Now Is a Good Time to Hunt Hogs, But…

Feral hogs! ain't nothin' pretty about em' ~postoak~

June and July is a like being stranded in a desert for us hunters. Just a stretch of 61 days to sweat it out until August when we can start to really get ready for the fall hunting season.

There is one species to hunt in the summer and that is hogs! They are multiplying at an alarming rate across central Alabama and you could do a great service to your own hunting tract as well as others that join you by taking some hogs off the property. Hunting, day or night, over piles of corn, by using hog traps, hog dogs, whatever! Just do your part and make a start, by killing some of these destructive swine!

Did you know that hogs are carriers of over 30 deseases and host to 37 different parasites??! They have infected livestock, people, our dogs and can be deadly to domestic swine through the transmitting of brucellosis. A feral hog’s blood, meat, feces and urine can all infect humans with the brucellosis bacterium. While there have been only a dozen or so confirmed cases in Alabama over the past few years, Just as sure as the hog population is rising, you can bet the number of cases will rise as well. Yet, I see hunters that lay on hogs for photos after the hunt, they butcher the hogs without using latex gloves and take other chances that are just not necessary to take! Now I have eaten wild pigs on various ocassions over the past 30 plus years and had no problems other than eating too much when it is good BBQ. But, in my younger days, I took some risks in handling game animals that I will not take anymore. Shoot some Hogs, But! be careful in handling them until they are cooked!

Have you seen the deer hunting season updates for this upcoming season? there are a number of them! Including extending deer season in more counties across south Alabama from the south side of US Highway 80. This will include most counties with the exception of some parts of Henry, Houston, Russell and Lee counties. When the new season dates info is posted on the ALDCNR web site, I will post it on an upcoming weekly blog.

If you want to get an alligator tag this year it will cost you more! The tags are free but, the application fee has gone from $5. to $20. to cover the costs to the conservation department as they administer the alligator hunting season. Gators also have to be a minimum of 8 feet long. The deadline to apply for an alligator hunting permit is July 16th and will now be limited to one application onstead of being able to make multiple applications.there will only only be 50 tags issued for the west central zone.

In other changes they have passed a new rule for trappers to be able to trap raccoon and opossums year round. This is good since these two omnivorous critters are also spreading due to lack of predators and hunting. They both kill birds and various reptiles in large numbers so to reduce the population is a good thing. Raccoons are particularly detrimental to birds, amphibians and reptiles, consuming many eggs each year. Not to mention the association of raccons and deseases such as rabies being transmitted to pets who have not been properly vaccinated.

Watch for news about the Birmingham World Deer Expo coming next month! It is a good way to enjoy some “hunting” fun in the middle of these long hot summers!

Post Oak….. Outdoors..

 

Some Got Away

Post Oak with a swamp buck

Hunting memories, Some get away! So make plenty while you can! ~postoak~

I recently purchased turkey rights to a tract of land and it was near a property I hunted about twenty years ago. I had posted an ad wishing to purchase turkey rights and when the young man called who hold the lease called me, I immediately started to work towards getting the “deal done” and got just a little frustrated when he postponed our meeting several times over a six week period.  I was a bit concerned when I finally met him, as he did not represent himself all that well and left me considering opting out before we even got to the property. Things are however, not always how you envision them and I have dealt with a wide range of folks while leasing properties through the last 40 plus years. When we got to the property and I saw the location was near my old lease, I knew it was a lease I had to take a chance on. The old property was 2200 acres of the best turkey hunting I have had the pleasure of enjoying over a six year period and this property was 500 acres less than a quarter mile from the border of the “old tract”.

The new property may be too near the rural suburbs that have sprung up around the area but, The row crop fields had numerous turkey tracks in the plowed ground and I found a couple of dusting beds as well. Knowing how the area used to be covered with gobblers, I jumped on in and paid the guy on the spot. I knew I would later second guess my decision but, It was one of those questions that won’t be answered until next spring. Sometimes you just got to take a chance before something “gets away”.

When I was informed the club I was in back then was giving up the hunting rights on the 2200 tract, I bid on it but, lost out to a more agressive bidder. I told myself the money they paid was far too much and that they would release it after a year or two. Now after twenty years, they still have it and are happy with the amount they paid!

Hunting leases are priced ridiculously high in my opinion but, others are paying the high prices and glad to get the leases. I was wrong before in my estimate of what others will pay so I let a couple of properties get away, that if I had a chance to bid on them again, they would be some of my favorite places.

Some get away! Whether it is good hunting properties, good hunting club memberships, good hunting trip opportunities, or any number of events that looking back, I let some get away and was wrong to do so. As I have gotten older, price is not as big an issue in the overall scheme of my hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, having the time and physical fitness to take advantage of my outdoor opportunities are the biggest obstacles to overcome in my quest for another great day outdoors to make memories.

Yes, sometimes the game or fish we are attempting to take do get away, but to tell you the truth, some of my best hunting and fishing memories are of the ones that got away! The big buck that I missed,  or opted to not take a shot at, or even worse, hit solid but, he still got away. Several old gobblers that I worked different mornings of various spring seasons that just did not come in close enough for a shot. A huge crappie I nearly “had in the boat”  that would be on my wall now before he straightenend out the wire hook over in Brush creek back in the 1970s. A largemouth that was easily over 10 lbs that my brother had in the net for me one morning on the Tombigbee river but, it gave a mighty heave and jumped through a hole in the side torn open by a bowfin earlier that morning.

Even though many hunting memories are of the ones who got away. They are still sweet! The “Some Got Away” I really hate is making the choice to not take that trip, not join that club, not lease that land. Not to  take advantage of the  opportunites that fade quickly in our short stay in this glorious place. I am of course talking about the OUTDOORS..

~POSTOAK~

Summer is a great time for learning about Alabama’s Mammals

Mammals of Alabama, a new book that would make some great summer reading for any animal lover!

As that country song from a few years back stated, It is too hot to fish, too hot for golf and all the hunting seasons are gone, or something like that! Summer time is here and most of us hunters are marking calendars to the start of dove season, squirrel season, bow season, or some kind of hunting season.

ANY kind of hunting season is a welcomed diversion to help us “hunt-a-holic” types scratch the itch until we get through these 100 + days  that separate us from the fall hunting seasons.

I do some predator hunting at times, last year I shot hogs twice with some hog hunters and that was fun, but just too dang hot and sticky, even hunting at night ! I think that may be in part to me being of those “office dweller” types and just can’t stand the heat like I used to. I know it can’t be related to my age since I will only be a young”senior citizen of 60 years on my next birthday.

I have always found  trap, sporting clays shooting to be a very good outlet for my need to smell some gunpowder burn It is lots of fun and has given my sons and me a neat time to spend with each other.I bought a spring loaded trap thrower that really works well. Check out my friends over at Bass Pro in Prattville and they can show you how to have some fun “bustin clays”. For youngsters it is a great way to teach markmanship and gun safety. Be sure to wear hearing and eye protection gear!

We have access to a small piece of property out in Autauga county a friend owns and we have enjoyed several recent ventures. My boys also recently went to the indoor range in Montgomery and said it was really fun for pistol practice. It is located on the east side of town on Carmichael and is open 7 days a week. A buddy who is a retired law enforcement office told me last Sunday that he has been out to the Montgomery indoor shooting complex and it is a very nice place with a friendly staff of folks to help make your time spent there a fun and safe shooting venue. http://www.montgomeryindoorshooting.com/

Summertime is also good for reading and research to step up your performance and knowledge of the flora and fauna around Alabama. It is interesting the amount of outdoor knowledge you can gain by studying a good book written from field observations and research conducted by the very smart people who have graduated from both Alabama and Auburn. They may be rivals in many ways but, they really do work well on collaborative efforts to produce some great works about the plants and animals that make our state on of the richest in the diversity of any state, for your copy, contact www.uapress.ua.edu  or  jdwilson@uapress.ua.edu.

 

Hopefully, between some fresh water fishing trips, a beach trip and some gulf fishing in August, or sooner, the summer will not be too bad. I think I just got a new NWTF turkey magazine that will help me make it a few more days…

~POST OAK~

 

 

 

 

Looking For a Place to Hunt this Fall?

Every year since I started doing this blog, I have gotten emails from folks asking me about finding a place to hunt. Several years ago I started saving links to various web sites that offer contacts for joining a hunting club or finding a tract of hunting property for lease. Since this is one of the best times to take a look at finding a new spot to lease or a new club to join hope you find one or more of these useful. And, if you find a real good place where they need a turkey hunter, send me an email!

http://www.aldeer.com/forum/ The Aldeer website is one of my favorite to interact with other hunters, find a club, trade, buy, sell, outdoor stuff and swap stories and photos with other hunters and fisherman around Alabama. It is a great site!

http://www.plumcreek.com/recreation/lease-land is a land leasing company offering tracts in alabama and other states across the country. They also have a search option where you can find clubs looking for members by state. I just found 8 clubs in Alabama seeking members on this site today!

http://www.afoa.org/hunt.htm Alabama Forest Owners Association is another great in state resource to find hunting tracts for lease and hunting clubs to join. Some good local parcels are listed so if your want to have your own lease this is a great site to check out.

http://www.westerveltwildlife.com/hunting-leases/lease-services.cfm For those who like to hunt the west side of the state, including some great blackbelt counties, Westervelt Wildlife corp. has thousands of acres and often have a number of tract you can lease! They also have a listing of clubs seeking members for the upcoming season complete with phone numbers for the club contact.

http://alabamahuntclubs.com/index.php This site has a county by county listing of hunting clubs seeking members all around the state. A good many in our local area is listed. Might be just waht you are looking for!

Hope you are able to use this information to get a membership or lease a tract of alabama Hunting Land this fall to bag a great buck or just go outdoors and have some great fun in the great outdoors of Alabama!

~postoak~

 

 

 

 

 

Success Next Hunting Season Begins NOW

 

The time to look for a beautiful tract of hunting land or a good hunting club to join is NOW! Don't wait! ~postoak~

We have all heard the various sayings and cliches such as success in 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Or, the one that says successis defined by preparation and talent.I like to think a good hunter has some talent for the sport but, the preparation and planning, strategizing and execution of the plan are what sets the good hunters apart from the guys who still get excited when a spike walks by.

Hunting preparation’s first task is to have a good place to hunt. This time of year is the time to address that part of your hunting plan for next fall unless you are one of a dwindling, lucky few who owns their own hunting property and has the resources to manage it well and through your “dilligence and dollars” you are set for many seasons to come.

Most of us are not lucky enough to have a big tract of good hunting land or even a small tract of good hunting land. I own a couple of  very small tracts in west Alabama but my relatives consider that I live over here so they “hunt it like they own it”. That used to drive my Dad crazy and I always told him there is nothing you could do unless you want to make your kin folks hate you and I prefer not to do that!

I am fortunate that I have some relative who own a very nice farm in Tuscaloosa County and I get to go over to hunt and fish whenever I want. To me, that is almost better than owning a piece of land. The two pieces I own just cost me money to pay the taxes and keep them bushhogged! There is a good solution however, lease a tract for hunting or join a hunting club. I used to prefer to lease a tract and have my own place to hunt but, now that I am older, my desire to plant greenfields and clear access roads is not as strong as it was just a few years ago.

The past 10 years I have leased turkey hunting tracts from deer hunters who hold the general lease and that has worked well. I am looking to do that again for 2015 spring season. This last season I did join a club as well to turkey hunt and was mildly surprised by how well I enjoyed hunting with a few other turkey hunters and everyone displayed good hunting etiquette and were alll gracious to share. IF you can find a good club where folks are nice, a club can be a great way to find quality hunting and lead you to a succesful deer and turkey season.

THE KEY IS TO START LOOKING NOW FOR A GOOD HUNTING CLUB. The better ones have few openings and they generally have a waiting list or they fill up fast. Start checking out local papers, The Bulletin Board, Craigslist and bulletin boards at local sporting goods stores. All are good resources to help you find a club to join that could spell success in taking a trophy buck or gobbler in the 2014-15 Alabama Hunting seasons.

Next week, I will list some other resources and ways to get your own tract of hunting property or find a good hunting club. Don’t wait until late summer! Most hunting leases are quickly coming up for renewal and club leaders are looking for Paid members now!

~POST OAK~

2014 Turkey Season was a Good One!

Postoak with a late season gobbler in 2014 ~postoak~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today wrapped up my last hunt of the spring turkey season and I must say this season was a good one for me. I took 4 Alabama Gobblers and a huge Kentucky Gobbler. The highlight of the season was my grandaughter taking her first gobbler in a very exciting hunt where we were over-ran by 9 or 10 birds with about 6 or 7 of them being some very agressive Jakes who were fighting with the big gobbler as he “slugged” his was up the hill to our position. Even after she shot him we found that he had a feather from one of the other birds clenched in his beak when we inspected him!

There were also some great stories many of you sent me or posted on FB that were extremely enjoyable and showed some great turkey footage from around the country of gobblers showing off for the camera and doing some “kung fu” moves on decoys and each other as they came to the hunters for the “final show”. My nephew killed a great mulitple bearded bird that he has sent to the taxidermist and I have my grandaughter’s in the freezer awaiting transport to Capps Taxidermist over in Demopolis. Other gobblers I have clipped feathers off for the NWTF Jakes Day event we will have in Fort Toulouse this June.

The Jakes event is a great one to introduce kids to the sport of hunting and to the great work the NWTF and it’s volunteers around the country do each year to benefit all wildlife, not just the wild turkey. I am always pleased to see the enthusiasm exhibited by all the young folks who come out each year to enjoy the event. We are looking for event sponsors who would like to donate to make the event a success again this year. The NWTF donations are tax deductable as we are a 501 C3 organization dedicated to conservation and preservation of wildlife and the hunting heritage. Please email me if you want to know more about the event or how you can donate- postoakman@gmail.com is my email address and i would like to hear from you!

Another organization that is working to help improve Alabama’s wildlife is the Department of conservation – http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/ Commissioner Gunter Guy, Deputy Commisioner Curtis Jones, Director Chuck Sikes and Ray Metzler, the acting Chief of the Wildlife and fisheries section have a number of updates on activities they have underway to improve our hunting future. Check out the information that have to make you a better informed sportsman in the great Alabama Outdoors!

This old Gobbler is "resting in the clover" as his season is over. Mine too! ~postoak~

 

 

~postoak~ OUTDOORS

Turkey Season is Almost Gone!

 

Season's Best Alabama Gobbler taken by my granddaughter! ~postoak~

The 2014 Alabama spring turkey season  will be history in 10 more days, now I am always sad to see it go but, this one has not been one of my best so I can live with it!

On the plus side, I got to enjoy a new tract of hunting land that is 4600 acres of pretty fair property. The down side was the timber company thought it was a good piece of logging land and they stayed on it the entire turkey season making a lot of noise and destroying things as the most often do. But, everybodys got to make a living and I know paper is a very vital commodity so I just live with it and get along with them.I met some good fellow hunters who were nice guys to help me learn the “lay of the land” and of course the best part of the season was I called in my granddaughter a big gobbler for her first turkey! Although that one is going to cost me over $600. to get the big tom mounted so she can have one like “her pop pop” has mounted in the den.. Well, maybe she will still have it long after I am hunting those “gobblers in glory” and remember with fondness the great experience we shared that perfect spring morning!

Another good thing was I got to take a couple of gobblers, so far just one in Alabama, a feisty 2 year old who came in gobbling and strutting like the king of the spring woods he was trying to become. The gobbler I took in Kentucky was an old 4 year old 27 lb heavy weight with one broken spur and another one that was an inch and a half of sharp, fighting tool. He came in slow and proud in a full strut that he would not break out of even when I tried several times to get him putted up for a clean head shot. I finally took a focused aim and laid him low without doing any unintended damage so I was very happy to have my Kentucky trophy for the year. The 2 year old that I called in the last monring there was fun to make gobble and I took delight in making him gobble many times as he answered every cluck and purr I gave, even when he was 10 yards away!

Well, If my season stands on what has already gone by, that is ok. But, who knows? I will conitnue to get out in the spring woods a few more days then sit back and wait for 2015. I can do it!

~postoak~

Kentucky Gobbler Hunt was Great!

 

I had a great hunt in Kentucky, bagging this big opening morning Gobbler! ~postoak~

 

This past weekend I traveled up to west central Kentucky to hunt those big bluegrass gobblers and they did not dissapoint! A good friend of mine, invited me up again this year and since I had a couple of great hunts up there in prior years, it was an opportunity I could not say “no” to! We drove up on Friday to scout the tract a tille that afternoon and set up a couple of blinds since most of the tract was large corn fields that had been harvested last fall and had stubble stalk coverage since the spring green has not started up there yet. The trees were still bare and the woods on the tract were very open, old growth hardwoods that you could see 200 yards through in most places so there was not much chance of slipping up on a gobbler in his “strut zone”.

Saturday morning, the Kentucky turkey season started and the gobblers were blasting out their calls all across the farm. I heard 10 gobblers on the farm and 3 or 4 more on the adjoining property as the day broke to a clear, warm and somewhat windy day. With all the gobblers sounding off from the roost, I decided to give them time to get on the ground and then I gave a call with my Woodhaven Red Wasp diaphragm call and it got immediate replys from 3 eager toms. From 6:15 to 7:20 I called, they gobbled, but no one wanted to commit and come see what my “little Alabama hen” looked like. I had a big gobbler to make his way in behind me down in a hardwood bottom and he got close enough to see but, never presented a “100% shot” and he walked on by and exited the way he came in, back down the hardwood hollow.

About 30 minutes later a gobbler came out on the ridge in the corn field over to my right and broke into a strut. I snapped off a couple of loud cutts and he blasted back a booming gobble! He slowly made his way along the ridge and over to the ridge in front of my set up. I had an Avian x hen and the little “Funky Chicken” decoys set at 35 steps from my hiding spot and he stood about 15 to 20 yards out from them and gobbled repeatedly. I guess he was trying to get the hen to come to him, and while he was in easy shot distance, I was enjoying his gobbling and strutting performance too much to cut it short! After about 20 minutes, he slowly strutted on in to the hen and I was hoping to see him attack the little “fake jake” but, he just walked past him and up to the hen. He stood at her side and drummed, beat his wings on the ground and did a few wheeling turns for her before he decided to do his impression of a statue. After he stood absolutely still for about 5 minutes, I decided to end it and sent him a couple of loud putts in hopes of getting him to stick his head up but, he stayed frozen in the strut!  I said “ok” and sent a load of 4 shot downrange to him and he hit the ground without even a kick or a flop!

I don’t like to shoot a gobbler in a full strut since it is easy to damage the beard or the breast meat but, my shot was a good one and just slapped him in the head and neck for an immediate “smackdown”. The 4 year old gobbler had a long sharp spur on his left leg and the one on his right was  broken so badly it was not worth saving. He weighed a whopping 27 lbs and had a 10.5 inch beard that was thick and sort of paint brush style. A really nice Kentucky gobbler!

On Sunday morning, the weather was warm, cloudy and the gobblers were all silent. It was amazing, given the number of birds we had heard the pervious morning, but that is the way turkey hunting goes some days. I decided to travel across a couple of the large fields to sit in the woodline on the east side of the property where I had heard several gobblers the morning before. About 6:30 I did a fly-down cackle a few loud cutts and finished with a hen yelp. I got an instant gobble back from across the fence line and down in the woods. Then I heard some jakes yelping that horse sounding call and a poorly assembled gobble so I was not surprised when 2 big jake gobblers came up the hill and nearly stepped on me as they walked out of the woods. They walked out to my decoys and looked them over, then started to scratch and feed around them, like they were just looking for some companions. They stayed out in the field for more than an hour and would look my way when I yelped but seemed at ease so I did not let them inhibite my hunt.

About 7:40 I got a gobble response and he started closing the distance to me pretty quickly gobbling fervently as the distance between us closed. Then I saw his head pop up over the ridge and I thought about taking the shot since he was only 10 yards away. But, I wanted to check out his beard and spurs since you only get 2 gobblers in Kentucky a year. I found him to be just a loud mouthed 2 year old with about a 6 inch beard so decided not to shoot him but, I had a blast making him gobble over and over as he walked around my location. He then got frustrated and jumped on my little Funky Chicken jake decoy and beat him all the way down to the ground by kicking, pecking and wing slapping! Then he went to the hen and pecked her several times before wandering on out in the field.

A little after 9:00 I stood up to gather my decoys and end the hunt when I saw 2 long beards running flat out toward my position so I knelt back down and watched them come on in. At about 75 yards, they abruptly stopped, looked up at the decoys and then hit the woods. Apparently they had seen that game before! I gave them around 15 minutes, hoping they would come back out in the field and when I yelped both of them blasted back a gobble! Seeing the situation as not hopeless, I gave a few more light calls and they answered each with single and double gobbles then, they came back to the field but, they would not come on in. My cell phone went off at 10:00 and I had to call it a done hunt and left those long beards to roam around some more! But, I hope to go back in  a couple of weeks!

~postoak~

 

Gobblers are Starting to Peak When you can Find a Clear Day!

 

My Grandaughter is all smiles toting a big gobbler this past Saturday! ~postoak~

 

The gobblers are getting very active and some hens are starting to nest as the first peak of the spring breeding season is going well in most of Alabama. Hunters that I communicate with via email and face book are showing up smiling and posing with some very nice long beards and some awesome “hooks” (spurs).

I have been hearing a good many birds when I get a chance to get in the woods so long as it is not raining. I am also starting to see a larger number of single hens along side roads and fields during the mid morning which can indicate they are moving into the laying and nesting portion of the spring breeding season. From now through June be very careful about riding through the fields where there is Sage, Johnson, or other tall grass and certainly if you are bush-hogging watch out for hens nesting! Every year, a number of turkey nests are needlessly destroyed by folks bush-hogging tall warm season grasses that hens like to nest in or by riders of four wheelers or trucks who are just out “wood riding”. I enjoy riding my four wheeler but, I watch for nests and try to stay out of areas where a hen could have her clutch of eggs hidden.

The hen will generally lay an egg a day, after she is bred, and when she gets 12, she will start to sit on them and trigger the gestation period which is almost always 28 days. The poults will all usually start to pip out from inside the egg and they most often hatch within a few hours of each other. The hen has various calls, mostly purrs and soft clucks of encouragement to get the poults to work their way out of the shell and after they dry off, usually only about 30 minutes from out of the shell to dry, stand up and find “momma” who will get them all away from the nest since the smell of turkey eggs will bring predators around in just a little while.

Since the number of hens that are receptive to the advances of the gobblers will start to decrease rapidly between now and the end of the season on April 30th, the gobblers will become more vocal and get a little bit less picky about the hen that is calling to them to “come on over”. This shifts the advantage just a little bit more toward the hunter if patience is practiced and some realistic hen calling is done “just right” to sound irresistable to that gobbler who is near the top of the pecking order and is intent on passing along his genes to the next generation of wild turkeys.

This past Friday and Saturday, I had the joy of having my granddaughter, Anna Faye to hunt with me and we had a totally marvelous time in the turkey woods!  Friday morning we heard three gobblers but found that two of them were on an adjoining property across a creek and high fence so we made our way to the third gobbler only to find that another club member was also in pursuit of him so we backed off and tried to find another one but came out empty handed.

On Saturday morning our luck changed as we got on a hot gobbling bird right at daybreak and were able to slip in and set up within a hundred yards of his roosting location. No sooner than he flew down in the small green field we had hoped to reach, he was attacked by a gang of racous jakes that numbered 6 or 7 and they put on quite a show of wing beating, spurring, kicking, pecking and feather pulling! fighting purrs and loud putts rang out as the gobbler, still intent on answering my calls made his way up the hill toward our location. A hen ran in to our left and I decided to move my arms enough to “shoo” her away since she was looking at us and sounded some alarm putts.

The gobbler and his jake adversaries were so busy fighting they paid her no heed and they literally “roiled up” in front of us as we watched in amazement! Suddenly, the big gobbler ran directly toward us around the palmetto fronds we were hiding behind as he attempted to allude the jake attackers and he wound up about 3 feet from the end of Anna Faye’s gun barrel! I was hissing “shoot him!”, “shoot him!” and she snapped out of her mesmirized state and fired! Her 20 gauge rolled him over and he stumbled backwards back out in the little logging road and I told her to run and put her foot on his head and don’t let him up! Sitting there, watching her with her boot on his head and his wings beating her and the ground furiously I was so proud of the moment that I let out a shout! She was still in shock about the whole happening that she asked me “did I do good Pop-Pop-?!?

I replied that you are awesome! and we hugged and checked out her prize gobbler! He had a 10.5 inch beard, 1 and a quarter inch sharp hook spurs and he weighed 17.2 lbs! I guessed him to be a 4 year old due to his long spurs and large frame that he was noticeably “skinny”. That told me he had been so intent on chasing hens that feeding had been halted for some time.

 It was a TOTALLY  Great hunt and one that will be a great shared memory for us the rest of our lives! Best turkey hunt EVER! and that is comparing it to several hundred good gobblers I have taken or called in for others over the last 54 years of turkey hunting!

Take your kids hunting! it makes for some great days in the woods and life long memories!

~postoak ~

Gobblers Getting “Wound Up”

 

This gobbler was wound up Wednesday morning by Postoak!

 

The phrase “wound up” could mean “just about through” or “almost done”. IT could also mean “getting cranked”, “Getting fired up”. For the gobblers in central Alabama, thankfully it means getting started for real and gobbling pretty good. I am hearing from many fellow hunters that they are hearing and a few are taking some Toms for a truck ride home!

I took a couple of days off this past week and finally hit a good morning on Wednesday even though it was a cold 28 degrees when I got out of my truck. The gobblers did not seem to mind however, I heard six different gobblers in response to my owl hoot at dawn so I chose to walk to the closest one. I only had to walk about 150 yards down a small logging trail and when I gave him my first yelp on the red wasp diaphram, He blew back a gobble that was so close that I hurredly found a tree that offered some cover and dove under it, hoping he had not spotted me since he was less than 50 yards away through some open hardwoods near a small green field.

I decided to not call any more until he gobbled again and I didn’t have to wait long for that to happen! He blasted out another gobble from just out of sight down the logging trail so I gave him a couple of loud clucks and he blasted back another gobble! I knew he was going to come on in at that point so I enjoyed his drumming and wing dragging as he strutted to within 20 steps. I decided I better close the deal and almost reluctantly pulled the trigger. It was one of those “wham bam turkey slam” hunts that was over too soon but, I was not going to complain about one being too easy since I have had way too many old hard headed Toms that have been standing out there gobbling from 70 or 80 yards and would not come on in close enough for a shot.

At 7:07 a.m. I looked at my watch as I stood over the bird and filled out my game check form. I shouldered him and made the short walk back to my truck, took a couple of I-photos and then called in for my confirmation number. As I dialed the robo-operator to record the taking of the turkey as now required by law, I thought “what would my grand dad think about this technology? or even my dad, would he be shocked about the changes in our hunting ways and hunting rules? I almost envied them for their not still being here to deal with the ever shrinking world. But, both of them always taught me to “abide in the law” so I always do. But, when a man’s word is no longer sufficient in the eyes of the law, it is a sad time in America in some respects. Oh well, Let me get off my soap box….

 

I had several friends to take gobblers this week so I think the season is more normal this year than the last one. Last spring was as wierd as I have experienced in my 54 years of turkey hunting and many others said the same thing. Gobblers did not gobble much and certainly would not come to a call like they do at some point most springs. Glad to see and hear this spring is shaping up to be all we hope for! And I hope those gobblers are about to get “wound up”!

This morning, I took my grandaughter along for the hunt and she was so excited, I guess you could say she was “wound up”. We got out of the truck at daylight and I was able to get four gobblers to respond to my old hoot owl call which she thought was the neatest thing and we quickly went down the same lane where I had taken the gobbler on wednesday. I brought a hen decoy to help distract the gobbler from her movements and to hopefully bring him on in to our location on the edge of a small green field. He responded to my calls on the diaphram and in just a few minutes I saw his white crown coming as he made his way through the woods to the field’s edge. He walked up on a dirt pile near the edge and stood there for moment but, apparently did not like the decoy and he turned and walked away! Then I heard several hens cackling in the woods behind him and he was gone! He gobbled at my yelps a few times as he faded out of hearing and it was over… Oh well, Thats why they call it turkey hunting!

Until next week!

~postoak~ OUT!