Turkey seasons are underway in parts or all of nine states so far with 40 still set to get cranked up through the next two months. (Still no turkeys to hunt in Alaska!) While the turkeys have been typical of early season birds in some places by not gobbling a lot, it hasn’t kept the hunters reporting to The Strut Zone from scoring on virtually every hunt. Very few guys have called in to report that his group had been skunked. If seasons hold true as warm weather crawls north, those of you still waiting to tote your shotgun into the woods, should experience one heck of a season.
Alabama–****Sam Klement with Spectrum Outdoors called the other day to report that every singer that hunted as part of the Country Goes Hunting Charity Event scored on a tom including Rhett Akins who may have well killed among one of the biggest birds taken in the state. It reportedly boasted 1 3/4-inch spurs and a 12-inch beard. I’m hoping to get a picture of that monster online any day now so stay posted. Following a few days of hunting, the participating singers and musicians gathered in Dothan for a concert that raised funds for disabled sportsmen to the expected tune of $130,000! No doubt the show was one to remember.
Louisiana—Hunter’s Specialties’ Alex Rutledge called from his truck headed for Mississippi. He had just left Louisiana where he had been hunting with former NFL QB Bubby Brister and friend Wayne Hagen. Rutledge reports the group enjoyed two kills and a miss, but over three days they called in 14 birds. “The birds weren’t gobbling much once they hit the ground,” Alex says. “We spent a lot of time glassing and spotting them in the open, then we’d move in close and get inside their comfort zone. From there, we were able to work them in with the call.”
Mississippi—Taylor Wilson reports that some hunters he has spoken with in Mississippi complained that cooler than usual weather last week had given the birds a case of lockjaw and as a result weren’t killing much. I trust this has changed with the weather but will get a better update this weekend. That differed somewhat from what The Clarion-Ledger reported as hunters interviewed following opening weekend boasted of a good deal of success. It’s not unusual for birds to crank up in one spot and remain silent in others, particularly when cold weather moves in.
California–Meanwhile, San Diego Union-Tribue outdoor reporter Ed Zieralski, whose been busy chasing down the story of the “would-be” record bass caught in Southern Cal a couple of weeks ago, still managed to get out for an opening day hunt. And while Ed didn’t let on to getting a bird himself, he reported that hunters overall experienced a fantastic opening day with “longbeards plentiful and lots of action in the backcountry.” For a look at his report, click here.
Positive reports have also flowed from South Carolina’s Low Country. The rest of the state opens up this Saturday as do a couple of other states. I’ll have more outlooks and reports on tap for you before the weekend.