Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where there's Hens there will be Gobblers

The whereabouts of hens in springtime is important

When the spring turkey season opens on Saturday March 15 it will mean different things to individual hunters. Some may begin to scout, while others may begin to locate the gear leftover from past seasons. But for a select few, opening day of turkey season will be the most important day of the year, fitting for fireworks and fanfare. For these folks, scouting is a year round way of life, and the golden rule of spring states that where there are hens, there will be gobblers.
Speaking of rituals, Colletonians enjoy the annual conservation banquet of the National Wild Turkey Federation at the armory prior to the hunting season. On March 8 the Salkehatchie Longbeards chapter was once again recognized for having over 100 sponsor members, making this Walterboro area chapter one of the best in the nation. It’s worth noting that outdoor pursuits like turkey hunting continue to serve up this type of good news from Colleton County.
If the cold weather is responsible for less pre-season strutting and gobbling by male turkeys, then hunters need to remember to keep a sharp eye out for hens. Male turkeys know without any reminders that spring is hunting season, the time of year that they see and feel pressure from man. They become slippery, and can materialize and dematerialize from your woods with great mystery.
Remote control Crazy Jake by Red Head
At times like these I place much more emphasis on the whereabouts of hen turkeys. Hunters scout for turkey tracks for sure, but they also looks for scratching areas in piney woods, utilization of food plots planted with chufa and telltale droppings too. A gobbler’s track is larger and longer than the hen turkey track, making it easy for a veteran hunter to identify. If you aren’t seeing much in the way of gobbler tracks, but you are seeing some hen activity, then there is at least some hope for a successful hunt in the near future.

A couple of new tools I’ll have in my turkey hunting arsenal this year includes a side zip boot from Irish Setter that is camo and snake proof. The Outrider Viper boot has been proven by me to be waterproof, and I have already spotted the first snake in the woods reminding me that it is time to get back into the habit of wearing protective boots.

Water proof and snake proof 
Also new for 2014 is the Crazy Jake decoy with motion stake by Red Head. The one-piece decoy with a hard shell has detailed paint and a fake beard that is short, depicting a young male. A synthetic tailfeather fan comes with it, but hunters may choose to insert a fan of real feathers from a past harvest. The crazy jake is in full strut and turns360-degrees once activated by remote control.

To read this feature story in the newspaper click Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from the 2013 Turkey Season click here.

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