|You Are Here:||Game & Fish >> Texas >> Hunting|
Texas Turkey Outlook
As in the Post Oak Savannah, pockets of turkey habitat here will be interspersed with agricultural and urban areas. Hunting can be an exciting proposition wherever you find a concentration of birds.
The bumper crop of jakes in 2003 will lead to hunters pursuing a limited number of mature toms - and having to adjust their tactics in order to succeed.
"2004 will be frustrating because there are not many adult gobblers," Burk observed, "and the number of jakes will be high. What happens is, bunches of jakes gang up on mature gobblers and beat them up, and make them go silent. The strategy to use when you have a lot of jakes is to get as close as you can to a mature gobbler before you do anything. If you get a response, don't call any more; let him come. The more you call, the more likely you will be to have jakes come in. The old bird you're after won't move far, either, because he does not want to run into jakes."
Remember one thing more when hunting gobblers that go silent: You must be very still and be constantly looking for an approaching bird. You won't have his gobbling to help you track him as he moves, so you have to be ready for him to pop up anywhere, anytime. One move on your part at the wrong time can spoil the game.
Hunting is somewhat easier in the eastern and southern sections of the Edwards Plateau, because the hilly and more thickly vegetated terrain makes it easier to move in on gobblers and get close. However, while gobblers find it easier to spot hunters in the drier, more-open country to the west, fewer big trees are available for roosting, making birds somewhat easier to pattern.
Key on drainages whether they have running water in them or not. Birds will likely roost in the larger trees along drainages and spread out over surrounding mesquite flats during the day to feed, often following the same travel lanes to and from roosts.
Find turkey tracks and droppings along pasture roads or in sandy creek bottoms, and locate a workable hiding spot in which you can get comfortable for several hours. Call sparingly and stay alert; a gobbler will come find you when he runs out of willing hens.
Be prepared to stay out all day; take a lunch. As one veteran Hill Country turkey hunter told me, "If I can get a turkey to gobble at me in the afternoon, I can kill him."
So can you.
John Burk is less reserved in his prediction. "The Rolling Plains had another bumper hatch," he said, "the third or fourth in a row. There should be worlds of adult gobblers out there. I can't imagine having better turkey hunting anywhere else."
"The last four or five years the Panhandle has gotten just enough rain at the right time for turkeys," added Burk. "We have had above-average production and are probably above carrying capacity in the High Plains."
Turkey hunting right now is the best it's ever been, thanks to you. Enjoy your reward. You've certainly earned it!
and have it delivered to your door!
Subscribe to Texas Sportsman
page: 1 | 2
OUR NETWORK: OUTDOOR'S BEST WEBSITES
|>> CONTACT||>> ADVERTISE||>> MEDIA KIT||>> SUBSCRIBER SERVICES||>> GIVE A GIFT|
|© 2005 Primedia Enthusiast Magazine|