Time To Lease for This Upcoming Season !

 

Big Coosa Catfish! They are bitin at night! ~postoak~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Year, many hunters are looking for a new lease or a new club for a variety of reasons. Poor hunting on last year’s lease, good hunting caused the lease holder to go up so high you gave up last year’s lease. Property had all timber cut and is now just a big dirt pile, Disagreement of some type, financial change of fortune, change of health, change of job, change of location! You get the theme here, Change! and it is only good when it is your choice but, often it is not.. Maybe you just want to find a new hunting club, I have been in some good ones and many more not so good ones. Usually a bossy club president or a small “click” of club members run everything and are often just looking for PAYING members, not hunting members. I have found many of those through the years as well. I guess that is the main reason I prefer to lease a piece of property instead of joining a club. I never “say never” to a good club, they are just hard to find.

However, my searches have led me to find some good resources and I don’t mind sharing. So below is some good links to find you a property or a club for the upcoming hunting season. I will list several this week and some more next week. Hope you find some land or a club to enjoy!

Aldeer .com is a good place to visit for all things hunting including lease info and clubs looking for members.http://www.aldeer.com/forum/

AFOA, Alabama Forestry Owner’s Association has a list of available hunting leases as well as list of clubs seeking members http://www.afoa.org/hunt.htm

Plum Creek is a land managment company that  has just released a list of properties open for hunting lease this coming season. These normally get leased pretty quickly so act now!  http://www.plumcreek.com/recreation/lease-land

Westervelt Land Management is a company that manages all the land that was once a part of the Gulf States Paper company in west Alabama Some great hunting in the black belt is offered as well as a list of clubs seeking members for this coming season. I have hunted many of their tracts through the last 55 years and they have some great places! http://www.westerveltwildlife.com/hunting-leases/lease-services.cfm

Check these sites and I bet you can find some interesting hunting leases and hunting clubs! The time to find a good hunting place is now!

I will list some more next week! If you have land to lease or hunting memberships available, you can email them to me @ my email address below and I will post them in an upcoming blog!

postoakman@gmail.com

Good luck!

~postoak~

 

This Saturday! Elmore County NWTF Jakes Day!

During the summer when hunting seasons are all gone until the fall there are still outdoor events to help us hunting and outdoor addicts get through until those fall breezes blow again!

One such event is the Annual Elmore County National Wild Turkey Federation’s J.A.K.E.S. event. The “Jakes” acronym stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Skills. And our NWTF Chapter in Elmore county has one of the largest Jakes Day events in Alabama at Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka this Saturday morning! We are expecting approximately 250 young folks who want to enjoy a great day outdoors and take part in participating in outdoors skills such as bow hunting, BB gun target shooting, Muzzle Loader Demonstrations, Tomahawk throwing,Shotgun shooting, Indian crafts, outdoor skills, turkey calling and learning about turkey hunting, deer hunting and more!

They will see presentations from the Wetumpka Fire Department, see the Haynes Helicopter, primitive bowl making, outdoor cooking with Dutch ovens on charcoal. There will be over 25 different booths and exhibits to help our children and youths in the area learn to value the outdoors, hunting fishing and the outdoor recreation so they will appreciate and help to preserve the outdoor habitats in Alabama’s future. Kids will receive free T-shirts and a lunch of grilled burgers and other treats.

Registration begins at 7:30 at the Fort and the event will conclude around noon. I will be there calling turkeys! I handle the turkey calling and turkey hunting basics for kids and have a large collection of wild turkey feathers to hand out to the Jakes.

For more info see our Facebook page!

Take some coyotes down before they take your deer down! ~postoak~

I recently read about how Coyotes are really taking a bite out of the deer population around the state so I urge any of you hunters to get out and try your skill at calling up coyotes during this critical part of the early summer when so many small fawns are being gobbled up by the coyotes. Calling coyotes is really fairly easy and it sure is fun! I killed several already this year that came to my turkey calls looking for a hen dinner. They found out too late this hen had a bite all her own! Just about daylight in the morning until mid -morning is productive and late afternoon until last light is very good for fooling a coyote and taking him out of the food chain before he takes some of your future trophy bucks out of your food chain! Hunting them with a shotgun is really fun! I like to get them close as possible and then spring those # 4 shots on them. I follow that with a slug if necessary since it will reach out there up to a hundred yards if they running away. Still a lot of fun is long range shooting coyotes with rifles. An AK-47 is a great gun for making mulitple longe range shots on yotes and it is a bit wicked when you can get several in a large field and cut loose on them with the firepower of an “AK.”

Who knows? you will probably be saving the lives of many fawns, turkey poults, rabbits and other small critters by reducing the number of predators in your hunting area. I often smack down a few Bob-Cats each summer when I am predator hunting and that helps as well to save your fawns. Try it, I bet you will like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting is an American Tradition

Lots of "babes" in the woods this time of year! Watch out for them! ~postoak~

Hunting is one of the reasons America exists today. That is such an obvious statement it seems almost dumb. But, with so many attempts to rewrite history, to rewrite the constitution, the Bible and other well proven precepts of American culture, some folks would have you believe that hunting was only done by a few pioneers and the native people in the last couple of centuries and just a few dumb rednecks today.

Fact is America was founded on hunting, farming and the outdoor life. Only after the establishment of settlements in the wilderness by hunters, trappers, and fur traders, did the villages rise and the small towns flourish. Without Hunters and the pioneers who hunted, America might still be a colony with some towns along the East Coast. Hunters led settlement parties into the heartland of North America, providing protection and supplying much of the food by harvesting wild game for everyone else who was not able to hunt and to kill enough game animals to sustain themselves abd their families.

There were so many hunters in the early days and basically no laws to regulate the harvest numbers, that many game animals were hunted to the brink of extinction. Market hunting was the life of many men in the late 1700 hundreds and the first half of the 1800s. Game animal populations suffered greatly during the last half of the 1800s and the early 1900 hundreds. My grandfather, who was born in 1886 said they shot anything they could that had “an ounce of meat” on it because they were so hungry!

He said people who were starving had no “high ideals” about animal protection. He said they could not afford to have anything more than a “live for today” attitude because that is all they could do to survive. Thanks to some other folks who did have “High Minded” ideals in our political arena back then. The “Pittman Robinson Act” that is the most important law relating to hunting, fishing and the protection of our natural lands. Also known as the “Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937″ it brought funding earmarked for the use in creating parks, hunting preserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and millions of acreas of public lands all across America.

The funding came from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, guns, ammunition, and other equipment used in hunting and fishing. Sportsmen across  the country saw the value this law created and it is one of the real success stories in making the whole United States of America a better country to live in and a stronger country that used the skills of it’s hunters and others to serve America in wars and to see it survive to this day. Now some people want to say we should not hunt, we should not own guns, that hunting animals is wrong and that we are just old hillbillies, red necks and “dinosaurs”. Well just call me T-Rex!

I had a fellow on the internet recently just blasting me about a hunting photo I had posted for a friend. This hack was telling me about the people of the south and the way he and “everyone else” in America saw it that hunting was barbaric, out of date and no longer necessary to feed people. He ranted about how we are just redneck backward folks who would never know any better. He said he did not believe in hunting fishing or God and the Bible was just a myth. I replied well “Bless yore heart” and that I would just agree to disagree with his logic.

It is unsettling that his view is shared by more folks “up nawth” who consider us “stoopid”

I wonder who the dumb folks are but, I am pretty sure they are not down here!

~Postoak~

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! postoakman@gmail.com

Hope you enjoy the outdoors this week!

~POSTOAK~

 

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?!?

~postoak~

 

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!

~POSTOAK~

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!

Postoak

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!

~postoak~

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!

~postoak~