Saturday, March 30, 2013

Turkey with double-beard gobbles once; Veteran hunter shoots once

Jay Cantrell with his trophy tom from 3/29
Jay Cantrell at his SCDNR day job
Turkey hunts can reveal many different paths to both glory and disappointment. Good fortune comes if the turkey hunter is even in the vicinity of a male turkey, and then fate follows up with the frequency of his gobbling activity. Woods wise hunters know that gobbling activity comes in peaks and valleys, and that there is no blanket coverage that all the birds in on area will gobble on the same days. In Hampton County on March 29 day broke with a cold 32-degrees, but the winds were calm, and a three-day warming trend almost assured the best gobbling of the young 2013 season. Speaking with several veteran hunters at noon time, some reported gobblers 'tearing down the woods' with repetitive gobbling, while others heard very little noise. A younger bird may be more prone to gobble readily, and thus may be easier to harvest. An older bird, with trophy characteristics, will be less likely to announce his every step and thus becomes much more elusive. Jay Cantrell with the SCDNR
Cantrell also serves as short order cook some days
is having a banner turkey season, having already dispatched an Oceola turkey down in Florida, and then he sets up on 3/29 on a Lowcountry plantation, not knowing he was about to cross paths with a trophy tom. Cantrell reports that the bird was quiet in the roost at dawn, but that he heard some turkeys fly down, and he called lightly towards them. He reports the boss tom giving one gobble, and then shutting up. Nervous minutes ticked by as Cantrell scratched the leaf litter around him, which is a tried and true method to calm nearby turkeys without making any more turkey calls. The beautiful and majestic tom came into view and Cantrell was ready with a load of turkey shot - One gobble, One shot! The bird weighed 21-pounds, and sported a double-beard of 10-inches and 6-inches respectively, and carried 1.25-inch spurs. Good work!

To view past blog entries about turkey hunting success click here.

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