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Old March 30, 2011, 10:47 AM   #1
bamaranger
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Turkey Season

Alabama Spring Turkey season is day after tomorrow. I saw many flocks and gobblers last fall deer hunting, but my spring scouting has not produced the results I anticipated and I am a bit perplexed as to where the birds went. I suspect we may have had some die off over winter as we had snow cover at length on several occasions and maybe the birds suffered accordingly. To boot there was little mast, so food was not plentiful to start. I dunno.

Anyhow, my turkey posts seemed well received last year, and I thought I might try and keep a running account of my season, hoped for successes and not too many failures.

I have a mix of state and private land I can hunt, and am "on" 3 groups of birds. I also heard a lone bird yesterday in an odd spot I will put on the list, so I guess that makes 4. And I have a spot or two that I have not scouted yet, that may hold birds. That is not much. Typically I have 2-3 times that many birds located.

The weather had not cooperated, it has rained plenty in recent days, (and is raining now) and goobered up scouting. I hope to catch a spot or two this PM from the vehicle, maybe catch some birds in the open.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Sit still, don't move, look sharp, he's coming...........
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Old March 30, 2011, 12:36 PM   #2
SCcdp
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Good luck! Our season here in the upstate of SC starts on Friday as well. It's been killing me to see the pictures of from the lowcountry guys who have been killing them for two weeks!
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Old March 30, 2011, 04:13 PM   #3
markj
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Good luck, Nebraska started Monday. Going to help my brother this weekend get his.
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Old March 31, 2011, 06:12 AM   #4
Daryl
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There's been 50+ turkeys in the field beside the house almost every morning for the last few months. Several really big toms, with one that's noticeably bigger and bossier than the others.

"Hunting" would be more like shooting a barnyard bird. They'll spook if you walk out in the yard, but all I'd have to do is hide to get a shot. They really like the shade offered by a big willow tree, and it's the only shade in that field.

Alas, I'm going to be elsewhere when the season opens. Maybe next year.

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Old March 31, 2011, 07:04 AM   #5
thallub
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SW OK has a good turkey population. Turkeys are all over the wheatfields.

OK spring gobbler season opens on 6 April and closes on 6 May. During the fall season we are allowed to handguns, shotguns, centerfire rifles, rimfire rifles and muzzleloaders. It's shotguns only during spring gobbler season.
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Old March 31, 2011, 07:15 AM   #6
Doyle
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Ranger, I don't think the snow you had will affect the population. They have plenty of turkeys way up in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and those other "near Canadian" states.
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Old April 1, 2011, 09:26 AM   #7
a7mmnut
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Populations look really down around the NW mountains here in NC as well. Tomorrow (Sat.) is Youth Day, April 9 opens the regular season. I've revamped my old BPS with a new Indian Creek tube this year and WOW! My biggest fear is missing a close bird. These tubes are totally awesome. I'm shooting Winchester Supreme 3" with 1 3/4 ozs. of #5 shot, but am thinking of going to 2 ozs. of #4's to get more energy. A 50 yard shot is now reality. Regardless, I'm stoked and ready to get my new teenager in the woods if the wind stays down. Tomorrow's also the trout opener, so either way I can't lose. Good luck to everybody, and post some pics of those spurs and beards!

177@35.jpg.JPG

Indian Creek #2.JPG

Indian Creek#1.jpg





-7-
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Old April 4, 2011, 10:47 AM   #8
kraigwy
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You can always come here and hunt them on my back porch. They raise hell with my wife's bird feeders and flowers.
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Old April 4, 2011, 01:17 PM   #9
jmr40
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Today was my 4th day in the woods since the season started here on March 27. The weather is good for now finally. Storms coming tonight and tomorrow though.

Have not scored yet, but got to see a rare sight this AM. I had been working a gobbler since daylight. He wasn't interested in coming to my calls yet, but I figured out which drainage he was walking up. Moved over a couple of ridges and started down toward him. Sat down and stopped calling. Heard him gobble, CLOSE, then all heck broke out.

I was within 30-35 yards, but in really thick pines with lots of brush. There were at least 3, maybe as many as 5 gobblers down below me in the biggest fight I've ever seen. They went after each other for 10 minutes. No way for a clear shot. I could only catch a glimpse of them from time to time. After about 10 minutes they stopped and walked off away from my position.
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Old April 4, 2011, 02:49 PM   #10
bamaranger
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First Day....first bird!

Season came in Fri., 1April and I'd taken the day (and several others) off.
Bamaboy and I went in at dusk the evening before to a location near a state Firetower and listened for roosting birds. Previously, I had heard gobblers in the area while scouting a week before. This night, we heard what sounded like a bird changing limbs nearby, enough to convince me to hunt it in the AM.

Opening morning I was in good time, but there were at least 3 trucks ahead of me. The location is public land adjacent a big private club. I skirted down the boundary and into the steep sided little hollow where we had heard wings the PM before. It was wet, sloppy. I set up in the dark, at the base of a big poplar on a little shelf on the side of the hollow. I began to hear gobbles in the extreme distance, but nothing close. I figured with so many guys about, they'd get there before I could and I held tight and stayed put.

With fair light, I tree called on my favorite pocket slate. Nothing. Five 10 minutes later, I gave a louder series of yelps. Nothing. After about 20 minutes, a shot in the distance, one of the gobbling birds from earlier. Well........that's all part of it. I relaxed, dug out a pack of crackers began to munch.

My mouth full, crackers in hand, I glanced down the shelf again. Thirty five yards away stood a turkey in the gloom and mist. I thought I could see color on its head and neck. Head up, alert, sneaky. I thought I'd been busted. When the bird stepped behind another big poplar, I ditched the crackers and was able to shoulder and point my trusty 870. It took forever for the bird to clear the big tree intervening, again, I thought it had split.

But appear it did, a bit closer, now the red and white head and a short beard, a jake! Some guys have reservations about shooting jakes, ....but first bird of the year, public land, guys everywhere, I didn't hesitate.

A thirty pace shot, WW Supreme #5 Hi Vels, 1-3/4 load and he took'em all, barely flopped. Just a jake.......public land, crowded, goofy weather, I'm tickled no end.

Glanced at my watch, I'd been in place about 45 minutes!!!!!
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Old April 4, 2011, 04:34 PM   #11
markj
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Quote:
I was within 30-35 yards
Wasnt too hard now was it? I shot one was in a group of 3 or 4 males, he hit the ground flopping them others ganged up on him so I shot another one to fill the tags I had. Them birds are mean

Quote:
Glanced at my watch, I'd been in place about 45 minutes!!!!!
join the club sir

I have a huge flock behind my place in 130 acres of crp and trees. 1 mile away is another huge flock that play with deer every afternoon same bat time, same bat channel
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Old April 8, 2011, 01:18 AM   #12
bamaranger
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Days 2-7

Except for Sunday morning, I've been out at dawn each day, and PM hunted or minimally, roosted (evening scout) as well. Things are slow.

I heard a single bird on the second day, but never could close down on him enough to call. He was always to far ahead, and I was always one ridge/hollow etc over. Days 3/4 were pretty much busts. The highlight was that bamaboy shook loose from school and we hunted together. The weather was frightful, tornado watches, wind. We saw numerous hens, but no gobbles, and we covered a bunch of sheltered ground w/o striking a bird.

By Day 5 I needed a break, and "field" hunted from a blind after the big storms. One hen came onto the field. No gobbles. I covered a bunch of territory by vehicle, glassing fields and ROW's and looking for gobbler tracks on the sandy roads w/o results.

Day 6 I either heard one bird gobble twice at dawn, or two birds gobble one time. A 15 minute walk got me in the general area, but no further gobbles.
A beautiful hardwood ridge. I spent the AM there, calling blind, but no bird.

Day 7 on my old club, now state land, where I had heard seen multiple toms in the fall bowhunting deer, seen one bird strutting pre season, and found gobbler tracks the PM prior. Lots of hen tracks near a fresh cutover. I was pretty confident I'd have acton. I hunted the open cut over/edges using a blind and decoys, and did not see a bird. I heard "something" that may have been half gobbles, when a plane flew over, 30 minutes before quitting time. It may have been some guy w/ a gobble tube or box too!

The consensus is its slow, nobody is sure why.
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Old April 11, 2011, 01:26 AM   #13
bamaranger
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Days 8-9

I was back out on the hardwood ridge from earlier. On day 8 a bird gobbled 3 times on the other side of the valley, 1/2 mile and much private property away and then a shot. A hen flew down 15minutes later not 100 yds away, and that was it. I hung in there till after lunch, but no action.

Day 9, same ridge, its absolutely gorgeous. Big white oaks, knolls, saddles, benches, maybe 150 acres, ......and no turkeys. I talked to the family across the valley, and the son killed a gobbler the AM I heard the shot above. Good kid and he deserves a bird, plus he was hunting with his Dad, so good for them.

It very likely his was the bird I heard here a few days before. As pretty as this ridge is, I'm going to leave it. Three AM's here, no real action, and the only bird I heard here may be dead. I need some more territory. Highlight of the day was a big hognose snake that did its "puff adder" and rolling routine when I fooled with it.

Day 10, back to work and no hunt.
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Old April 13, 2011, 11:33 AM   #14
sxm1
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NC Season came in on Sat 4-9

I hunted on Sat, not even a gobble. Had taken off Mon,Tue and Wed. Mon heard gobbling and moved to get closer and later saw the bird in my original spot. Tue learned from my mistake and stayed put, killed a nice bird at 8:53 am. Today was a hunt like you see on TV, heard gobbling and moved to cut the distance, set up and scratched out a few yelps on a glass call, he gobbled back then flew down, a few yelps on the glass call and on a diaphram and he came like he was on a string, shot him at 22 steps. Mossberg 935 with the turkey choke that came with the gun. 3.5" Winchester Supreme 2oz #5.
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Old April 13, 2011, 04:40 PM   #15
markj
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Well come to my place, hunters down and up make em roost in my oak trees. I get up 5:30 go out and chore up, hear em gobbleing like mad. Saturday I will get up same time, go sit on the fence line and shoot the best tom I see.

Then back to field work it is planting season.
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Old April 15, 2011, 12:28 AM   #16
bamaranger
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hunts 10 & 11

On Tues (hunt #10) I was back on my old club (now state property) along the edge of a fresh cutover. Lots of tracks here but no gobbling or sightings today. Still plenty of road warriors trying to strike a bird from the truck/road.
I set out decoys out of site from same and called blind all AM, notta.

PM I scouted hard, using vehicle to search for gobbler tracks in the washes and mud. Ironically, found what looks like tom tracks on the section closest home near an area we call the Radio Tower. Also, road mountain bike WAY back on a new area, ............and the chain broke. Had to walk the darn thing out. No real sign there anyhow.

Weds, (hunt 11) I was out where I found tracks day before at Radio Tower. Bird gobbles at first light and continues through about 0930. . Saw him twice, once in full strut at about 60 yds out front, and a second time off to my right passing through with hens.... again out of range. I moved on him as it seemed initially he was going to travel the ridge top. Wrong!! He went by on the hollow bottom, right past my first set up. Nuts.

This was the first gobbling turkey I'd set to all season. Just wouldn't come the last 15 yds or so. Having live hens, possibly in his sight, didn't help.

Plan to hunt there again tomorrow AM, If I can get up and the weather holds. Likely a blind and decoy hunt, the hollow botttom is open and clear.
If they pass up that draw again from the roost, it could be good. I normally don't like to commit to a blind w/o knowing a tom is there.......but that's the plan.

It is not a big area, hope I have it to myself. When I went by today on my way to work and I did not see a vehicle anywhere, so I have a fair chance of working him again. Also, hopefully the outbreak of gobbling activity with this bird signals an improvement in the season.

EVERY hunter I'm speaking w/ is having a hard time hearing birds.
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Old April 17, 2011, 08:43 AM   #17
Logs
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Yesterday the weather in KY was crappy, today 60 and sunshine. Harvested mine at 7:30 AM today. 24 LBS - 11 Inch Beard

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Old April 18, 2011, 05:00 AM   #18
sxm1
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Moon and stars are back in alignment

Had a typical turkey hunt an Sat took, my farmer friend's son. After an hour of nothing we decided to move, a bird had been watching us the whole time we spooked him out of his roost tree when we stood up. Nice bird Logs
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Old April 20, 2011, 01:39 AM   #19
bamaranger
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hunts 12-16

I have now spent 6 days hunting the Radio Tower bird, and he has received the name "Ol Mic", as in microwave.

Hunts 12-13 were in awful weather. I got driven out of the woods by nickel/quarter size hailstones. Still the bird gobbled 3 times at thunder on one day, and half a dozen times on his own another.

Hunt 14 I saw him again. Answered from the roost, and came in steady, but at 50-60 yds, veered off and worked his way above me and gobbled for an hour. I stood as much of this as I could, then gobbled back on a tube call. He shut up and that was that.

Hunt 15 I set up high. He came in twice, just out of sight, left and right. Then faded away back down the ridge. Hour later he was gobbling in the opposite hollow to the east. I got tangled up in a blow down trying to close in, very clumsy, and fell, making a terrible racket with blind, stool, decoys, shotgun and 265 lbs of me, and that was that.

Today, hunt 16, I saw him again. Never gobbled, just appeared out in front at 52 paces, strutting silently, then fading away after 15 min or so. I had a decoys set out (hen and Jake) but I doubt he saw them, they were "under" him on the lip of the slope. I was about to quit, was putting things up in my vest, snapping sling on shotgun, and he appeared, like a phantom, again just out of range.

Bird apparently will not enter the little basin that is the most clear spot in the area, nor will he close more than 50-60 yds on a call. Bet he got shot at, or over ,or something , early in the season.

I have a new plan, but bad weather is coming and I doubt I will get a chance to try it for a few days. Amazingly, a week on public land, and not another soul.
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Old April 20, 2011, 10:59 PM   #20
bamaranger
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hunt 17

Rained like the blue blazes this AM and I slept in.

About 10:00 AM I hustled over to the Tower and staked out two dekes (jake and hen) on the access road, hoping that Ol' Mic might just come out in the open to dry out. Gobbled periodically to add to the illusion, but nothing.

Saw two hens, no gobblers, no gobbles.

Gotta go back to work for a few days.
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Old April 24, 2011, 01:38 AM   #21
bamaranger
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hunts 18 & 19

Hunt 18 was a bust. Cold after the rain, no gobbles. I did see a hen on my way out and some strut marks in the access road, so I'm believing "Ol Mic" is still there and the next hunt proved same.

Hunt 19, I was in early, and tip toed well down the hollow in the darkness and set up. Much foliage now and the wet leaves allowed me to be pretty quiet. But man, was it windy.
Bird gobbled from his usual spot, but now I'm under 100 yds from him. Answered my tree call w/ another gobble. I shut up and so did he. Thirty minutes later he gobbled 300-400 yds away, he'd come down and departed along the right/west side of the hollow. He'd not done that on any of the mornings I've hunted him!!!!!

I have spent MANY mornings now on this bird and am thinking of leaving him. However, one of my guidelines has always been ..........."never leave turkeys to find turkeys". The fact that this is only about 2 miles from the house doesn't hurt either. Guess I'll stay on him.

Did get a report that a piece of pasture I've wanted to PM hunt all season will open up to me the last week, the owner is leaving town and I can finally get on it. (legally mind you!) The family member who's advising same states he saw a gobbler there in the open just the other day. Typically I hunt fields and open areas in the PM and kill a bird just often enough to make it a worthwhile endeavor. Not real often, but enough that it increases the odds a bit. This year I have not PM hunted much, as I just was not seeing or on enough birds to make it worthwhile. This pasture is a welcome option.
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:11 AM   #22
bamaranger
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hunts 20 and 21

Monday, hunt 20. Hunt # 10 for "Ol Mic". Windy, man was it windy. I MAY have heard two gobbles about mid morning, and may be not. Relocated out of the hollow up onto the access road, and had two hens close real quick, dusting and bugging. In the PM hunted the pasture described earlier, in a completely different area, and saw and heard notta.

Hunt 21. Stormed hard and I got called in before daylight for work. Once home I slept till noon. In the PM I hunted the pasture again, watched a hen bug for two hours, no gobbler.
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Old April 28, 2011, 02:41 PM   #23
markj
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Hey Bama, hope this bad weather isnt hurting you or anyone else I know there. Most of my friends are in GA. Havent heard from them yet.
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Old April 30, 2011, 01:49 AM   #24
bamaranger
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hunt 22, bamaranger OK

Pulled a bunch of hours at work, as Tues and Weds were bad weather as most everyone knows by now. thanks for the inquiry markj.

Today, Fri AM, I hunted "Ol Mic" again, hunt # 11 for him. Heard nothing. Called blind in Mic's favorite hollow, then came out on the access road for a blind and decoy set in the open. Total of 6 hr hunt. I've not heard the bird since Sat AM. He's gone or dead or something.

Last day tomorrow, I can hunt the AM, if they don't call me out for work and I can get up. Don't think I can stand another Ol'Mic hunt, so off to another area, the big pretty ridge I'd hunted early in the season. My shootin buddy lives nearby (his relatives own the ridge) and saw a gobbler in the open there couple of days ago, good a chance as any.

Ol Mic is one lucky character. I had the gun on him FOUR times, but in each instance he was a tad farther out than I care to shoot. I guess I heard him 6, AM's out of 11, and he gave a great bit of sport. Only morning he could have gotten shot that I wasn't there since I heard him last was Easter Sunday, and I didn't see any fresh truck tracks there that PM, so.......maybe he's just on a walkabout. How far a gobbler ranges in the spring would be a good topic for another thread, .Hmmmm?
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Old May 2, 2011, 01:58 AM   #25
bamaranger
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hunt 23 season over

Hunted the big pretty ridge from early in the season and saw and heard notta.

So the season in over, and it will be much hot weather and grass cutting 'till we can hit the woods again.

This was the first "one bird"season that I've had in 13 years!!. Several good turkey hunters I know did not kill a bird. One guy said he heard "one" gobble all season. What happened?

Well it got nice early, temps in March were in the 80's. Some gobbling and strutting was happening then for sure. Also, the birds were not well fed. NO mast the fall prior, I'm not sure how nourished they were to start their breeding season . Snow cover in the winter may have caused some mortality. Darn coyotes everywhere.

Hopefully Ol'Mic survived. You guys up north, enjoy your season.

Sit still, look sharp.....he's coming!!!!!!!
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