hunts “big”. That is it seems to be larger than the 700 acres it actually is and has good woods on three sides so I was able to call to gobblers on adjoining properties and get them to come see me. However, it is 62 miles from my house and I have a couple of guys poaching it from the southeast corner where another club joins. We had a “impromptu meeting” one morning and they thought the property I leased was not being hunted so they had been inviting themselves on it. Hopefully that will stay on their side of the line next season if I lease it again.

The place I leased in Tennessee was expensive, rugged and small for the price. I did find a good population of Gobblers and brought some down to BAMA. Like the other places, people do not respect borders and I had turkeys ran off from me twice by other people coming on the property who should not have been there. Some walked right by my truck and came on in for a horse ride! Unreal how people don’t respect anyone else. That plus it is 310 miles one way and I have to stay at a hotel so the cost of hunting just keeps rising! Not to mention that I only got to make 3 trips up there the whole season due to other obligations and bad weather.

I guess I am just wishing for the old days when I had free places to hunt, close to home and they all had turkeys on them! Well, I am starting today looking for turkey leases for 2016. I got plenty of deer hunting places, just tough to find that good spring lease.

I am ready to get after some fishing, some hog hunts and shooting those dang Coyotes! I killed several in turkey season and would like to shoot a few thousand more!

If you have a place you want to lease me for turkey rights next spring, just email me!

Hope you enjoy the outdoors this week!



Spring Turkey Season, What I Learned, Re-learned

Another Turkey Season Gone! Next Year I will start my 55th Turkey Season!

IF your turkey season was good, bad or mediocre, there is some benefit in everyone of them that I am blessed to participate in by the grace of God. I can only hope that you have endeavored to learn from every season and build on that knowledge so that when you are as old as me and can still enjoy a spring morning to the extent that you forget every care, every concern and even most of your aches and pains during those few hours when the turkey woods world is magic!

Those mornings when the gobblers and hens are caught up in the fire of procreation and propagation of their species! The gobbles and hens are vocal and visible! Running through the woods like they have lost their minds! Not like most of the rest of the year when they use their survival stealth skills to disappear into the woods, leaving only scratch marks in the leaves and a few tracks to prove they are still on the property!

Those mornings when trees and and all manner of flora send forth a plethora of plant life that boggles the mind when you consider the weight of just the mass of greenery! I particularly love taking notice of how spring literally travels north and you can chase it down by driving just a couple of hundred miles north into the Tennessee hills. When I traveled up to east central Tennessee for the few hunts I got to take up there, the drive, although long, was exhilarating! Especially when I got north of Dunlap and drove up over the crest of the Appalachians. The first trip up, the trees were still as bare as they are here in January when you got up to the highest passages winding between Dunlap and Sparta. On the next trip, after our foliage was in full deep summer green, the hilltop foliage there was just getting that chartreuse green color in the buds and on my final trip, they were a full spring green glorious that makes you think you have somehow backed time up a few weeks. And in terms of turkey hunting activity it has!

This past season, I spent more on leases, licenses, gas, and other travel expenses than I had planned. However, the real thing that I can never spend enough of is TIME! I have too much work to do, meetings to attend and problems to solve to get to hunt enough.

Lord willing and his grace keeps coming, I will be able to retire in a few more years and then IF my body can hold up, I will spend the weeks in the woods I have always wanted.

Hope your Season was good, Hope you bagged a few good Gobblers and I hope you learned some more skills or at least re-learned some that you needed…

~POSTOAK~  season over and out..

2015 Spring Turkey Season was Bad for Many Hunters


This old Tennessee Tom tried to tell me he did not want to go to Bama But, it was too late!












This spring will not go down in the record books as one of the best for me and I can tell you that many of the avid turkey hunters I talk to regularly have said the same thing. Guys who consistently take a limit of gobblers were telling me about the one or two they got and the many mornings they heard little to no gobbling activity!

Why? well there are as many theories on poor hunting seasons as there are on global warming and they all make valid points but, this past winter sure was cold too! I don’t believe too much about most subjects unless there is a mountain of imperical data to back it up. Even then, I keep my “skeptics eye” on who is providing data and who is funding the “research”.

Is it the coyotes that have killed off all the turkeys? No, although I know they are having a impact on our turkey population as well as deer and I shoot every confounded one I get a chance to knock out. This past weekend in Tennessee as I hunted late in the day, I did several loud hen yelps and a cackle in hopes of locating a gobbler for the next morning when I was getting ready to head back to my truck. I caught some movement to my left and turned to see two coyotes running at full bore straight to me! I swung on the closest one and he saw my movement but, it was too late for him! My number 5 turkey loads slapped him and he was rolled over by it! He came up howling and snapped at his side before making a hasty retreat. I am sure he bled out and will not be chasing any more hens!

I have shot coyotes on both trips to Tennessee this spring and more keep “popping up” Every year I say that I am going to do more predator hunting during the summer but, I don’t do much. Just too much fishing, yard work, beach tripping and life gets in the way! Then fall football season takes me away for several weekends and then it is another hunting season rolling in!

I spent much of this spring season trying to get my granddaughter connected with a big gobbler and we got close a few mornings but did not make thekill this time. Hopefully next year she will get her second gobbler. She killed a real nice one last year and has been hooked on it since then! I am happy to have her as a hunting partner.

I hope your spring was better than mine and I hope you all will try some turkey hunting in other states such as Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and others in the Mid West. They have some great hunting and it will give you a chance to stretch out your season!

I am soon to be heading back to Tennessee to see if I can’t fill the rest of my tags with some of those big Rocky Top Toms! Last week, I had one coming in and he was walking to me across a pasture at about 70 yards when he suddenly turned and ran! I had spent almost five hours calling and coaxing him to come to me! He had been standing on the opposite hill with about 10 hens at flydown. Slowly the hens left him and he turned his attention to me and started my way about 10:30. I had tripped my safety off and had him in my sights when he panicked and ran off!

Then I looked up the hill behind me and saw what spooked him, two guys on horses that were trail riding. They realized what they had done, rode over and apologized, so not much I could say. I only spent a couple of thousand bucks to get a shot at that gobbler! No big deal, right?!?



Spring Turkey Season, Over Too Soon!

They Did better than me!

The spring season ends today and for most of us, it was way too soon! I just can’t seem to find enough time anymore to hunt as much as I used to and when I do get to go the rain seems to follow!

Last weekend, I sat in the truck and dozed through the early morning as a thunderstorm blasted by, when it finally rolled past, I spent over four hours trying to find a gobbler that might be interested in finding a sweet voiced hen. When I finally slipped up on one feeding in a green field near the back of my lease I thought I was going to have a “game-on” moment and that he would come to my calls. Not so fast, my friend! I started with a few clucks and when he raised his head from feeding and looked my way, I thought he was in the bag. Then, he started back feeding!  I sat there and purred, clucked and did light yelps for close to an hour and he just kept feeding! Not interested too much, so I got more aggressive with my yelps did a few cackles and even some fighting purrs!

The best response I got from him was that he puffed up a few times and even strutted a few steps my way. But, clearly he was not interested in any transfer of his genes. after pleading to him for almost two hours, he walked out of the field and was gone!

About like this season, gone too soon! Many hunters I have spoken with told me the season was as poor as they could remember and several even said they got “skunked” and did not take a gobbler this spring. I guess I am lucky, I got a few, but I missed the best one I saw on the first weekend through a lack of practice with my gun and old eyes. I corrected that by adding a red dot style sighting scope and taking some time to practice and pattern the gun. I just should have done that before missing the big Tom on the opening morning!

Good thing is, I also hunt Tennessee and Kentucky and their seasons are still going on! So I am headed north to chase those hill top toms!


Wet Weather has Dampened Gobbler Activities..

Postak and a nice Bama Tom

 Wet weather has certainly put a clamp on the gobblers on my lease and some seem to have just melted away! I understand them not gobbling due to the rain and cooler temperatures but, I can’t even find any fresh tracks in the roads! At the start of season There was plenty of tracks and even a few strut marks on several of the bare spots on the powerline right of ways. Now, just a track here and there but, very spotty!

I know the turkeys were plentiful on the lease and I have only taken a couple off it so not sure if they have been moved by some adjoining track where they could be getting fed or what the problem is but, with turkey season winding down, it is looking like I might not take anymore toms from this property.

Well, you never know how a place will turn out when you pay the lease and this year was no different! I have taken two decent gobblers off it and had some close encounters with a couple more gobblers. One that I just plain missed on opening weekend and have not seen him again. He was a magnum tom and I am still sick over missing him. However, that led me to add an aim-point sight and it has proven to be a great addition to my gun. I have found it very easy to use and can get on target quicker! IT has proven deadly to several Alabama and Tennessee toms so far and I plan to add to the body count next week as I go back to rocky top to finish up on a limit of Tennessee toms and also get up to Kentucky for one or two of those big blue grass gobblers!


This part of the Alabama Spring season, the wind -down to conclusion does appear to be fairly routine. I am finding hens coming to my calls in hope of finding a flock mate or finding a gobbler who is just tired of gobbling but, not too tired to breed. Hens still on the prowl this late in season have often lost a nest they started earlier to a predator and are trying to get a second chance to raise a brood of poults before they lose out on a summer of being momma to a dozen or so young turkeys.

Yesterday, I called in two different hens and both were very talkative, much more so than at any point in this season. I also called in a big jake gobbler who walked all around the tree I was hid up against and he was putting, purring, cutting and cackling as he looked for the hen he knew he heard at that tree! Turkeys always amaze me at the keen ability they possess to know exactly where you are hid at. All three of the turkeys that came looking for me walked right to me and got within five to six feet as they purred and clucked looking for me. I was very glad to not have a decoy set out since they got so close. I have ran off as many turkeys with a decoy as I have seen a decoy bring in. Late in the year I prefer to hunt covering more ground and going to a gobbler like I did in the younger days when I followed the rules of “old School”. I still prefer to go after them that way!

Season is about gone! Go out and hunt some soon!


Rocky Top Toms Were Easy!

This big 24 pound Tennessee Tom put on a picture perfect show before he had to go! ~postoak~

Recently I hunted a tract in East Tennessee that I leased for turkey hunting this year and I left plenty impressed! The place was / is loaded with turkey! On the first morning of my hunt I got rained out until about 10:00 a.m. Finally the rain subsided and by the time I drove out to the property from the hotel I was staying at, the sun was actually peeking through the clouds!

I slowly drove onto the property and just past the owners home the road overlooks a deep mountain hollow that has two large hay fields in the bottom. IT is a very pretty scene with steep, hardwood covered hills surrounding the fields that were split by a small stream. The closest field had a large Walnut tree in the middle and the far field had 9 gobblers! All fan out, all full fans, indicating no jakes!

I got excited but the thought of traversing the steep and deep hill gave me a pause. I decided I would first go to the big “Top field” that was on the same level as me to check for gobblers there in hope of avoiding the “hike down the hollow.” However when I crept up to it all I saw was three hens about 200 yards away. I watched them for almost 15 minutes then decided the “trek to the bottom was on”. I slipped down the small road that led to the bottom and once at the edge but, still over 400 yards from the strutters, I crept into the woods and slowly closed to within 200 yards of the back field where the gobblers and several hens were feeding.

I decided to forgo using the decoys I had and instead I just found a good hiding place in hopes of making one or more of the Toms come look for the “hiding Hen”. I started with a few small clucks and a couple of light yelps, no response. I increased the volume of my yelps, no response. Finally, I made a couple of loud cutts and cackles and a hen started to yelp back at me! I had a yelping dialogue with her for about 15 to 20 minutes and then I heard a gobble off to my left! I looked across the front field and there was two gobblers in it walking my way! One was strutting and the other was just walking along behind the dominant Tom.

They closed to within 70 yards and stopped, both then strutted and twirled in the breezey Tennessee wind! They were gorgeous! Then they walked back about 30 yards and went back to pecking around at the grass. I sat and watched, feeling like if I did not rush things they would have to come see me after a while. So I just sat and did some light yelping to match the other hens who were now answering my yelps from several locations behind me and off to my right.

After about 30 more minutes, my patience looked like it was going to pay off! The strutter decided to gobble at me several times, almost like he was frustrated that I had not came on out to him and he was gobbling, spitting, drumming and coming my way! It was the type of situation you thank God you get to experience if you are a turkey hunter!

At 25 to 30 steps I putted to “stop and pop” the strutter. It worked like you alway hope for and he stuck his head up like a pose for the camera! He Gobbled and put it back up and I had the red-dot site lined up on his cheek! He dropped like a rock and the other Tom stood there for several seconds looking confused and then trotted off up the hill sounding alarm putts as he left the scene.. I checked the time, it was a little after 12 noon!

Tennessee Toms were easy on this day! I plan to go back soon and look for one of the other eight!


Turkey Hunting Peaking at the Right Time!

This past weekend the gobbling activity where I was hunting in Macon county was about as good as you could ask for! On Friday I took my granddaughter out to try and find her a good gobbling Tom and we found FIVE!

I set us up on a ridge at the edge of a power line and used a hen & jake decoy spread in hopes of catching a gobbler’s attention so he would not be looking so closly for the hen. I hoped this would give her enough of an advantage to allow her to move just a little bit without him busting her position. As we made our way to the ridge top, we heard several gobblers calling as the day broke on a fine  spring morn. The sun cloud mix was nice, the temperature just a little cool and the wind was light. Crows screamed out their zeal with the morning conditions and that made the gobblers go wild!

When we got to  the spot that gave us a good view of a greenfield at the bottom of the ridge and intersected a small wood road that was criss crossed with tracks and strut marks, I picked out a good ambush spot and told her to sit there. She decided that was not a good spot and was too far back for her to me able to shoot or even see a turkey. I told her that she wold have plenmty of room but, after she sat down, she started to protest again about not being in a good spot to take a shot from. I told her fine, move wherever you want to but, if you don’t get hid well the gobbler will spot you and not come on in to the decoys.

She is a 14 year old teenager, so it was an exercise in futility! She sat down and hissed at me about her twisted head net and the ear muffs not sitting right and the seat was too hard and how the ground made her bottom hurt! I told her she was much less a complainer when she was younger. That seemed to calm her down and on my next series of calls several gobblers called back so she got excited and got seriously still!  At the next gobble, I answered the Tom and he cut my call and then double gobbled back from just under the hill! I can catch glimpses of his movement coming in behind us and I whispered for her to be still! The gobbler crested the hill and started to drum as he was a mere 25 steps behind her coming down the wood road!

Then she decided to wiggle! The gobbler stopped druming and turned. He walked quickly back the way he came! I tried to call him back but, he left and went back under the hill. Three other gobblers were still pretty active so I cut and yelped toward them and all three answered! The one under the hill stayed silent so I decided to reduce my yelping and give some reset time to the close gobbler and just did some clucks and purrs for close to an hour.

Then I hit him with a cackle and he gobbled from right where I knew he still was! Under the hill at the edge of the green field! He started to warm to my calls again and was closing the distance to us! I told Anna Faye to be ready, have her gun up and DON”T MOVE! However, you guessed it, he was looking even more closely on this second trip in to us and when she turned her head as she caught sight of him, he saw her! This time he putted an alarm and trotted away so I knew he was done for this day!

We moved to another location and although we had gobblers answer us none came in like that first gobbler of the day. That is the way it goes in the turkey woods! They can be tough to fool long enough for a good shot!

Saturday morning, she could not go due to Easter activities so I had to tough it out alone! The morning was cold, cloudy, VERY windy and the gobbling was non existent. I decided I would hunt until noon and at about 10:30 the sun came out and the wind subsided a little. I sat on a powerline ridge off to the right in a good low spot in the woods and used my Woodhaven to finally get a good gobbling two year old Tom with two hens to come check me out.  He put on a great show of strutting, drumming, and gobbling that I enjoyed. I finally decided to take him home and dropped him at 25 steps just before 11:30.  A pretty good weekend of gobbling! For sure!

Postoak with a 2015 Tom. It was a good Easter Weekend!


Hope they gobble good for you and you get one to ride home with you!


Gobblers are Calling Hens are Going!

2015 Toms - I want to meet these in person! ~postoak~

The spring turkey woods are full of activity, Just not getting the results I would like! This season I have called in three different big gobblers. Missed one and could not get a decent shot on the other two so I had to let them walk.

This past Saturday morning I had an encounter with an old boss tom and he busted me before I could bust him. I had just called in a big “gang” of jakes with at least 12 to 14 in the group. They were walking all around my “set-up”, purring and clucking, looking for the hen and I was clucking and purring back to them as I tried to see if any of them was a long beard running with the jakes.

All of a sudden, up the hill to my left, the big gobbler that had been answering my earlier calls, crested the hill in a full strut and took a condescending stare down towards the jakes and me. He started walking down the hill and was drumming loudly! As he got about 70 yards from me, He broke into a menacing, head down rush toward my hen decoy and the several jakes that were admiring it. He ran down there and just a quickly as he got to the hen, he realized “this ain’t right” and he spun around and ran at a speed that was astonishing, punctuated by several loud alarm putts as he high -tailed it out of sight!

Bewildered, I just sat there, surrounded by jakes and wondering how he busted me so fast! Apparently, he was more educated about decoys than his “junior brethren” who still thought the hen was mighty pretty! That is the way turkey hunting is sometime!

I somehow managed to twist my left ankle and that created a lot of leg swelling and pain so my mobility was curtailed much worse than I have had in a long time. I have had to ride my four wheeler onto the property more than I would like to and I know that is detrimental to taking and older tom who likes to roost right at the front of the property. I have nicknamed him “Gatekeeper” and have found him roosted in the same vicinity for 3 mornings in a row.

Next trip, if my leg has heeled, I plan to walk all the way in instead of using the four wheeler. I want to set up on the gatekeeper about 30 minutes before daylight and see if I can’t bust his gate down! I will let you know how it goes in my next edition of :GOBBLES AND GRUNTS WITH POSTOAK!

Good hunting to you!



Early Season Tactics for Turkey

Trophy Toms are what make Turkey hunting such a Challenge! ~postoak~

The spring turkey hunting season has gotten well under way and I am getting reports of some nice gobblers being taken. The early season is my favorite part of the spring turkey hunting time and often the gobblers will come running to your calls. However, be certain that you want to pull the trigger, cause it ain’t catch and release! I have had several season where both the gobblers and me were over-anxious and it reculted in me limiting out a couple of times in March. I like to pace myself and make sure the gobblers I do shoot have been listened to and looked at enough to have a good chance at being one I want to put on my wall instead of just in my oven.

Some guidelines for choosing older and often trophy “toms”. Early in the season they will often be the ones that gobble the most but, will not come to your calls. IF you get them within sight, they will often be flanked by an entourage of hens and even one or two subordinate gobblers.

The subordinates may not gobble at all but, their heads will be either white, or glowing red if they are not allowed to gobble. The Boss tom will also have the red head but, may show more blue in his waddles and sport a white cap of fat across the top of his head. He will often have his “snood” hanging out, which is a turn-on for the hens. He will be the one strutting and doing most all the gobbling. The other toms and hens stay out of his way as he struts and drums,(pffffiiiittt drummmmm sound) dragging his wing tips in the dirt.

If you do get his attention and can call him in for a shot, go for the strutter! He is the boss tom that probably has the sharpest spurs and definitely has the baddest attitude! He is the one you want!

I have had many cases in past seasons where the Boss gobbler controlled a section of woods and ran all the other gobblers out of “his woods”. With the advent of gobbler decoys, you can set one up and he will often charge in to challenge the intruder and be so enraged that he throws his wariness and good judgement to the wind. This has cost many an old gobbler his life.

If he won’t come to you and he will not be fooled by decoys of gobblers, hens or jakes then the next tactic is to wait him out! This is the least fun to most of us hunters but the reward can be high! A couple of my best gobblers were the “waited out kind” and did not come in gobbling at daybreak or early morning. I killed one of them after 1 p.m. after a 7 hour hunt where he answered me several hundred times but, did not come in until after all his hens had left him to go lay their egg or work on their nest.

The other old tom had several sub-toms and he seemed to have more fun head pecking and beating up the other toms. After a morning of hunting him and having him gobble a few hundred times from the safety of a pasture where he was chasing other toms out of his domain, I left him and took a lunch break until after 5p.m. that evening. I slipped back to his location and found him just where I left him that morning and he was still fighting and chasing the subordinates around in the pasture!

When he ran across it to chase another tom the other direction, I slipped in close and hid at the base of a large privet hedge. A bush I had watched him pass several times earlier that day, knowing that it was in his “strut zone” and was a place he felt safe, I settled in and got ready to take a shot so I would not have to move if he came to my call. The sun was bright and to my back, placing me in good shade but, the bush had no cover in front of me except a few blades of sage straw.

At the first yelp I made, He stopped and looked back at me across 200 yards of open pasture. On my next yelp and cutt, He took off running straight at me! At 15 steps, he slid to a stop throwing up dust like the Road Runner on cartoons and broke into a strut as he turned to his right  and “side saddled” in closer! I got my aim right and rolled him!  Thank God I did not see his near 2 inch spurs or turkey fever might have prevailed!

Hope you call up a Big Tom and whack him in the jaw!

Postoak out! (in the spring woods)


Slow Start But, Gobblers are Gobbling!

Its all smiles when you get to tote one out! ~postoak~

My season is off to a slow start but, the gobblers have been answering my calls really well, just not coming in. The first morning of the season I hunted in Macon County and enjoyed the vocals of six different gobblers. I struck out to what I thought was the closet one and in just a little bit had him coming to my calls “like on a string”. He covered to hills and hollows and was closing fast! Then he just hushed! I was not sure if he spotted me or a hen got betwen us and cooled him off. I sat for another 45 minutes after his last gobble and saw movement coming! I got my shotgun to my shoulder and was almost ready to push the safety off! Then I saw antlers and about a dozen deer came trotting over the hill and down to my left. I was fortunate to have the wind in my favor since I sure did not want to spook them and run the gobbler off. However, they got down in the small ravine off to my left and started feeding and did not continue away from me.

After another half hour, I heard the gobbler sound off but he had moved over the hill and was about 500 yards off. I decided spooking the deer would be ok so I got up and they just looked at me like, “we know its not deer season” they did pick up and walk off on down in the bottom so I trekked on up the small trail, slipping over the hill top and when I got to the top of the hill I decided to “check him” with a soft set of clucks. Gawwwwbbbbllee!! He nearly blew my cap off it seemed! I could not believe I could not see him since he sounded like he was within 10 feet!  I immediately squatted and crawled over to a small tree behind the cover of a bush. I just knew he must have seen or heard me enough to spook him off, and I did apparently.

I sat there for about an hour and replayed my approach and mistakes. We all make them and I know I should have just “waited it out” where I was before the deer came across me. Mistakes will cost you a turkey and if you don’t think you will make some, Then you are a better turkey hunter than me!  I have been hunting them for over half a century now! Man talk about feeling old! But, I still lose some of my turkey matches every year and this one has started as no exception!

I walked back to the power line where I had parked my four wheeler and glassed down it. A big gobbler was strutting about 600 yards over so I slipped down the side of the line to about 300 yards and slid down into a good spot to call. My first yelp he answered and immediately started walking to me! He got close to killing range and walked behind some privet hedges on the same side as I was set up. I was ready to make a 25 yard shot on him soon as he cleared the last hedge but, He stopped just before the end of the hedge row and walked the other direction! I clucked and he stopped, strutted and gobbled! But, he kept walking back to where I had spotted him and that ended my hunt!

I will get him next time, If I can find some time to hunt! Turkey season is just getting started and so am I !!!!