East Texas turkey hunters doing well
Picture: Brad Hankins with a gorgeous gobbler.
Capt. Chuck Uzzle
For the Record
As this years spring turkey season got underway a few days ago here in the piney woods portion of the state, local hunters have been treated to plenty of opportunities in the east Texas counties in which they may hunt. This years crop of gobblers appears to be strong and numbers of birds surveyed are up as well are the numbers of hunters. Many folks overlook the opportunity to chase these ultra wary birds right here in our own backyard, by not taking advantage of this season you may be missing out on some of the best quality birds in the state. In the past couple of years I have seen some of the healthiest and largest trophy class gobblers come from right here in east Texas! The birds in our area of the state have some great habitat in which to live as well as on average less hunting pressure, these factors add up to some real bragging class tom turkeys.
If you have never tried turkey hunting and are interested in giving it a chance here are a few tips on how to help you get started.
1. Know the area in which you are hunting, do your homework.Gather all the information on the county or area you choose to hunt, make some phone calls to the local wardens or the parks and wildlife in order get a feel for the population of birds as well as success rates from last year.
2. Know how your gun will perform. By spending time at the range and learning how your gun patterns out you will have the confidence you need when the opportunity for a shot presents itself.
3. Good camo is a must. Turkeys have incredible vision and are extremely wary creatures, the slightest movements or sounds are like an alarm going off when you least expect it.
4. Patience,patience, and more patience. Hunters who make the mistake of moving too much or calling too much are usually the ones who come home empty handed. Turkey hunting is a subtle game that can go bad if a hunter tries too hard. Minimize your calling as well as your movements, let the situation dictate how aggressive you need to react.
5. Learn from your mistakes.It sounds very cliché to say this but it is very true, no two turkeys react the same. By learning to judge or read the birds body actions and by listening to the tones of his calls you can get a feel for how you should go about hunting him. Birds that are super charged and are just really aggressive due to the mating instinct can be taken much easier than birds that may be a bit leery of a strange call or may be a bit more mature than their younger challengers. Take each situation and learn from it, you will become a better turkey hunter.
If chasing these birds sounds like a challenge that may be right for you, consult your hunting directory for all the latest information and regulations concerning the spring turkey season which is now going on all over the state. All it takes is one encounter with these beautiful birds to clear your spring calendar for many years to come.