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We Interrupt Deer Coverage for this Important Announcement

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April 20, 2009

We Interrupt Deer Coverage for this Important Announcement

By Scott Bestul

No one loves whitetails—and hunting them—more than me. But I refuse to give deer every month of my year. That is why God made turkey hunting, an addiction shared by many of my fellow whitetail geeks. And what better month for turkey hunters than April, when gobblers are singing and we get to speak at them in strange tongues and, occasionally, shoot one.

The picture above comes from my good friend Brian Lovett after a recent Texas turkey expedition. I’ve been fortunate to chase gobblers in some neat places, but when Texas is hot, it is tough place to beat. Last spring, reports from the Lone Star state revealed a jake population that bordered on the ridiculous...a situation which means that—barring disaster—the next spring’s gobbler hunt would be incredible. Two-year old longbeards typically make up the bulk of a turkey harvest, and when their numbers are high, everything that turkey hunters crave (lots of gobbling, working multiple birds, intense competition among male turkeys) is in place.

As Brian’s photo shows, all those last-year jake reports were been spot-on. This pic reminds me of those old deer camp meat-pole photos of yesteryear, when hunters found game abundant and the shooting spectacular. It puts a smile on my heart, and makes me anxious for the wonderful days of spring ahead! So how’s the gobbler hunting been in your neck of the woods?

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Steven9253 wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

I baggee my first bird in my first year of hunting and managed to do it on my own on public land. Hopefully on wednesday I will be able to get a tom with some help from a friend!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

what does that mean for breeding if you take and kill all of the mature birds like that?

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntingreviews wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I hunted in kentucky opener over the weekend, and lucked out. I'm writing about it in my new blog http://huntingreviews.blogspot.com
Larry

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

My birds are still roosting with hens and are silent as soon as they hit the ground in the morning. About 9:30am they gobble a few times but still tough to call in with the hens. This weekend was youth season and we called in one jake. Today was the opener in Ohio and it is raining pretty good. I slept in. Hopefully tomorrow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Nate, shooting toms aren't going to hurt the breeding since females are left alone and one tom can take care of many. Same with other game animals. Don't you feel you could do that?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowhunter352 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

No luck this year for my first attempt at turkey hunting, Its not the same as deer hunting to me. Its alot more layed back and not as serious. I don't get too mad when one runs away if I spook it... But I get one more chance this weekend before season ends... Then I'm going to try my hand at fly fishing! =]

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I have had no luck at all. I had a couple of mute turkeys run up on me, but they went straight for my decoy and then something spooked them. When I looked around the land for a reason, a coyote was running into the open field. So I did get one coyote though!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dances with Deer wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Hunting is great in Wisconsin so far in Learn To Hunts, youth hunts and first period. Only thing missing is jakes. Have not seen many. Looks like next year will be a higher percentage of jakes (unlikely to have another bad year of rain/cold like '08) in the harvest, and older birds. Multiple 2-year-olds and plenty of older toms around. Will be some real bruisers in '10!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

wow i hope ill have that luck this season, though i doubt it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

We certainly have plenty of turkey in my area of Maine. You can hardly drive on the back roads without seeing flock after flock. I've never hunted turkey and don't know why. Can you use rifles on turkey in most states? You can use only shotguns here>

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Steven9253 wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

I baggee my first bird in my first year of hunting and managed to do it on my own on public land. Hopefully on wednesday I will be able to get a tom with some help from a friend!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

what does that mean for breeding if you take and kill all of the mature birds like that?

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntingreviews wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I hunted in kentucky opener over the weekend, and lucked out. I'm writing about it in my new blog http://huntingreviews.blogspot.com
Larry

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

My birds are still roosting with hens and are silent as soon as they hit the ground in the morning. About 9:30am they gobble a few times but still tough to call in with the hens. This weekend was youth season and we called in one jake. Today was the opener in Ohio and it is raining pretty good. I slept in. Hopefully tomorrow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Nate, shooting toms aren't going to hurt the breeding since females are left alone and one tom can take care of many. Same with other game animals. Don't you feel you could do that?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowhunter352 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

No luck this year for my first attempt at turkey hunting, Its not the same as deer hunting to me. Its alot more layed back and not as serious. I don't get too mad when one runs away if I spook it... But I get one more chance this weekend before season ends... Then I'm going to try my hand at fly fishing! =]

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I have had no luck at all. I had a couple of mute turkeys run up on me, but they went straight for my decoy and then something spooked them. When I looked around the land for a reason, a coyote was running into the open field. So I did get one coyote though!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dances with Deer wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Hunting is great in Wisconsin so far in Learn To Hunts, youth hunts and first period. Only thing missing is jakes. Have not seen many. Looks like next year will be a higher percentage of jakes (unlikely to have another bad year of rain/cold like '08) in the harvest, and older birds. Multiple 2-year-olds and plenty of older toms around. Will be some real bruisers in '10!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

wow i hope ill have that luck this season, though i doubt it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

We certainly have plenty of turkey in my area of Maine. You can hardly drive on the back roads without seeing flock after flock. I've never hunted turkey and don't know why. Can you use rifles on turkey in most states? You can use only shotguns here>

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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