Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 Early Season Tactics for Wild Turkeys

Good fortune is a dividend after prescribed fire
This gobbler weighed around 18-pounds and carried a 10-inch beard
With persistent cold fronts, weather observers are witnessing a bit of a double-standard concerning the onset of spring. Flowers such as azaleas are almost at full bloom along the coastal plain, yet leaves have yet to push out on hardwood trees in the swamps that were flooded with the record rains in February. Turkey hunters notice all such trends and pre-seaon observations with flocks of turkeys still together, which is a late-in-winter pattern, is still the norm rather than having separated into distinct groups of males and females. What this means to the average turkey hunter during the opening week of the season is that any plan for success calls for dealing with multiple birds, and using maximum concealment to combat the excellent eyesight of that many turkeys. My own opening week success story involves calling to the hens, in order to draw them close enough so that the gobblers will be 'dragged' into gun range. Some expert advice from Scott Hammond is to repeat the sounds that the lead hen makes in order to get her attention and perhaps her ire - whatever it takes to get them CLOSER. Of course, when shooting into a flock of turkeys, marksmanship and sportsmanship can play a role. PATIENCE must rule the day until a clean and clear shot at a gobbler is presented. If that shot does not develop, then simply keep the gun on safety and wait for a different result to develop next time. Battling a flock of turkeys reveals interactions within the flock that nature observers can cherish just as much as a trophy beard and spurs. Taken altogether, this type hunt will have hunters counting their blessings that they were able to witness one of the best big game spectacles available in the Lowcountry outdoors.
One inch spurs and my handy turkey tote cord

Fine china and the big game it depicts

To view past stories about turkey hunting success click here.


  1. Thanks for the great article hopefully my friends and i make it back in time to catch the tail end of the season.

  2. Well there should be plenty of good hunting left at the end of April and the 2013 season since things are off to kind of a slow start his year. Which is the opposite of 2012 when some of the best strutting and gobbling had already occurred before the March 15 season opener due to the warm winter.

  3. I hope you are right all I have been hearing about is people filling tags in SC left and right i have and itch and its hard to scratch it from 9000 miles away.


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