Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Red-Hot Turkey Hunting This Spring

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Whitetail 365
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

April 27, 2012

Red-Hot Turkey Hunting This Spring

By Scott Bestul

I’ve been hunting turkeys for about 30 years now, and have experienced just about every type of spring imaginable. This year (actually, our season is about 10 days old now) has some of the best hunting I’ve seen in a while, and I attribute it to strong numbers of two-year-old gobblers. Just as a healthy batch of whitetail bucks makes for an intense rut, competition between toms makes for ramped-up turkey breeding. And hunters are the main beneficiaries any time males duke it out to get to a female.

Though I haven’t pulled a trigger or loosed an arrow yet, I’ve watched four gobblers die within the last six days of hunting. The first, pictured above, fell to my friend Gabe Mierau, 12. Gabe’s dad, Dean, was called up to active military duty this winter, and before Dean left, he asked if I’d take Gabe turkey hunting in the spring. I was more than happy to oblige, and was particularly thrilled when three longbeards marched to our decoys opening morning. Gabe performed like a veteran hunter, waiting until the trio of birds separated enough to take (and make) a 10-yard shot.

Just two days ago, I joined my father and uncle for our annual spring safari. After a slow opening day, we went to a new farm to start the second morning. At 8:00 a.m., Uncle Al (on the right in this photo) dropped this big-framed two-year-old as it poked its head into a corner of the field where I was running my calls. We celebrated briefly, and then headed toward the opposite end of the property to blind call for a while. It was easy to pass an hour on the pretty, hardwood ridge — even better when a distant pair of gobblers greeted a series of yelps. Dad completed the day’s double play when a pair of gobblers strutted in 10 minutes later. The duo covered 600 yards; crossing a field, a barbed wire fence, and a steep ditch to reach us.

Like I said before, competition among birds makes for happy hunters. As a side note, my father is 82 and my uncle is 80. I hope I’m still at it when I’m their age!

So how’s the turkey hunting in your neck of the woods this spring?

 

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from RES1956 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Early spring and the deep south with an April 1 opener is a bad combination. We hunt in jungles down here and the early green up just makes it worse.
Good news is that they have gobbled really well all season and came to the call for the most part.
Congrats to young Gabe!! Now teach him the right way to do it, without decoys and a blind.
Your Dad and Uncle look especially vivacious to be 80 and 82, funny how killing a big old gobbler makes one feel youthful again. Congrats to both of them and I wish them many more springs in the turkey woods. I just wish I knew I was going to see 80, much less be turkey hunting, but then again if I couldn't be turkey hunting, what would be the point. LOL

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

those are some very nice turkeys! wish i was able to get out the spring. maybe in the fall when things calm down in my personal life.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from vasportsman wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Got one on opening day, second weekend not even a gobble, but did call in a lonely hen and we had about a 10 minute conversation, and going tomorrow to see if they are awake again. Awesome birds!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Mine starts tomorrow, yay!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Our group of 3's turkey tally this spring is 8 and we have been at it for about a month and 7 of those birds were archery and only one was a jake. They arent hanging up, they are gobbling alot so its been a great season with a whole month left to go! The only problem we have had is them not gobbling at our first call they always seem to gobble about 5 min. later or totally on their own out of the blue.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Oh and we got a triple of 3 toms, one got his head lopped off with a magnus bullhead, one got shot with a hammerhead at 3 yards and one got hit with #5's at about 15 yards. All in a matter of about 20 seconds if not less. First triple ever.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Travis wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

I will agree this season has been the best I have ever witnessed. The first two days of the season my dad and i went out and ending up getting 3 turkeys with our bows so my dad was tagged out the second day and a week later i filled my second bow tag here in Iowa. Out of the family we have gotten 15 tags and all 15 of those tags have been filled. I have watched 11 of those turkeys die and i was the camera man. Some awesome footage

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from walmsley wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

CONGRATS to GABE and the BESTUL BOYS! And to you Scott, for being such a fine "guide" to them! I'm sure you feel it was even more successful the they do, just being part of a great thing!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

i have the MI late season which doesnt come in till next monday and its killing me. been doing scouting, and birds are extremely active right now. lots of gobbling, seeing lots of strutting. hens seem to be more vocal this year then in years past as well, lots of yelping and cutting going on the woods.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

All three of us that hunt together bagged on in the first two weeks (on different days). After that, nary a gobble. I think tghe unseasonally warm winter has thehens on the nests sooner. At least I was able to bag one with my 96 year old Winchester Model 97. :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from RES1956 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Early spring and the deep south with an April 1 opener is a bad combination. We hunt in jungles down here and the early green up just makes it worse.
Good news is that they have gobbled really well all season and came to the call for the most part.
Congrats to young Gabe!! Now teach him the right way to do it, without decoys and a blind.
Your Dad and Uncle look especially vivacious to be 80 and 82, funny how killing a big old gobbler makes one feel youthful again. Congrats to both of them and I wish them many more springs in the turkey woods. I just wish I knew I was going to see 80, much less be turkey hunting, but then again if I couldn't be turkey hunting, what would be the point. LOL

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

those are some very nice turkeys! wish i was able to get out the spring. maybe in the fall when things calm down in my personal life.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from vasportsman wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Got one on opening day, second weekend not even a gobble, but did call in a lonely hen and we had about a 10 minute conversation, and going tomorrow to see if they are awake again. Awesome birds!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Mine starts tomorrow, yay!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Our group of 3's turkey tally this spring is 8 and we have been at it for about a month and 7 of those birds were archery and only one was a jake. They arent hanging up, they are gobbling alot so its been a great season with a whole month left to go! The only problem we have had is them not gobbling at our first call they always seem to gobble about 5 min. later or totally on their own out of the blue.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Oh and we got a triple of 3 toms, one got his head lopped off with a magnus bullhead, one got shot with a hammerhead at 3 yards and one got hit with #5's at about 15 yards. All in a matter of about 20 seconds if not less. First triple ever.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Travis wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

I will agree this season has been the best I have ever witnessed. The first two days of the season my dad and i went out and ending up getting 3 turkeys with our bows so my dad was tagged out the second day and a week later i filled my second bow tag here in Iowa. Out of the family we have gotten 15 tags and all 15 of those tags have been filled. I have watched 11 of those turkeys die and i was the camera man. Some awesome footage

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from walmsley wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

CONGRATS to GABE and the BESTUL BOYS! And to you Scott, for being such a fine "guide" to them! I'm sure you feel it was even more successful the they do, just being part of a great thing!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

i have the MI late season which doesnt come in till next monday and its killing me. been doing scouting, and birds are extremely active right now. lots of gobbling, seeing lots of strutting. hens seem to be more vocal this year then in years past as well, lots of yelping and cutting going on the woods.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

All three of us that hunt together bagged on in the first two weeks (on different days). After that, nary a gobble. I think tghe unseasonally warm winter has thehens on the nests sooner. At least I was able to bag one with my 96 year old Winchester Model 97. :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment