Turkey Hunting: From the Woods-March 28

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 It’s the end of March, and the spring turkey season is in full swing in several states.  We caught up with some of the experts to get their take on the season thus far.  Enjoy!

Scott Ellis, Woodhaven Custom Calls, Mulberry, Florida

“The season is going pretty well so far.  Highlights include: last weekend I harvested a public land bird and my buddy missed one the same morning.  We also laid down film for Turkey Call TV at the Rafter T Ranch in Sebring, FL where 11 year old Sawyer Stevens harvested his 1st Osceola and I managed to call in Ryan Futch's 1st turkey ever!  Birds in Florida have been gobbling pretty well and working decent for me on both public and private land, but I have been on several gobblers that were flocked up that did not want to work and did not have hens, so that has been an interesting observation.  I am anxious to see how the season progresses...South Carolina Easterns for me all next week!  Safe hunting folks!”

Dan Braman, Mellon Creek Outfitters, Refugio, Texas

“Hunting at Mellon Creek Outfitters in south Texas has been really good. The bird numbers are higher than we've seen in years and we have taken some exceptional gobblers.  We've taken six clients hunting thus far and have taken nine great birds. The first group was a husband and wife from San Antonio.  Tim and his wife decided that they would just take one bird each. The morning hunt I set up about 100 yards from a roost where I knew multiple gobblers were. These birds were henned up bad but I thought we had a shot. Fifteen minutes after fly down we had four big strutters within 40 yards of us. Tim took a great bird and for the next 15 minutes we watched two gobblers fight. We stopped them for fear that one would kill the other.  All of this was captured on video. That evening I set up on the far east end of the ranch where I had seen a lot of turkey traffic. Around 6:15 PM two big long beards came strutting down a dirt road towards us. They walked off the road and stood just out of range for about thirty minutes. With a little coaxing Sue took a beautiful Tom at 23 yards. The second hunt was a father son combo and first time turkey hunters. On Jeff and Nic's first morning they took a double inside 30 yards after the big birds destroyed my decoy. They put on quite the show and turkey hunting has two more addicts now. That afternoon, Jeff went with another guide and they took a great bird after a 50 yard standoff for a half an hour. Nic, took his second bird with me late that same afternoon. We had four giants 14 yards in front of us. "

"Dr. Pete D'Amour came from Indiana to hunt turkey with us again. I thought it couldn't get any better than Pete's hunt last year but I believe it did. On the first set up I called in two good birds for Pete but we passed on them. Pete is an avid hunter and likes to try and get the best birds possible. Our second set up was in an area where I had seen a big bird on several occasion. We set up and called for about an hour when I looked to my left and saw the big tom about sixty yards away. The bird had come in silent and was standing in the sun in full strut. Slowly he creeped our way, going in and out of strut. As he got close he started to get nervous and turned to run away. I clucked once and he stopped just long enough for Pete to make a great shot at 43 yards. The following morning Pete and I set up near several roosts. I would estimate that we had 25+ birds gobbling in all directions around us. Two birds walked in straight behind us so close that I could hear their feet in the leaves. I stayed silent and let them walk off about two hundred yards and yelped two more times. This time they came in from our left and Pete sealed the deal. This bird's spurs were just over 1 1/4 inches with a 10" beard. Our last client, a lady, elected to just take one bird. She and I snuck into a roost early on the first morning and never heard a gobble. After about a half hour two hens walked near us and I heard drumming to our left. In walked a huge bird at literally 20 feet away. Stephanie kept her cool and took a fine gobbler. We have at least ten more roosts located that we haven't touched.”

Terence Williamson, Zink Calls, Buhl, Alabama

“I cannot think of a season with better weather than we have had for the first week and a half of the 2012 Alabama turkey season. The gobbling has been equally as good for the most part during this same period of time.  The season started off with exceptionally warm temperatures for this time of year that appears to have the vegetation about two or three weeks ahead of schedule in West Alabama.  With this warm weather came great gobbling for the start of the season!  I, along with the majority of the hunters that I have spoken to in my area, am hearing plenty of gobbling from numerous birds, and have only had a couple of mornings that the birds decided not to talk.  I have been very pleased with the number of two year old gobblers that I have been seeing and working, and have heard similar reports from others in the area.  This makes perfect sense considering the number of jakes that we encountered last year, and is definitely making this season start out much more successful than the extremely tough season that I suffered through a year ago.  I guess we are hearing more birds gobbling this year because we did not put much of a dent in the population last year on the grounds that I hunt.  Instead of the traveling that I have been lucky enough to experience over the past few seasons, I am focusing strictly on West Alabama Eastern gobblers for this entire season, so I hope to have another successful update in a few more weeks.  Good luck to everyone hunting and be safe!
Wild Turkey Report Staff
Wild Turkey Report is the internet's new destination for information on the sport of turkey hunting. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildturkeyreport and on Twitter @wildturkeyreprt!
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