Turkey Hunting is Improving with the Weather

Brandon Parker with a nice gobbler!

Brandon and a big Gobbler !

Looks like we will finally have some warmer temperatures and maybe even a little glimpse of the sun! What a difference that will be! This cold, cloudy spring has hampered my hunting and my desire to go hunting. I have already rescheduled four days of vacation and we have not even made it out of March!

I guess the biggest difference is that the last few springs have been warm, dry and the birds started playing their “mating games” early in February. This year, they may not really “get going” on the propagation of their species until April!  This has caused me and several other turkey hunters I hunt with to cancel plans for vacation days, reschedule out of state hunts and try to figure out what to do as we plot out strategies to shoot a few gobblers. Is the last two weeks of spring going to be the best? will the first two weeks of April be the time to take off? I don’t know but, I plan to keep taking some single days of vacation in an attempt to judge the level of Gobbling action that might indicate what my chances could be in the turkey woods. So, tomorrow I am off again to Dallas county for some wood walking and turkey calling to see if I can find a Tom who is looking for a hen. Who knows, maybe my luck will Improve.

Evan Edwards First Gobbler!
Evan Edwards shows us his First Gobbler! Way to go Evan!

 

Swingin Tom

This old Tom found himself "swingin" after some sweet calling by Mark Edwards.

 

I am receiving reports and photos from a good many hunters who have found that gobbler who was lonely and  “looking for love in all the wrong places”. “Looking for love and got shot at 30 paces”. “Looking for love and got shot in their faces”.. (turkey hunter humor). I will post some for your viewing pleasure! Get after them and send me a photo to post on the site! Just email me postoakman@gmail.com  and I will be glad to show off your gobbler for you! Write a little about the hunt and I will post that too!

Post Oak – Gettin outdoors tomorrow for Good Friday!

 

June – A month of Outdoor Opportunities

Chainsaw carving at last years Jakes EventJune is a month that flies by so fast, you might miss it if you don’t get outdoors and do a little of that “carpe’ diem” stuff! Seize the day to go try your luck on a pond, lake, creek, or river. Central Alabama has miles of shoreline and acres upon acres of beautiful lakes to dunk a cricket, drown a worm, or cast a line with your favorite lure for a big bass or a nice bream on an ultra-light reel. I love to fish and plan to take a couple more trips before June has slid right off the calendar.

However, This weekend I will be doing some volunteer work with my fellow Elmore County NWTF Committee members to put on our annual “Jakes Day” event at Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka.This event is one where we teach kids from 5 to 17 about the various aspects of outdoor sports such as hunting, shooting, fishing, Identifying and appreciating nature, crafts such as carving are also part of the exhibits for the youngsters to see and enjoy.

Many of the exhibits are created for the kids to “try it out” BB gun shooting, archery, turkey calling, and even hatchet throwing! It is a great event and one that has one National recognition as the best Jakes event in the entire nation in years past. Our Jakes Chairperson, Carole Matthews and her husband Chet, head up the event along with a small “army” of volunteers will make it once again a great day for kids around Central Alabama to get out and enjoy the great outdoors! Fort Toulouse is a very beautiful and shady location on the banks of the Coosa and a great place to visit anytime. I will be there demonstrating turkey calling and discussing turkey hunting basics for the youngsters. I also make it a point to hand out wild turkey feathers to every kid who wants one and that is usually most of them. What a great use for my feathers from this spring’s birds!

A Gun Collectors show will be coming up next weekend at the Shriner’s Temple on the Eastern Boulevard and I can’t help but go there! I rarely miss a gun show in Montgomery or Birmingham as they are great events to find guns, hunting and shooting collectibles, old coins, knives and other “guy” stuff. I love the gun shows!

June is a great month to get outdoors, don’t let it slip on by you. The 4th of July will be here before you know it. Buy a cane pole and a bunch of crickets or worms then take a kid or some one who has never had the opportunity to watch that cork slip under and feel the fight of a big, tasty bream! As my granddaughters says is is “awesome!”

Until next week,

~Postoak~

Friday the 13th, A Lucky Day For Me and A Unlucky Day for an OLD MONSTER Gobbler!

As I have been lucky enough to do for many days this spring turkey season, I took a vacation day Friday the thirteenth and travelled back to Greene County Alabama for another 3 day turkey hunting trip. And, I will tell you that this one was worth the cost of a tank full of $4.00 gas! I had a very productive weekend of hunting and the Gobblers must have thought they were “Goblins” cause they were sure howling out some big time gobbles all around our lease, fighting each other, and strutting the logging roads all around the property!

On Friday morning, I greeted the dawn on a high ridge overlooking a 200 acres “cutover” that the hens are drawn to for nesting sites and the gobblers were sounding off everywhere trying to persuade the hens to come watch them strut. I heard six different Toms and loving the challenge of another duel with an old bird who had left me crying at the alter of a shotgun wedding a couple of time before this year, when he gobbled, I just had to go try and coax him into losing his head over a sweet girl. It has happened before! I decided that a little variety was in order so I grabbed a jake decoy and started toward the gobbler who was only one hill top over and was commanding respect as all but, one other gobbler ceased to gobble in the general area he was sounding off from. I was able to make it to a small road that is one of his strut zones and stick the jake decoy up in a sandy spot. After hiding well, I sent a soft yelp toward the old gobbler and he blasted a response right back! I was hoping he would come close enough to see the jake “interloper” standing in one of his favorite strut zones and come charging down the road to attack the jake. However, he never crested the hill where he would have seen the decoy and he slowly worked his way toward a big hardwood bottom with each gobble marking his retreat from my location.

Disappointed, I decided to stop that madness and go elsewhere. I retrieved the jake and walked nearly a mile to the area where I heard another Tom gobbling at day break. I was able to find him and he did gobble at my yelps a few times but, he too had retreated from the hill top in the cutover to a hardwood section of woods off of our lease. As I walked back to my truck for a mid morning break, a crow sent out a sharp call and was answered by several other crows and a gobble from the woods below where my truck was parked. I eased down in the woods past my truck and this old gobbler seemed eager but, after a dozen or more gobbles, a hen apparently found him and he went silent. I enjoyed a short break in the hunt with some Gator Aide G2 and pack of “square nabs” ” and pondered my next move.

The morning was weather perfect, the gobblers were active, and I was thoroughly enjoying the fact I was out in the woods away from work and everything else just enjoying the freedom of the spring woods! I decided to do some scouting around our lease and slowly traveled the property roads, looking intently to try and catch a gobbler strutting in a field or down a logging trail that I could drive by and stalk back to for a “set up and yelp” session. The lower end of the lease had been clear cut, bulldozed and wind rowed last spring so none of us had paid it much attention so far this spring, so I decided to “check it out” .

The deer hunters had planted several food plots last fall for the deer and I knew of one where I had killed birds in previous springs when there was a nice stand of timber all around it. Now, it was sitting on an open ridge in a clear cut where you could see a half mile in several directions except for the direction of the access road that had recently been reworked by a bulldozer and when I drove down it and rounded the curve to the food plot, I interrupted a fight between three long bearded gobblers who stopped their bout and took off in separate directions running low and very fast !. I decided that to be a good bet for an afternoon hunt and about 4 hours later, after a lunch break in town, I parked down the road from the food plot far enough away to be able to slip up to the field using the available cover and the wind which was blowing strongly with gusts over 25 mph according to the local weather reporter.

When I got near the food plot, which was planted in a short stalked variety of wheat that had matured and dried, which was attracting the turkeys to come eat, I approached in a crouched stalk mode and it paid off when I got to the curve in the road. There were three gobblers in the field and they were engaged in some sparring and spurring bouts, chasing and jumping up in the air kicking at each other like some kung fu fighters in feathers. I dropped to the ground and crawled away from the food plot since there was no cover to slip into a position for calling or shooting at them. Plus, I still like the challenge of calling the gobbler to the gun, and was a bit disappointed in myself for resorting to the use of a decoy on the morning hunt.

I found a spot about 15 yards back down the road where the dozer has pushed off a drain ditch and there was some good bushes to offer cover and the sun was behind them allowing for a good shade cover in an otherwise sunny area. I got settled in and sent a plain yelp toward the food plot. I waited for a gobble in response but, got none, 10 minutes later I yelped again a littler louder since the wind was blowing toward me from the field and I was not sure they heard my first yelp but, again no response. A little impatient and frustrated, at 5 minutes I sent a loud yelp with a couple of sharp putts on the end and was disappointed with again no gobble and no turkey coming down the road. As I sat for the next 10 minutes trying to decide my next move, I saw a flash of red, white, blue and black as a turkey came charging down the road in a flash and threw on the brakes about 15 steps from me, breaking into a full strut.

Only problem was he was so fast, my gun was still in my lap! in a split second, I made the decision to make the shot and started an extremely slow rise of the shotgun. When I nearly got it to my shoulder, he noticed my movement in the shadow and came out of the strut. However, his Friday the thirteenth just took a very unlucky turn as I snapped the gun to my shoulder and sent a load of numbers fours to him. He was so close, I was able to see the shot cup hit him in the side of the head, along with that swarm of “Federal fours”. I kept my seat and watched him flop a little and when he was done I went over and checked out his spurs which is the first thing I do on every long beard as that is, in my opinion, the true indicator of a trophy tom. When I got a look at the 1=3/4 inch spur on one leg and the broken, but still 1-1/2 inch spur on the other leg. I let out a scream of my own! After all, it was Friday the thirteenth!

Saturday morning I killed another nice Gobbler with a 10 inch beard and 3/4 spurs which made my 4th bird of the season so it is time to be particular about my final bird. Saturday afternoon, I passed on a couple of two year old Toms that I called to the literal end of my gun barrel. I could have swung the barrel and hit one of them in the Head! I had another gobbler come into the food plot but was unable to determine that he was indeed a good gobbler until he had walked out to a distance that was a bit far for a clean shot.

On Sunday morning, I had two big jakes to nearly step on me trying to find “the hen in the bush” ” I was hiding in, and I had two grown gobbler respond 15 to 20 times but, not come in for a closer look. I guess the figured two of their kin had lost their heads the previous two days and no sweet hen yelps were worth dying for, even on Friday the thirteenth weekend!

Check out the spurs on that old gobbler that I have posted!

I am getting lots of big gobbler kills reported and hope you enjoy the pics of those on the outdoor sports photo section!

Send me an email and I will get that picture of you and that gobbler posted! postoakman@gmail.com

Until next week!

~Postoak~

Good Friday was Just That In The Turkey Woods!

Good Friday found me off on another day of vacation chasing those hard-headed gobblers in Greene County. At daylight, I was in position to hear no less than 4 gobblers on our lease and a few more on the adjoining property. They were all greeting the day as the absolutely stunning full moon of Easter was slowly setting in the West and seemed to almost outshine the sun that was chasing it from the East horizon. Just for the heck of it, I gave a couple of owl hoots to see if any other gobblers who had thus far failed to partake in the cacophony, would join in the noise making.

After hearing no additional gobblers sound off, I started down the hill on a small logging road and less than 200 yards from the truck, I bumped three turkeys from their roost. Two of them I got a good look at and could have shot one easily from flight but, I just don’t believe in that way of taking a bird, even in a less than great season as I find myself in. The racket they made, breaking pine limbs and cackling wildly caused the other gobbler who was another 300 yards down in the bottom, who had been gobbling good and was my intended target, to also go silent. I stood there for awhile waiting to see if he would gobble again and not hearing from him in the next 10 minutes, I decided to punt and go to another bird who was next in line.

This however, required me to go back to my truck and unload my four-wheeler due to bad road conditions over the next two hill tops toward the general vicinity of the gobbling bird. When I got over to my intended stopping point, most of the birds had flown down and the gobbling was rapidly diminishing, partly due to their locations in various bottoms that muffled the gobbles but, mostly due to hens who had already made it to them or had communicated they were on the way. I decided to just keep my noise down and slowly make my way along one of the small internal trails to get down to a large bottom where I was almost certain that one of the gobblers had been when he gobbled from the roost at daylight.

I slipped down to a small green field the deer hunters had planted in wheat and it also had some crimson clover that was “heading out” and I have found turkeys to be fond of it when it blooms out like that. The woods on the left side of the field were mostly hardwoods and behind them was the open bottom so I started looking for a spot on that side. The first tree I threw my camo cushion down at was centrally located and was a great cover spot.But, before I sat down, I noticed a small game trail coming out of the bottom and decided the turkey, if he came to the field, might come up that trail so I found another tree about 10 yards to the left and although not as good as the first one for concealment, I figured it would “do”.

I sat there about 30 minutes just letting the nature settle in around me and blot me out of wary eyes that could have seen me enter the field. At 7:45 a.m. I gave a short, plain hen yelp on my Woodhaven Red Wasp mouth call and got an immediate strong gobble from the open hardwoods off to my left at about 150 yards. I did not respond and waited for him to make the next move, only he said nothing more. I had decided to not call much and stuck to that for the next 15 minutes watching for the gobbler to appear. I gave another short yelp followed by two sharp cuts and his gobble blasted off the end of my call! I made up my mind at that point to wait him out and he did not gobble anymore.

After another 45 minutes, I noticed movement on the small game trail I had first thought of sitting at and there he was! He literally glided out in the field and broke into a full strut no more than 10 yards away. He let out a pfffffttt…ummm and shuddered in a drumming motion that I am sure he had used before to make the hens swoon and squat at his feet! He came up out of the strut and looked around as if to say “where are you at hen?” Only then, did he give a suspicious look my way but, thanks to good camouflage clothes and years of experience, I had my gun in position and was a millisecond from the trigger squeeze. He gave that little “putt” as if to say OH NO! but, it was too late. His next thoughts must have been “why can’t I pick my head up?” as it was laying on the ground and he was furiously beating the ground with his wings trying to take flight for an escape! I walked over to him and ended the commotion with a quick “twist” to “relax him”. It was 8:45 on good Friday morning and it was a real good one for me. Bird number two was a nice 20 lb gobbler with a 10.5 inch beard and 1 inch spurs. He was most likely a 3 or 4 year old and was plenty sharp enough on most mornings, just not this one! As I cleaned him later that morning, I found several shotgun pellets in his lower breast that were completely healed around from an old encounter with another hunter. When I find that, I know that I have been diligent, and a little lucky, to outsmart an “educated Tom”. That’s Him in the photo at the top!

I am getting some good reports from hunters around central Alabama and other locations from Florida to Tennessee that the gobblers are getting vocal and hens have started nesting so it should just get better until season runs out for us on April 30th.

If you take a big gobbler, send me a picture and I will be glad to post it with your permission and name on the Outdoor Photo section here at the Advertisers web page! It is easy, just send it to postoakman@gmail.com and I will handle it!

Good Hunting!

~postoak~

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