Ever get a gobbler fired up, wait for what seems like long enough, and then stand up only to flush it right behind you? Yep me too. Busted! Here are some other sounds you should listen for to zero in on non-gobbling turkeys approaching your setup.
Bird and animal noises: Squirrels barking and chittering, blue jays screeching and crows cawing wildly can key you into a turkey’s movements in your direction. I’ve killed a gobbler or two this way when other wildlife let me know that big bird was coming.
Shotshell patterning pump gunners who’ve suffered through shoulder-thumping sessions at the local range know reduced recoil is but a sweet wishful dream—until now.
O.F. Mossberg and Sons, Inc. and Mathews, Inc. have partnered to develop a new recoil reduction system which will be featured on seven new Mossberg pump-action shotguns in 2013. The system features a unique Mossberg Dual-Comb (low and high profile inserts) stock design incorporating Mathews Harmonic Damper Technology combined with a newly re-engineered thermoplastic elastomer recoil pad.
Early in the spring season, when turkey flocks are still in winter formation, your one or two decoys may not be enough to attract a gobbler. So create a flock. Borrow a collection of assorted dekes from your buddies. Buy cheap foam models from the sale bin at your sporting-goods store. Resurrect tattered veterans from the back of your gear closet. Just as with field spreads for geese, make sure you have a mix of feeding, sentry, and loafing turkey decoys. And leave room in the middle as a “landing zone” for incoming gobblers.
Many thanks to everyone who entered our wild turkey recipe contest. We received a bunch that surely make some fine dishes, and one in particular that made us grin: Ingredients: One bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon Ice Branch water (optional) Medium-size glass
Directions: Remove cap from bottle. Take small sip to check for freshness. Place ice in glass (Take another small sip to determine temperature. It should be room temperature or warmer. Or colder.). Add three fingers of Wild Turkey to glass (It’s ok if you get too much in the glass. Just take a small sip to ensure correct proportions.). Add branch water if desired. Repeat above steps as necessary.
For a bird that Benjamin Franklin wanted to anoint as the United States’ national bird, the wild turkey doesn’t get much credit as table fare. Come to think of it, neither does the bald eagle, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, wild turkey meat can obviously be quite delicious when cared for properly and prepared well. To that end, and with Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, we want to hear your favorite wild turkey recipes. We’ve even lined up renowned chef and avid hunter Charlie Palmer to review the recipes and pick the one he thinks would make the most delicious meal. The submitter of the recipe that Charlie deems the best will receive a prize pack that includes a Bass Pro Shops 30-Quart Propane Turkey Fryer; a signed copy of Charlie Palmer’s book Great American Food; and a sampling of marinades, rubs, and seasonings from Hi Mountain.
Turkey hunting legend John H. Byrne, Jr., of Homeplace Farms, Lowry, Va, died Monday, Sept. 3 at the age of 87. Mr. Byrne is best known for his selective breeding that resulted in the Appalachian Turkey Dog, a Pointer/Setter/Plott-hound line bred specifically for fall turkey hunting.
Each New Year’s Day evening for 10 years, my phone would ring—one of those few times when I’d actually rush to pick it up.
“How’s Jake?” boomed the voice on the other end. “How’d ‘The Man’ make out this season?”
Jake was my turkey-hunting dog and the anticipated call was from John Byrne of Lowry, Virginia. Mr. Byrne, or “Daddy” as he was referred to by some of his dearest friends, was Jake’s breeder. However, to say that Mr. Byrne was a breeder of turkey dogs is like saying that Ford makes trucks. Although some may argue the point, Mr. Byrne pretty much invented the turkey dog. His line of “Appalachian Turkey Dogs” do not have AKC certification (he never sought such a thing), but they surely have fall turkey hunter certification. His dogs, a mix of Pointer, Setter and Plott Hound, remain the most highly regarded turkey dogs on the planet.
Last fall I went on my first deer hunt and killed two deer in about three hours. This spring, I got to go on my first turkey hunt with some of the guys from Outdoor Life and learned something very valuable: my first deer hunt was pure luck.
The most recent gobbler kill in my turkey hunting circle of friends went down this past weekend.
Reports from around the country where spring turkey seasons remain open indicate birds are still gobbling hard and getting grilled on outdoor decks. Personally, I’m still out there too, carrying my second Maine tag as a bonus ticket to the show after killing a longbeard back on the opener.
Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire spring turkey seasons end May 31. Maine doesn’t close until noon on Saturday, June 2. Some of us want to make it last.
As tough and frustrating as turkey hunting can be with a shotgun, some hunters choose to add even more stress and frustration to their lives by trying to take down a gobbler with stick and string. Those who have to be politically correct might say that such a hunter strives to pursue the sport at the most demanding and purest levels. Others might describe such a hunter as insane, a fool, or crazy.
One such hunter who is “crazy” about hunting, fishing or anything outdoors related is Ryan Ruef of Massachusetts. A couple of years ago Ryan, 13, and his brother Andrew, 11, started accompanying their dad, Gary, on deer, pheasant and turkey hunts in Massachusetts and Connecticut. These adventures were great experiences for the boys, but after three years of tagging along with dad, they came to realize that hunters go home with unfilled tags more often than they do with a trophy.