Spring turkey seasons have opened down south in places like Florida, Alabama, Georgia and elsewhere, with buddies in my broad turkey-hunting circle sharing tales of gobblers with hens, and the frustration that brings, but also 100% success. Hey, that’s turkey hunting.
C.J. Davis just checked in from South Carolina, where the limit is 5 gobblers statewide, no more than 2 per day. He reported that he just got back from hunting the fabled Low Country. “Found plenty of gobbling turkeys, but they were henned-up and generally shut up by 8:30 leaving me to ponder life and admire the beauty of the Savannah River swamp. Two others in our party did better with one killing on the last day while another missed.”
The story was different for others. Pete Angle reports that all members of this spring’s Florida hunting camp (four guys all told), which included buddy Tim Herald as well (that’s him with the University of Kentucky hat), met with success.
Angle, Under Armour’s senior marketing manager, told The Strut Zone: “I was eager to join some friends on a FL Central Zone hunt. We met up in the Orlando airport and headed south toward Haines City. We settled in a quiet camp under broad live oaks and sleepy Spanish moss, eagerly awaiting opening day [March 20]. For the past few years, we have booked our trip through Jeff Budz from Tag It Worldwide; the camp has produced a 100% success rate. The streak was on the line for our group so we were motivated to keep it intact. Opening morning produced a barrage of gobbling off the roost and we took two birds by 9 a.m. The next two days the group [four hunters] took three more gobblers, leaving us with five longbeards and a lot of smiles.”
How did the gobblers work? “The turkeys were exceedingly vocal on the roost and for the first hour or two, but they were not so talkative in the afternoons as is usually the case in this honey hole.”
Angle’s off to Texas in April. I’ll be heading to California (a first), Kentucky (an old favorite), and four other states after that. Maine, where I make my home base, closes June 5; two birds this spring for the first time in modern history. It’s a sleeper state on the turkey hunting radar. Last time out I scouted birds in the slanting rain showers, wind and wet snow, and saw: a gobbler with two hens, new to the area; the group of 20+ birds I’ve been watching all winter, which includes three big toms, all strutting at the time; elsewhere, one loner longbeard dragging a 10-incher. How about you Strut Zoners? When do you guys start?