2021 Spring Turkey Season

It's almost time. Feel free to post your successes, and more importantly any entertaining failures, for our enjoyment. Good luck to all, and stay safe out there.

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Really looking forward to this spring. I haven't had time to do much scouting, but I've seen some birds in the fields while driving around the last couple of weeks. Also starting to see some birds moving on my trail cams. I've got a good tom that's been hanging out with two hens religiously for the past week less than a mile from my house. I'm going to try to get my 10 year old son a shot at him next Saturday. Fingers crossed he hangs around. We had one hang up last year at about 60 yards but finally got him in to about 30. Clean miss with the 20 gauge but it was smiles all around.

My notes from the past few years are all over the place in terms of what the birds were doing. Two years ago we had great luck with a jake and hen decoys, and got video of a bunch of toms and jakes flogging the decoy. Last year they seemed to hang up on the jake, and the ones I killed over a decoy were from the hens coming in aggressive to single hen decoys. I had multiple hens flog a decoy and even got some footage of a hun "strutting" around one for a solid 5 minutes. Pretty wild. I've been working on my purr with a diaphragm as it seems to get them riled up when they're aggressive. We'll see how they act this year, but I can promise you it will likely be the opposite of my approach starting out.

Going to blindly drive two hours opening morning to my old stomping ground where we managed a nice tom within a few minutes last year.

Will it work again? I hope so. Did I wish I had time to actually plan this hunt out? Yes, but I also have to work and get back for work Thursday morning so hopefully this works as quickly as last year.

I'm going super light this year. My beloved Tactical Tatr vest got ran over last year and I've bought a HS Strut Undertaker chest pack to replace it. Still rolling with my funky chicken jake and the HS pack lite hen.

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I think I've decided to skip the impromptu Osceola hunt this year. Disappointing, but hunting the swamp country with no research, experience, or someone to show me the ropes seems like a bad idea.

Looking forward to the Virginia opener in a few weeks. Planning on going lighter than usual. No decoys. Two diaphragm calls, a slate call, and a box call. I'm thinking the first week is going to be a lot of miles and in season scouting as I haven't had time to locate any yet this year. Have several spots on national forest that typically hold birds, whether or not they hold hunters this year remains to be seen.

That being said, there's always a chance to strike one up first morning and have him in on a string 15 minutes after daylight. That's part of what I love about the sport, you just never know what the hell to expect.

I'd love to go on an Osceola hunt and almost pulled the trigger on a paid trip this spring. It's a unique hunt in the turkey world - everyone in Florida knows they have the market cornered on a slam and the price of a hunt is reflected in that. I get the feeling that every inch of private land is tied up in leases, and the best public land has a goofy system with the WMA's quota allotment. I think this would be a tough hunt to try on public land on your own, but the cost of even getting a piece of private land to hunt is outrageous ($2,500 or more seems to be the going rate). Something about those dark wings and long spurs though....

Yeah I hear ya. It's a life goal of mine to get the US slam, just not sure I'll get it done before my kids are grown. Absolutely something about those turkeys. Tall gobbler with an 11" beard, 1.75" spurs, and almost no barring on the wings would look great on the wall next to my best eastern.

I need to do research this year and go visit my mom in Florida again next year, armed with knowledge and my 12 gauge...

Lighter is always better you can definitely have too much stuff in the turkey vest. I used to be a gear nut but now I'm down to three calls and two decoys and thats it. 1 slate call which is my main call, a mouth call as a backup incase its raining, and a box call for first light and when I'm walking or moving to a new spot to simply test the waters. One strutting jake and a hen and youre set. Only requirement of a vest is a damn comfy seat and as long is it has that I'm good.

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

Well I have a little too much going on right now to really go nuts this year for spring turkey season so I'll be living vicariously through others success. Picked up my next bird dog a griffon pup last week and he will be getting my undivided attention as we train up for going out west this fall. Hoping I can sneak off one day and bag on bird just to let him get some sniffs and time with a big bird.

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

I'm losing one of my hunting spots in May. So, I'm going to try to get out and hunt it one last time.
I turkey hunted last year for the first time since before I went to tech. All my mouth calls had disintegrated. I can't find any of my slate calls.

So, this can only mean one thing. I need to go shopping.

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

Well. Quite the morning. Didn't realize that my hunting grounds got so much rain recently....The road in is usually bad but i managed to destroy my brush guard in a deep rut and my truck looks like it swam in clay. After that excitement I got to my spot where there were countless turkeys last year to find it also underwater.

One hen snuck by on a ridge and 0 gobbles were heard. I drove 3 hours just to get my truck nice and messed up. Luckily it doesn't seem like anything crucial is broken but I did smack a tree with the rear end while bulldogging through some mud.

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That sucks. At least you got to drive around with a cool looking muddy truck for a while.

Anyone been out listening lately? Seems like birds in our area (Augusta and Rockingham) have been talking a lot more the last two days.

Birds appear to be more active on my trail cameras. Haven't been able to listen much but they should be fired up this weekend if the weather doesn't foul them up.

Took my son out Saturday for youth day. It was very cold with temps in the low to mid 20's. We got out of the jeep and walked about 100 yards out a logging road and owl hooted, and one answered immediately about 100 yards up the hill. We sat down, and of course the gloves and mask I'd packed in his pants pockets somehow made it into the floorboard of the jeep and not with us. I called and he answered every yelp for a series or two, then cut down the ridge to our right. I heard a hen yelping in that direction and knew we weren't going to pull him away, so we got up and worked out the road parallel to where he was heading.

My son by this time was froze and complaining of every discomfort known to man. As we got closer to the point of the ridge I could hear the bird gobbling again, and by the time we got to where the road switched back he was right over the small ridge just hammering. We quickly sat down and I just knew a series of yelps would get him over the ridge and in our laps. I told my son to get his gun up and he said he was too cold, hungry, and his body hurt. All while I can almost see the breath of this tom when he gobbled. My son laid in my lap like Mike Tyson had knocked him out. Knowing it was a done deal, I just told him we were headed home and we got up and left. It hurt my soul to have that bird right where we wanted and to just give up. We were back at the house before 8. I blame PlayStation.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend but I'm already getting anxious trying to decide where to go and what my approach will be. Can't wait to pop the top on this year. I hope everyone has good luck and stays safe. I'm going to focus on some better video this year and hope to be able to post some cool footage if nature cooperates.

Had about as good an opening weekend as a hunter could have. Started out Saturday with a couple of friends. Had some birds located on National Forest but when we got to the gate there was three vehicles already there. We changed gears and headed to some private land about twenty minutes away. The property has a large hayfield on a horseshoe bend in the river, and we jumped a hen off the roost on the way in so I was hopeful there were some birds on our side. We set up right around flydown and there were multiple birds sounding off, though they sounded like they were on the other side of the river. I kept calling to a couple of gobblers and hens and finally got them to fly across the creek towards us. They stayed along the riverbank gobbling intermittently, when another bird started gobbling behind us. A couple of series later and we could hear him spitting and drumming right behind us, and the other group was still gobbling just out of sight of the field. The lone gobbler finally worked to our left around the thicket we were set up in, but he stayed behind a clump of bushes for at least 30 minutes. My joints and muscles were about to give out when he finally took two steps into view. I mustered the strength to get a bead on him and fired. Exhausted from the 30 minute contortion stare off, we had one down.

Feeling we messed up the other birds in our area, we headed to another nearby farm. As we approached property, we noticed two gobblers in the lower fields. We quickly parked and started working back to the left to them, but as we did another group of birds gobbled to our right. We quickly set up in the small field and called. The birds seemed to work behind us then back to the right where we originally heard them. Finally they appeared to commit and we heard a gobble ring out in front of us just out of sight. As we waited for the bird to enter the field, I heard spitting and drumming coming from the opposite direction. We were wide open from that angle and out of options. After 5 minutes of whispering a plan, my buddy swung 180 degrees and popped the bird before he could bolt. An absolutely gorgeous melanistic bird with solid black wings and no bars on his tail fan. Never seen a bird that dark. Two down.

One tag left, we worked back through the woods to try and intercept one of the birds we saw on the way in. We snuck through the woods and set above above him, and he answered the first series of yelps. Next series he answered but was headed parallel to the way we came in. We set back up closer and he did the same thing again. Finally we worked all the way back to the edge of the field we started in, and could see him strutting with two hens in the open field. Another series of yelps and the hens pulled him further away. Going for broke, we snuck through the field to a dip just out of their sight. He answered a yelp to verify his position, and my buddy snuck over the crest and dropped him with a long shot. He fell almost where we were sitting an hour before. Three up, three down. The contrast in the wings of the melanistic bird was incredible compared to the others we harvested.

I've had my share of doubles, but I've never had three tags filled in one day. All birds had spurs of an inch or just over, so I'm assuming they were mature 3 year olds. Strange day with birds hanging up about 40 yards from decoys, just as they came into view of them.

I got up this morning and hit a spot on the mountain. Had several birds gobbling on the roost, and after flydown one headed my way on a rope. Watched him come towards me running, and he dropped his wings and strutted at 30 yards. I hit a series of yelps and he circled to my right, and I almost felt guilty as I lined up and dropped him at 20 yards. Thought he was a multi beard bird, but just a thick split beard.

Hope everyone else had a productive and/or fun opener. I'm gonna focus on some camera work for some friends for a few weeks and try to hold onto my last tag. Couldn't get much good footage this weekend given how the birds reacted. I'll tweak my setup and hopefully get some better opportunities.

Good lord what a weekend! Congrats! That melanistic bird is a once in a lifetime experience for sure.

I thought I had a great first day (4 birds gobbling, dropped a subordinate bird that came in quiet at 8:15, with the dominant tom gobbling 85 yards behind me) but my day doesn't hold a candle to yours. Mine was a typical 2 year old. 20 lbs, 9" beard, 3/4" spurs.

It was an atypical weekend I can tell you that. I've compiled some pretty good places to hunt over the years, and am very fortunate in that regard. I try to save my private properties for later in the season and hunt some public land early, but we uncorked it this season. All three on Saturday could have easily gone the other way, and we were very fortunate in each case.

I convinced my buddy to mount the melanistic bird, he didn't know what he had until he got home and did a little research. I've got one bird on the wall, which was a mildly erythristic phase bird with reddish wings, nice beard and about 1.25" spurs. I'd love to have that black turkey in a flying pose beside him.

Sounds like you've got a mature bird holed up. I hope to find one this year that makes your jaw drop. I've killed a pile of turkeys, but never a multi beard and never one with spurs over 1.25". A few years ago I had a friend kill a triple beard with 1.5" spurs and he acted like it was every other bird laying there. I almost had a stroke. Something about those hooks just gets me going.

Had a heck of a morning. Got there at 5:50 and the birds started hammering at 6. Went to my listening spot and had three within70 yards. Put the decoy out below me on a steep ridge and sent out a series of soft yelps and a purr. All three birds lit up. Around 6:40 two of the gobblers flew down, one went behind me and he was close enough i could hear him. i spun around and did a series of yelps, he cam right in and popped his head up and i folded him. It has been a long time since I was that amped up over a kill lol. Praise God he made it easy on me, my first solo bird! About 10" beard with 7/8" spurs

Nothing better than when it works like it's supposed to. Congrats on the solo bird!

Thanks!!!