Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scouting the Farms or The Prelude to the Great Turkey Hunt

The weather broke and it turned really nice.  As I write this post, there is a change coming consisting of rain and possibly some snow.  It is definitely evident that Chloe and Taylor had no problem with the weather.  This just goes to show you the difference between the young hunters and a worn out old hunter like myself.  Sometimes it is just better to sit by the fire and remember the great hunts you have had.

10 year old Taylor with her nice be Turkey

11 year old Chloe with her nice big harvest. 

The best part of the two pictures is the smile on each of these two successful turkey hunters.

The first farm I checked on was in Iowa.  This was an easy drill as it has been hunted for years and the patterns are well known.  Since it was close to home, a quick trip over to check things out showed the patterns as they have been last year and the year before that.  What I saw was smaller toms and not any really big boys.  A lot of jakes were with the hens and the birds were fairly flocked up.  With a pasture and an open field I should fill my Iowa tag.  
This pasture will be strongly hunted.
North of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska is spot # 2.  Here I have hunted for a number of years and the farm is always a hot spot except for last year.  A commercial hunting operation leased land next to the farm I hunt, and my hunting went downhill fast.  I think they bait them, but it is only conjecture on my part.  I am just irritated because the hunting is not as good as it used to be.  Still the landowner and I have become good friends.  We both look forward during the hunting season to sitting down and visiting about whatever we can come up with.  The good news is that we solve all the problems of the world. The bad news is that nobody listens to us.  That is the way with old men.
My favorite spot.  To the left is the leased commercial area.  The birds come off the roost to the open pasture to breed, fight, and otherwise just act like turkeys in the spring.  Notice the doe looking at me.

My favorite valley on this farm.  Hills and valleys packed with timber and lots of oak trees make this timber an excellent place for game.  Game signs are always around the big oak trees shedding the acorns.

The third spot is north of Tekamah, Nebraska.  I hunt with the owner of this farm in the fall on the Missouri River bottoms for ducks and geese.  This farm is located well back into the hills and in the past has been a literal meat market.  The midge disease took out the bucks and there just doesn't seem to be the doe population I have seen in the past.  Whenever mother nature thins a population of game, she is not kind, but downright cruel.

 Last summer the turkeys hit the road and disappeared from the farm.  The feeling was the severe heat had something to do with it, but there is no evidence of carcasses lying around.  For some unknown reason they moved on.  Last year, I would see a minimum of a hundred turkeys in the distance whenever I hunted the farm. 

The owner has recently seen a flock of 65 birds of mixed sexes moving back into his timber.  Hopefully they will return.

Anyway, I will hunt the farm and see if I can come up with some luck.  It is called hunting not shooting.

Click on the link to shop for great buys at Bass Pro.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck, Hank

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