2017 Spring Gobbler Season discussion

I haven't seen this covered in a topic in the past, but I know there's a lot of turkey hunters on here and given the fact that our mascot was/is/debate it a fighting gobbler I thought it might be interesting to get a conversation going. With youth weekend coming up this weekend, and the season opener next weekend, we're headed down the home stretch to my favorite hunting season and I'm getting excited.

The birds in my area of SWVA have been acting a bit strange, not seeing as many out in the open fields like they have been in years past. We had a heck of an acorn crop this year and don't know if they're still feeding on hard mast or what. Have yet to get in the woods but hoping to this weekend. With the warmer temps the fields should start greening up and the activity should pick up some.

What is everyone else seeing? What do you think about killing and eating your mascot? Is turkey pot pie considered pie for debate purposes?

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I heard 6 on public land on Saturday. Two of the six were very fired up. The others gobbled about 6 times each. Two of the six were together, others all singles.

Can't wait for opening day. Thanks for starting the topic.

I've yet to hear a gobble, but again I haven't been in a position to do so. I've checked my cameras at a couple of spots and have been seeing everything from 4 or 5 mature birds together strutting over several hens to some single satellite gobblers with one or two hens. Sounds like you've found a few birds to work with. There is nothing like hearing a bird gobble on a cool spring morning. I'm absolutely stoked.

So far in my area of the state, Essex, they've been shy and quiet but since the coyote has gotten back to big numbers they've definitely changed since and haven't been nearly as loud or bold as they were pre coyote re release but they're still there and I'm itching for the best time of year to start

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

pre coyote re release

Wait, did someone release coyotes purposefully in VA? I thought they were an invasive species.

Click here to destroy wall.

I would find it hard to believe they were released, but I don't think we could call them an invasive species.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I meant re introduced naturally I'm lacking a better term for it but since they've come back into the state they have influenced many of the other native species i.e. Quail noise levels and turkey noise levels I call in quite a few coyotes in spring turkey and that's where the turkey hunt becomes a coyote hunt I'm a big time quail conservationist so any furred critter that likes quail or quail eggs is in danger around me or our germanwirehairs

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yep, you're right. They're living in Central Park in New York City, for cryin' out loud. It is indeed a shame that trappers no longer work on predators like they used to, and the quail have been in trouble for a long time, well before the coyotes returned. I grew up with pointers and quail hunting every Saturday of the season, but the only time my last bird dog, an English Setter ever smelled a quail to my knowledge, was in Oklahoma behind a gas station on a western trip. Coyotes are also notoriously difficult to eradicate, hence their ubiquity these days. If you kill enough of them, the females just have more pups than normal. While interesting, intelligent and sometimes strikingly beautiful creatures, they are definitely detrimental to all ground nesters. They can have the groundhogs, though, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Man I miss those quail days. They were gone long before the new coyote problem sprung up. I blame modern farming techniques.

A Tom ran within 10 feet of my florida room this morning. Come on over! Estimate his beard at 8" not to shabby.

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Not enough "wild" fence rows for habitat is the main problem that I see.

When I was growing up quail hunting in Tidewater, we concentrated on the drainage ditches between the fields, exactly the "wild" fence rows of which you speak. Not only was there the ditch, but also trees and brush in and on either side of the drainage. While the birds also used the edges of the woods, we found them more often in those fence rows, which could be sixty, eighty feet wide. We also used to be able to call birds into our yard near Great Bridge in Chesapeake, from the woods and fields around where we lived. Big loss, those quail.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The biggest thing is farmers no longer leaving habitat strips along field edges like broomstraw and other good food and cover plants like lespedeza and leaving small cedar trees for winter snow cover: on our land we don't let our farmers who lease the farmland to go up to woods edge every field has a habitat perimeter of assorted broom straw grass, wildlife food plots and various trees varying from lespedeza patches to fruit trees and cedar hedge rows. Another key is keeping the woods and field edges clean by burning every block once every three years to give the quail and turkey poults a chance. We divide our land in thirds we'll spread out to keep it varied and burn everything on its three year cycle and we have relative success but still not a huntable population sadly.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

We have pretty good luck keeping our covey of quail in a call back pen here in Blacksburg but there are no wild quail around.

It sure is a cool sound in the evening and I wish more sportsmen took the conservation portion of working bird dogs as serious as the shooting part.

Coyote hunting time?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Ever see one during deer or turkey or anytime it's a coyote hunt just be still and smart don't give yourself away

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I have yet to turkey hunt but will at some point. Luckily my family owns 35 acres that I have seen dozens and dozens on over the years, but probably won't make it out there this year.

Driving to a meeting today at Lake Anna, I saw at least 25 feeding in a field

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

What was going on at Anna?

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

The thing that I've noticed the handful of times that I've been hunting is that turkeys are dumb as hell during deer season but smart as hell during turkey season. Literally couldnt scare them away from my tree stand - they just wanted to trot around and make noise. During turkey season cant get them to come within half a mile of me. Go figure.

I think they're so stupid it makes them seem smart. It is nearly impossible to be on the ground against a tree with a flock of turkeys around you and not somehow spook one. Their eyesight and field of view make them one of the hardest animals in the world to have in close and not spook, especially when there are multiple birds and you're calling to them so they're looking for where the sound is coming from. I think their instinct to get the hell out of dodge just makes them so wary and hard to get into shotgun range on the ground. When they're feeding contently and you're elevated, it seems like you can get by with a lot more.

Elevation makes it easier AS LONG as you stay dead still when you're on their eye level there's nothing wittier bar a coyote to hunt they know something's wrong better than anything

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I had about 20 turkeys leave they roost and come land in a small clearing I was deer hunting. I was in blaze orange on the ground and the furthest one from me was 20 yards. I got angry at that fact so I got super serious this turkey season (much more of a wing shooter, upland and waterfowl) I've got a grudge against them now I don't sppeciate being taunted.

(add if applicable) /s

In Moscow Russia, Turkey Hunt You!

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

If you see this turkey, kill on sight. We never want to see it again.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Archery season opened here (Nebraska) this past weekend. Not partaking as my bow is in pieces and I don't feel like getting it all set up. I've got a week of my calendar blocked off to give a good run at them, weather is finally turning ideal for Spring turkey, I've got high hopes.

(add if applicable) /s

Curious what it's like hunting them in Nebraska I have extensive pheasant hunting experience in North Dakota a bit away but when I've been in Nebraska I haven't seen many trees I feel plains hunting turkeys would be a sum gun I'm very used to my eastern Virginia hardwood stands

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Well its interesting. So there is a great lack of trees where i live in western Nebraska. Obviously turkeys need trees for roost (or prefer trees). So it narrows down the areas where you're going to see turkeys. The good thing is Nebraska has a extremely strong turkey population. The bad thing is they will sometimes get pretty far from the roost, and cruise grassland for grasshoppers. They're essentially impossible to hunt when they get on flat prairie, you'll never get close enough. I usually plan the areas I hunt that are more like VA, which is everywhere there is big water source(also scarce), The place I hunt actually doesn't look like Nebraska at all, fairly thick woods, elevation changes ridges, etc.

Basically it's different but not that different. Now there are plenty of people that hop in a pick up and just try to spot em in fields or grassland that isn't so flat to put a sneak on them, that's not how I like to hunt though so I'm set up with my decoys and calls under a tree.

(add if applicable) /s

Have neighbors that caught one and are keeping it as a pet. Or maybe going to eat it once it gets to adulthood. Dead serious couldn't believe it.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Hold Up lemme think...NO!

My Memaw once raised a chicken that fell off the Holly Farms truck. Not sure whatever happened to it...

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-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

Quick remark on decoys if anyone needs advice i for the last decade plus had used hard shell old painted decoys from the 80s always one hen and a jake decoy but last year I had an old stubborn mature bird that was henned up early n wouldn't budge so I decided my decoys needed changing as my calling wasn't the issue. Bought an avian X strutting gobbler and feeding hen set and first glance of the gobbler made him duck n run at it like a mad man he weighed 25 pounds with inch n half spurs by far would reccomend them to anyone. Had another long beard make sweet love for 10 mins to my hen last year too but long story short he had bad massive gang green infections that had him all woozy and sick from fighting other gobblers I was glad to end his suffering.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Damn. You do know that bird ranked top 10 all time in Virginia for both weight and spur length, right? At least according to NWTF records.

Not very many turkeys get that big. Congrats!

What?! I knew I should've weighed it at a check in station not at home his beard was only 12 inches so I figured he was a nice bird would never have thought he was THAT level oops I'll post pictures in a little
I know the man who killed the state record in goochland last year that bird was a tank
Edit pics for proof

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yeah that's a beast for sure. I guess I should clarify. Your bird would rank in the top ten including ties, not one of the largest 10 birds ever. But still, that's a damn fine specimen. If I'm reading it correctly, it would be sixth place all time for weight and tied for ninth place all time for spur length.

Yeah I couldn't believe it till I went to pick him up, I wasn't going to shoot him at first in the open that close his beard in comparison to his body didn't look right I personally only take monsters early in the season so proportionally he looked off at first glance I hadn't heard him gobble so I figured he wasn't the big boy I had hunted like a mad man but since he was charging at my new avian x 100$ inflatable decoys I figured I better protect my new investment then once I got up to him I realized I had finally gotten the big dominant Tom

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Wow. What a nice bird! Look at them spurs

Spent this evening readying the farm for all the young quail and turkeys that will be showing up soon plus the rabbits and fawns!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Where are you?

I spent the Saturday working our Epagneul Breton and today we took the puppies out for the first time.

Essex and king and queen we manage a large farm for quail and turkeys we have serious poacher problems with the neighbors and other assorted scum of the world but we have stopped hunting quail there aren't enough but with our year round conservation work we manage to keep a few coveys alive it's sad there isn't enough to keep them around naturally

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I love my Brittany. We got her at 7 months after no one picked her. I don't hunt at all, but we have a huge backyard that she runs around. She loves the outdoors. Sadly, she is getting old now at around 13 years old with bad arthritis I think. She still is the sweetest thing.

{heart emoji}

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-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

Thanks for starting this 04Hokie. Man, I can't wait for next week. This will be season #2, looking forward to actually seeing one this year. Last season, I lucked into one on the roost about 75-100 yards away, and when I hooted at him, it sounded like he was in my pocket. Heard him fly down, but he went off the other way to either a real hen or someone who is a better caller. I am sure I will pass many hours pondering the moral quandary of hunting our mascot.

Never been turkey hunting but I did almost hit one with my car a few years back.

Instead, turkeys came to me a year or two ago, at work no less:

But then they ran away

Later you magnificent beasts

So if someone was interested in getting into hunting (deer/turkey mainly) what would be the best way to go about it?

Click here to destroy wall.

Find someone who already hunts, maybe a friend or relative, and just see if they will let you go with them. Just pay attention to their instructions and enjoy the moments. Best simple answer I can give before I head to work. Also, if you go turkey hunting, after you hear that first gobble off the roost, there's no turning back.

I agree with the previous post - find someone who hunts and tag along. In VA, you can buy and apprentice license that allows you to hunt with someone else without having your hunters safety certificate, plus most big game seasons have a special early youth/apprentice day that opens early to help give you a leg up. I may also suggest doing some small game hunting such as dove hunting or squirrel hunting to get you used to being in the field and carrying a firearm while learning a lot about how to move and identifying sign.

The big thing you have to be prepared to do is enjoy yourself. It's not about how much game you see or what you harvest, but about getting some time away to do whatever it is you wanna do. Once you start getting out and seeing some game and learning some woodsmanship, you'll learn to appreciate it more. Spring turkey hunting is great for newcomers because the weather is warm and there is generally a lot of action. Again, like the previous poster said you get on a bird and hear that gobble and you're hooked.

As the others have said, find a friend who hunts and see if you can tag along. The hardest thing about hunting is having a place to go. If you have access to land, that his the biggest piece of it. I just wrapped up my 4th deer season since I started hunting so I am not a veteran by any means but it has become my favorite hobby. I was able to get permission to hunt my uncle's land and bring a friend which made it easy to ask a friend of mine to teach me in exchange for getting him access to this property. He would have done it without that but I wanted to have something to offer in return.

http://vahuntingforum.com/ has a lot of good information on hunting and helpful local people as well.

I would suggest not watching too many hunting shows for educational purposes as most of them are just advertisement buckets. There are a few that explain why they do things but not many (Major League Bowhunter and Rival Wild are my favorite deer hunting shows that offer reasons why they do what they do)

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Love to cook wild game, but have no friends who hunt. Any suggestions?

Also, will cook/trade/pay for meat.

Ask around and you should be able to find some people that will donate you some meat. Some of the local processing places may be able to put you in touch with some people. If you can find the right hookup, you can probably get all the game you want as a lot of people don't eat it like they used to, especially small game like squirrel and dove. Sporting goods stores may be a good resource for a contact as well.

Interesting take. My father made it a rule, if you kill it, you clean it and eat it. Yes, we would share meat with the landowner if they would accept it, as courtesy for hunting their land, but otherwise, we ate it. I ate a bunch of sparrow breasts when I was a BB gun hunter on Saturday mornings. Dove are one of the best tasting treats available afield, and I cannot imagine giving them away, except to balance the bags after a group hunt or, again, to thank a cornfield owner for letting us shoot them. If you love to shoot but don't want to use the animals you kill while doing so, my opinion is that you aren't so much a hunter as a killer. Shoot the clay pigeons and paper targets and leave the game alive. If you want the pleasure of eating wild meat, the best way to do so is to learn to harvest it. I do understand fair trade, though, and as in the case of the landowners mentioned above, I can easily see beneficial arrangements that avoid buying and selling game, but definitely avoid running afoul of the law. As always, this is just my opinion, based on my upbringing and tutelage, but I've seen little reason to contradict my Daddy's rules.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I agree with you, which is one of the reasons my hunting has slowed down some. My family does not care much for wild game, and what I do fix is usually for myself and I can only eat so much. When growing up, we used to hunt and cook what we harvested, however everyone enjoyed the table fair and was eager for more. Times have changed it seems. I used to eat a lot of squirrel growing up, however if I tried to get my kids to eat squirrel today I would lose that fight. Therefore, I don't squirrel hunt much, and when I do, I try to cook some for myself or friends or give some to the occasional old timer that can't get out in the woods anymore. I do, however, make a mean buffalo turkey breast that is in big demand. I hope to be cooking some tomorrow.

Kudos to you both - I agree completely. I duck hunt a lot but when I first started I used to hate the taste of duck, but forced myself to eat it. Now it's one of my favorite meals. Half the battle is learning to cook it properly. I also tell my kids it's steak and they believe me, so they never fuss about it.

鈥淚n order to conquer an animal, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, look like one.鈥
鈥 Carl Spackler

Just be careful if you advertise you will buy wild meat as it is illegal to sell it here in Virginia.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

I'm in MD, but point taken.

Will trade for wild meat.

Did anyone get out for youth/apprentice weekend? I couldn't find anyone to go so I went out to a new location I got access to and listened. Heard several birds on the roost but nothing after flydown. Birds were roosted on a small finger ridge between two pastures and I was looking at the left pasture. Everything went pretty much quiet once they left the roost and I never saw them come out into the field. After a couple of hours I worked my way over to the right field and couldn't see any birds there either. They either went way right or they stayed in the woods above the fields.

It seems like so far this year the birds have been staying in the woods more so than out in the open, however it's hit and miss as some fields seem to have birds in them. I'm wondering if they are still feeding on acorns or other mast where available. I know that last year where there were fields or pastures, the birds where roosting near them and then spending the next couple of hours after fly down out in the open. They appear to be doing that some this year (especially after a rain), however not near as much. What's everyone else seeing? I was starting to think there were fewer birds this year, but that doesn't seem to be the case either. Looking forward to Saturday.

Had a long beard gobble at me in my canoe while fishing yesterday I'm going to make sure he gets a dirt nap this weekend

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'm in West Tennessee, and they've been gobbling their nuts off since the opener.

鈥淚n order to conquer an animal, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, look like one.鈥
鈥 Carl Spackler

Whereabouts mallard? I have family all over west tennessee. Hunt for Turkey, Deer, Ducks and Rabbits. Big Crappie fishermen in my family too.

Nice! I live in Memphis. Crappie fishing around here is great.

鈥淚n order to conquer an animal, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, look like one.鈥
鈥 Carl Spackler

My Daddy was from Dyersburg and he and his Uncle Fate (I later learned his name was LaFayette but Daddy couldn't say that) used to fish Reelfoot Lake for crappie a couple of times a year.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

My family is mostly in the Northwest corner of TN. Dresden, Jackson, and Union City. I fish Reelfoot with my uncle when I can get down there. Great fishery.

I had family in Memphis and Dyersburg, and Maynardville as well. Reelfoot is one of those bucket list trips I'd like to make as an homage to the old Chief, if nothing else. He always swore we'd go there one day, but we didn't make it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

So who's headed out tomorrow? I'm hoping the cold weather and big front that went through recently doesn't quieten the birds down too much in the morning. I'm going to try some places on the mountain for some "woods birds" before they get messed with as the season goes on. Hope to get in early and set up in a spot where I've seen them strutting and take it from there as the birds dictate. Hopefully will post some pictures tomorrow.

Good luck to all those going afield and be safe out there.

Two windy ugly days will have them singing in the sun tomorrow I'll say it without hesitation that one of the coolest things to see is a long beard gobbling in freezing weather to see his breath it's so cold is near as hell but as a person who hates the cold I'm not very thrilled that I'm breaking out my cold weather deer hunting clothes for turkey season
Best of luck to all hitting the woods tomorrow, remember patience always wins against a turkey
Also remember to be safe no hunting trip is ever worth not coming home from

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I've duck hunted it a few times but haven't crappie fished it yet, but know a number who go regularly. Pretty amazing from what I hear.

鈥淚n order to conquer an animal, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, look like one.鈥
鈥 Carl Spackler

Anyone have any luck? I struck out early Saturday but ended up getting on a hot bird a little after 10am and called him right up. He was in a hollow off the edge of a large field, and we jumped a hen off the nest when we were setting up. I'm assuming he'd been working on her pretty good that morning and he was looking for some more action. My brother in law shot him at about 35 yards. I'll try to upload a picture later.

I went yesterday morning and didn't hear a single gobble. I've been hunting a flock that I've got pictures of nearly every day strutting in a small food plot on the mountain. I sat at the edge of the plot until 10:30 and never heard or saw a thing. They've been in there almost every morning on camera, so I don't know if someone had spooked them or what. I'm more of a run and gun type hunter and it's tough for me to sit till noon waiting on a bird to show up, even if I know there's a better than average chance they'll show up eventually.

Glad you had some luck. My opening day is tomorrow. I'll post back with anything noteworthy.

Skunked opening morning not a gobble on the roost then the truck pull next door fired up and the birds that were around did their usual disappearing act when they fire the mud trucks up hoping for better luck next weekend!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Smyth County gobbler

Nice bird congrats on the thunder chicken and the good eats!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thanks! He's no record breaker, but a decent 2 year old with an 8" beard.

Gentlemen, I have a situation id like to hear some opinions on. These past few seasons on my land specifically I'm not hearing many, if any gobbles. Spoke to a old timer who has killed many, many birds and said that they have adapted to the coyotes because of predation. That line of thinking makes perfect sense. I was just curious if anyone else has experienced something like this or is it just an isolated thing in my neck of the woods?

What area of the state are you in if you don't mind me asking? I hunt in the Essex area and I can completely concur with your theory as I share the same opinion. I've hunted since the 90s and that was when there were 0 birds in the eastern part of VA and I have had the same experience the last few years the birds spring behavior has completely changed in terms of how talkative they used to be pre coyote take over since then they've learned to be quieter to not risk a coyote tracking them down. I have on multiple occasions watched a coyote stalk a turkey who was gobbling on the roost. Coyotes figured out it's a dinnerbell noise and the turkeys in turn have learned self control it's made hunting more difficult early on but the numbers I bring in a shoot haven't dropped they're still there but they're being smarter now a days around coyotes. I will say if you entice a long beard they will still give you a good show gobbling all the way in but the erratic just cause I'm all swole and a big bird I'm gonna gobble just for shits n giggles has toned down a fair amount in recent seasons.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Southwest VA, more specifically Bland Co. I can travel 15 minutes to a buddies house we hunt at and had 3 long beards across the valley in a wood lot, close to 500 yards I'd say strutting and gobbling for an hour Saturday. That's why I was asking. I didn't know if it was specific to the population here or something more sweeping across the state.

I wish I could help. I agree that in many areas your theory is probably spot on. However, I only hunt national forest so for the most part I've only ever hunted relatively smart gobblers who've learned that excessive gobbling attracts predators, two legged and four legged variety equally. I've found that woodsmanship, knowing the land extremely well, and knowing how the birds use the land are vital to being successful in these situations. If you know where a gobbler likes to be most days, you can pattern him almost like a buck and be where he wants to be before he gets there, whether he gobbles or not. Tough way to hunt but still possible to be successful.

Good luck!

I would say that coyote predation plays a part in the gobbling habits of birds, but how big of a part I'm not sure. If you think about it, most "mature" gobblers are only 2 years old, so they would have had to learn not to gobble the previous spring or would be going through an active transition this spring. I'm not saying it isn't possible, but I think there's a lot that dictates the gobbling habits of turkeys. My thoughts are some of it is predation and hunting pressure, some of it is location of hens and other gobblers, some of it is weather, and some of it is a bird with a brain the size of a walnut. My $.02.

I have noticed that the birds where I hunt have acted peculiar all season. Last year, for instance, I heard birds being very vocal on all the properties I hunted. This year, it's been a kinda roller coaster ride. Opening day we killed a bird that gobbled a total of 3 times. Saturday morning got one that was with 2 others that gobbled at least 50 times on the roost and the whole way in. After that hunt, went to another spot and blind called one to within 10 yds but couldn't see it, could just hear it walking and spitting and drumming. He never gobbled until he backed off after 30 minutes. I dunno. All the properties I hunt should have pretty similar coyote populations as well as hunting pressure, so it's difficult to make any definitive judgement. I've toyed with the idea of keeping an accurate hunt journal to try and compare bird activity to weather patterns, hunting pressure, etc, but have failed to do so.

Edited to add: hammer those damn coyotes every time you see them. When you can't hunt, trap. If you can't trap, find someone who can. I'm certain they have a big negative impact on game populations. In our part of the state, coons and skunks can be hard on nesting birds as well. You may try giving the birds some better cover for nesting and try and control some predators to see if that has a positive impact.

Good information. Thanks for sharing.

You bring up an excellent point with regard to the journal. I've kept a hunting and fishing journal since I was twelve years old. I don't always write a novel for each outing, often just a quick paragraph about where, weather, and results. But those notebooks are some of my prized possessions. In addition to being able to relearn from past experiences sometimes forgotten, it is immensely enjoyable to relive those days afield spent with some of my favorite people, many of which who have passed on. I highly recommend the practice to anyone. Definitely something I'll pass on to my kids or grandkids one day.

Skunks and coyotes for my little slice of heaven, fear me. I've done small control burns and clean up fence lines every year. Like I said previously, the birds are hear, had a friend kill a very nice one Saturday here. Just not being very vocal. I appreciate all yalls input.

Finally got a good hunt in and called this ol boy right off the roost he was very late leaving the roost today with the rain but he gobbled on the roost for well over an hour giving me a good show on the roost 60-70 yards away he was very insulted by my strutting jake decoy on the path I set up on
1-1/4 spurs and 10-1/2 beard very nice old Tom

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Damn nice bird. Congrats man.

That is a hell of a bird. Congrats man!

Thanks guys I've been hunting my whole life and it's not every day he flies right down to you without having to call, the old bird dogs finally trained me to fetch all his birds now I guess the saying is true the oldest is always the wisest

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I just returned from my 4 day turkey camp. first evening they were gobbling everywhere. First morning I had 8 gobbling around me. From that point on it was impossible to make them talk we got hit with an all day constant rain on Friday. Saturday I guess we just got lucky. I got confident in a spot where I had seen a bunch of turkeys Friday evening (break in the rain) and sat there all day despite not hears a turkey I cleaned up a Jake at about 8 yards, my first Nebraska turkey.

Met my bud back at camp and he had two solid toms a 9" and 11" beards with solid spurs to boot.

(Sorry post cleaning picture I don't have any of the good pictures of his turkeys on my phone.

(add if applicable) /s

That's a pretty site there nothing wrong with a jake the meats better anyway, remembering the dark days before the turkeys came back will always remind me how good it is these days

Edit: which species is that they don't have the coloration of an eastern and I'm not familiar of the line where easterns can go to?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

So Nebraska has 3ish species. The Eastern, Rio Grande, and Merriam and some strange farm/Merriam hybrid they released where the reintroduction went poorly. Where I hunt we see hybrid and Merriams. I'm no turkey expert (I hunt waterfowl and upland far more than big game) but if my memory of what the tail feathers on these three were I believe the left one was a Merriam and the other two were hybrids. I'll remember for sure when I go to my buds house to finish up all the fans here in a week or so.

(add if applicable) /s

Damn, man. Haven't seen that many disemboweled gobblers since the...naw, I've sworn to forget that game.

Good job, glad you got your bird. Nothing wrong with a jake, spring turkey hunting with any result, including just hearing a gobble, is the tits. Congrats.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Hunting this season has been silent still not hearing anything on the roosts but got out last weekend it was very windy all morning so they weren't talking at all. Got up from our initial set up and began our sneaking around checking the fields since that's where they go. Snuck out into the middle of a couple hundred acre field via a very large slightly wooded hedge that extended into the center of the field. Got to the end of the hedge and soon as I did a jake gobbled in a bottom down the hill and I saw his and 2 other gobblers strutting in the field after some seal like setup I snuck my strutting gobbler decoy into the field, the gobbler by then was right there and saw me put the decoy in the field but after a few minutes of sweet hen talk from the trusty slate and in he came for my friend who's learning that spring turkey is as good as it gets! 10 inch beard 1-1/8 spurs

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Nice bird! Been an up and down season for sure. Gonna try to go in the morning if I can get away from work, but forecast calls for storms. It seems like every year the season takes forever to get here and then it's gone. Wish everyone luck to close it out Saturday!