Well, I finally managed to get in the woods during turkey season. I planned to go to Paulding Forest WMA (the closest WMA to my home) last Saturday, and the plan was simple – get up at the same time I get up for work (4:50 am or so), jump in the truck and head to an area of the WMA that I know well enough to walk in with just a headlamp and set up my decoys.
Life happened, and I had to stay at the house until 8 am. By the time I drove up to Paulding, there was a truck everywhere I wanted to park, so I thought ‘why not go on to JL Lester WMA?’ I had never been there, it’s not that far away from Paulding Forest, and may not have as many hunters.
So I drove the extra half hour or so, found the WMA, spent another fifteen minutes explaining to a nice older man that ‘open to fishing’ meant ‘open to fishing,’ then headed into the WMA. I found an area that looked good, set up my decoys and called, but never did hear or see anything.
Keep in mind: it was probably 10am by the time I put decoys out, my expectations were not high. So after an hour and a half, I picked up my decoys and just started hiking the WMA to take a look around. I probably spent an hour to an hour and a half meandering around slowly and quietly, looking at deer tracks (many), looking for turkey sign (none in the bit I walked), and in general just scouting about.
It was a nice relaxing afternoon.
The red circle is the area I scouted – lots of deer sign, almost no turkey sign that morning.
Next time, I think I’ll follow the creek up to the bigger lake to the east.