Posts Tagged ‘Spring Turkey Hunting’

That’s ‘5’ as in ‘5 years now, and counting.’  I’m not done this year, but at this point, I’ve started thinking about turkey hunting more in terms of ‘how far am I going to hike with my Remington 1100 today?’

I hit Paulding Forest both days last weekend, Saturday I hunted north of highway 278, Sunday I headed south of the highway.  I didn’t hear a bird on Saturday, but I did find a couple of sets of tracks and dust wallows.  I also  practiced with my handheld GPS: I’ve had the unit for years (it’s a Garmin eTrex about eight years old,) but never really used it or studied how to use it properly, so shame on me for not learning how to use a good piece of gear.  I also took my Remington 1100, a pair of VERY CHEAP decoys, a slate-style call and water.

Saturday, I followed the WMA ranger road for roughly a mile, calling softly every few minutes to see if I could get a gobble, with no luck.  At the end of that particular road, I hiked out to a point where I could sit and call into the bottom.

Nothing.

After an hour and a half, I used the GPS to navigate back to the truck using the most direct route.  I had started my fitness app on the phone when I left the truck, and paused it every time I stopped, at the end of going up and down all of those hollows, my fitness app told me I burned 2,190 calories.  My legs told me they wanted a divorce. (If you don’t know me personally, I look like the result of Sasquatch going on an all pizza diet for a decade. Yes, I can probably curl an economy car, but anyone who can sprint would easily get away if I was chasing them. 🙂 )

So, I consulted with my Paulding Forest WMA expert, and he said ‘you look tired.’ *insert drumroll here* – Just kidding, he said to scout SOUTH of 278 because the hunting pressure is much lighter on that side of the highway.   So Sunday, that’s where I hunted.

After finding a WMA marker (which is somewhat difficult in places), near a small power line, I decided to pop out of the truck and walk into the woods for a bit.

I would like to point out, both days I entered the woods after dawn – I like to get into the woods an hour BEFORE dawn, but when I don’t know a location, I don’t like taking the risk of an injury, or screwing up somebody else’s hunt, or even ending up on the wrong side of a property line.  Being safe, courteous, and legal is more important to me than what time I get in the woods.

So the power line was a small one, single pole, maybe three actual cables, it doesn’t show up on the WMA maps I printed, and it wasn’t what we think of as a power line cut here in Georgia, which are usually large enough to park an aircraft carrier inside of without touching the trees on either side.  I started walking down the hill, and immediately found wildlife.

Turtle_Paulding_forest

Just after taking the photograph, I heard a gobble, and my heart started thumping.  Working quickly and quietly, I moved to a bend in the cut and set up my hen and jake decoys, then found a patch of thorn bushes to sit behind where I could see and shoot if I had the opportunity.

I hit my slate call with a few clucks, and three gobblers responded.  Three.  One across the road behind the strip of woods behind me, one down the hollow that was a fair distance away, and one that sounded remarkably close.  I waited forever (three or four minutes) and hit the call again, more aggressively this time, and again, three gobblers responded immediately.  I should point out that my skill at using a turkey call is minimal.  As in ‘I can get it to make noises that sound turkey-like.’  For all I know, what the gobblers were hearing is ‘Bug water tree rock! Fat leaf dirt dirt!’ instead of ‘Hey big boys!’

Based on an hour and a half of calling, and an hour and fifteen minutes of gobblers responding, I’m pretty sure I confused all three of the birds to no end.  Yes, I’m sure these weren’t other hunters, the chances of three other hunters ONLY using gobble calls, in those three directions, are very slight.

An hour after the gobblers stopped responding, I decided to pick up the decoys and wander down the hollow to see if I could either tease a gobble after moving a few hundred yards, or locate some tracks or other game sign for information.  I did find some interesting spots in the little creek bottom, but no sign of turkey or other critters.

But there’s always next week.

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From the Winchester Blog

By MELISSA BACHMAN |

Click to view the Winchester Blog article

Click to view the Winchester Blog article

I’ll be the first to admit that I usually carry too much gear whether I’m turkey hunting or deer hunting. Over the years, however, I’ve learned having a few essential items in the vest at all times can make a hunt not only more enjoyable, but more successful as well. This is all subjective, but here are the items I can’t live without when hitting the turkey woods each spring.

  1. Predator Call- One item I never leave home without is a predator call. I absolutely love to predator hunt as well, and I can’t count the number of coyotes I’ve spotted while turkey hunting. For this reason, my predator call is never far away and I get just as excited about calling in a coyote as I do a turkey
  2. Permetherin Spray- If there is one thing I can count on throughout the spring turkey season, has to be the presence of ticks. I don’t have much of a problem with snakes or spiders or many other critters, but ticks I hate. In my opinion, they invade my space plus they’re absolutely full of disease. Permethrin_with_BottleThere are many things you can do to try and prevent getting ticks on you, but I’ve found spraying my clothing with Permetherin Spray prior to my hunt is a huge help. The important thing is to just spray your clothes and not get it on your skin, but it is truly amazing how well it works.
  3. LongBeard XR- Winchester has always been known for their innovative products. But with Longbeard XR they truly put their time, effort and research into creating one of the most effective turkey hunting loads on the market. For long range shooting it’s second to none.This is all possible because of the Shot-Lok technology that protects the shot during the in-bore acceleration, which in turn
    gives you tight long-range patterns. For example, at 60-yards you’ll get twice the number of pellets in a 10-inch circle, which makes this one impressive load!

For the rest of the list – visit the Winchester Blog

 

Sorry, I’ve been in the woods or on the road the last few days, hunting turkey with some friends.

We’ve seen three, one decent gobbler and two unknowns.   Yesterday morning, we spread out on a powerline south of Douglasville, with one decoy out on a hilltop, and started calling.  Immediately, a bird gobbled back at us.  Just after first light, he flew down about eighty yards from my buddy’s son, stretched, and *POOF* started strutting.   Then he calmly walked away.   About fifteen minutes later, I saw two birds on my side of the hill, about a hundred yards away, leave the woods and slowly walk across the hill into the woods on the other side, but the sun was coming up in that direction, so I could only see their silhouettes.  We called for a bit, moved, called, moved called, but we couldn’t get the gobbler to respond again, and the two that walked across didn’t step anywhere where we could check the tracks.

But we had a good time.

We’re going to hit that same spot in a few days, adjusting our position to see if we can ambush the gobbler when he comes off of the roost.

Hope everybody is having a fun, SAFE turkey season!

hni-turkey-decoys

Image property of Hunting.net

I have mentioned before that I’m cursed when it comes to turkey hunting.   So far, this year has been living up to my expectations.  About five or six weeks ago, I told my daughter that if she was doing better in school, etc, that I would take her to the dance competition at Furry Weekend Atlanta.

Now. Guess what day THAT was?  Oh, yeah, the opening day of TURKEY season.   The only private property I can hunt is about 2.5 hours south of here, and I didn’t look at the times on the actual competition, so when I asked her ‘what time do we need to go to the convention? 11am? Noon?’ she just said ‘sure, that’s fine.’   The dance competition was at 9pm-11pm.

*sigh*

BUT she had a good time with her friend Yuki, I was mostly amused (we only ran into a few grumpy/sour folks, the rest of these people were having the time of their lives) and there are worse ways to spend a day than wandering around the Westin hotel downtown bumping into adults who dress up like sports mascots for a hobby. Having observed my daughter, half the fun seems to be in making the suit and creating the character, which was always half the fun in Dungeons & Dragons, Star Frontiers etc. when I was her age.

Oh, yeah, the BEST part reminded me very much of DragonCon: when people who had NO CLUE that this event was scheduled at the same time as their hotel stay wandered out with a very stunned, “What the….” look on their face.  Cracks me up, every time.

I even wore my PSE Archery hat  That's my daughter in the red and black wolf head.

I even wore my PSE Archery hat That’s my daughter in the red and black wolf head.

From the West Georgia Longbeart Challenge Facebook page.  For more information, visit the West Georgia Longbeard website.

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“We are getting close to the season opener! The contest will run from March 22, 2014 until May 15, 2014 We have the prizes set. Grand prize will be a $1000 gift card to Gables Sporting Goods! Each weekly winner will receive a half day quail hunt at Circle W Ranch. We will also have some great door prizes including Yeti coolers! Make sure you take your beard and spurs to gables sporting goods to have them officially scored. The rules will be the same as last year. Must be present at the season end event to win. The season end event will be held Saturday May 17, 2014. If anyone has any questions feel free to let us know. We hope everyone has a great season!”

From the NRA Hunter’s Rights YouTube channel.