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Turkey Season 2014

Posted April 23rd, 2014 at 08:47 AM by Black Spurs

I have had a very successful spring turkey season for 2014, but I am one of the few who has from what I can tell. Most people I know who regularly limit out only managed to kill one turkey or not even one turkey. I think the weather has been the most detrimental factor in all this. We had a pretty cold and wet early season that probably set things back a bit. You know something isnít right when you see two longbeards with 8 hens on the last weekend. By the last week of the season, the gobblers should be in panic mode, gobbling up hens. The lull came early and stayed late.

I guess I was lucky that I had the forethought and time to spend a good bit of time watching birds before the season started. The first group of hens I saw with gobblers was on February 23rd, a month before the season: 2 gobblers, a jake, and 5 hens. The next set I saw was March 7th, two weeks before the season: 1 gobbler, 1 jake, and 12 hens. Then, I heard two gobble in another spot on March 8th.

I took the two weeks prior to the start and watched those birds as often as I could, and I got lucky the evening before the season and had one walk right past me going to roost. Cows messed me up the opening morning, but I managed to kill one after a thunderstorm on the second day, which I think was the turkey that had the 12 hens on March 7th. He was never seen in that field again after I killed him there. However, the turkey I saw had a long beard; the turkey I killed had beard rot. I donít know how long beard rot takes to develop and the beard to break, but he was definitely a hard gobbling 2 year old turkey.

At the end of the first week, I killed another 2 year old after the bigger turkey was spooked by a coyote. The second turkey came in clucking and looking. That was a great hunt, and it is possibly the last turkey I will ever kill on that place if it gets leased in June. I have often wondered what would have happened if I had let that one gobbler walk away and waited for the bigger gobbler to fly down after he shut up when the coyote walked under him. I just canít bring myself to let a longbeard walk away. I have not reached that level of maturity as a turkey hunter. I doubt I ever will.

After that first week, I spent some time taking other people, and I am glad that I didnít let that second turkey walk off. We chased birds on places that I know have turkeys and did not hear a gobble. We saw sign; we saw turkeys; we heard nothing. And when I say nothing, I mean not a peep from a turkey. I find that there is always a weird period during the spring when you start seeing some lone hens and start thinking they are all nesting or about to be nesting, but the turkeys arenít gobbling or responding well to calls. Sometimes (often), they completely ignore your (my) calling. That ďweirdĒ period, or lull, usually ends by the last week of the season. As best I can tell, the lull continues, now, three days after the season has ended.

All things considered, I feel very lucky to have limited out this season. The season ended before the turkeys really got started.
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  1. Old Comment
    Good post. Hunted our place in St. Helena and was unsuccessful. Very few to no turkeys spotted on hunts. Saw good groups during deer season but was disappointed this turkey season. Did not even see the hens which are usually on property in high numbers. I think weather played a big part with a slow season. I did hear neighboring property shoot and we did have one turkey harvest on property. Last day I hunted I left after coyotes began howling nearby. Thank goodness I was able to make a Texas hunt. Turkey hunting is by far the most addicting hunt. I am ready for next season.
    Posted May 3rd, 2014 at 06:13 PM by cajunsim cajunsim is offline
 

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