Turkey Hunts in Texas – Bob’s Turkey Bonanza
Second week of turkey season 2012 we had the pleasure of hosting Bob on his first Turkey hunts in Texas. Bob made his way to the ranch from Florida after some car trouble he was ready to get after the Turkeys. We set out early on the first morning of the hunt with a pretty good idea where the birds would be working their way off the roost and down into the pasture. I told Bob to be ready anticipating some early action but the Turkeys had other things in mind that morning. I started out with a crow call to try to get a Turkey to fire off coming down from the roost. It worked and had a couple of turkeys sound off so our hopes where high. I hurried to a bush and got Bob set up and told him they are going to come right down the hill to us. I mentioned the Turkeys having other things in mind … well they went quite as I let out a few soft hen clucks. Nothing!! I scratched my head thinking where did the Turkeys go!! The other way was the answer. We quickly made a move to try to get in front of them and we quickly realized the two toms in the group where after a group of about 10 hens. So I told Bob lets run down to the river pasture and see if we can get one to cooperate. As we got out of the truck we could see a couple of turkeys down on the far end of the field in full strut. As we approached the spot I wanted to set up another flock of turkeys scurried out of the brush 20 yards away. As we sat down I let out a couple more clucks from the turkey call and we had birds running to us from all directions. unfortunately the group of jakes where first on the scene. The turkey toms we had seen frist where still trying to make their way across the field so I motioned to Bob to hold off for the bigger Turkeys. I could see their heads coming through the tall grass and I just knew they where going to be in our laps in a matter of seconds. Well one of the jakes snuck back in on us and blew the set up. So after 2 set ups and burning the better portion of the morning I figured it was time to regroup and try to get back on the Turkeys. We drove to another area of the ranch where I had been seeing some birds work their way through mid morning and I hoped that we would have better luck. After sitting for a while we saw a group of Turkeys making their way across the pasture. I motioned to Bob to be ready that I could see a good Tom working his way through the brush and he was fired up. I purred and clucked a little and the turkey fanned out in full strut making his way over to us. Once again our hopes where high and we thought we where going to make it happen. The Turkey had other ideas though. This was not his day to be fooled. I am not sure if he just didn’t like the decoys or if he caught Bob pulling the gun up. What ever it was he was not having any of us and turned and was gone as quick as he came. We talked it over and came to the conclusion that breakfast was probably our best option at this point. So after a quick bite and working out a new plan we where going to get back after the Turkeys. I told Bob it was only a matter of time till our luck would change and we knew we had gotten close a couple of times already we just needed a little luck to shift our way. We set out for a remote area of the ranch where I had seen some birds on camera and knew they where hanging out in the general area. The turkeys had gone quite. From days past their behaviors had changed drastically. Turkeys where gobbling uncontrollably all week and now had gone silent. I was thinking at one point that the turkeys must not have gotten the memo. At this point I figured best thing was to head back to the lodge and wait for the Turkeys to start making their way back to the roost. We got back after it as the day drew down and we heard a few Turkeys but just couldn’t get one to commit. So we made our way to an area where the Turkeys normally roost in hopes to pinpoint one for the morning hunt. We put a couple of birds to bed and went back to the lodge to eat dinner and work on a game plan for day 2.
Day Two and we decided to head to some new country down the road from the main ranch. as daylight broke we approached the edge of the pasture planning to call into some dense brush. As we approached a small clump of trees about 20 yards off the edge I let out some soft clucks. The woods came to life with what sounded like 10 different Turkey Gobles firing back at us. As Bob and I got set up in the clump of trees I let out another series of clucks and once again multiple answers. This time we could hear the birds flying down off the roost and we hoped they would come our way. We where in the right place on this morning in a matter of seconds we could hear the birds making their way our direction. As the came closer we realized they where going to come around us out in the field. We scrambled to get around to the other side of the clump and there they where 2 turkeys showing their stuff to try to win the lady turks affections. little did they know they where auditioning for the business end of Bobs Remington 1100 12 gauge. As the birds came into range I whispered to Bob to take the one on the left. I heard the safety click over to fire and Bob let the shot fly. It was a good shot and we had one bird going down and Bob tried to get the second Turkey as it ran off the field but it was not to be. We approached the downed bird and Bob was excited to finally have his first turkey down in Texas. But we didn’t celebrate for long. We wanted to get Bob a second bird. We made a few more stands and heard some birds just could not get one to cooperate. We finally made our way over to a stock tank and as we approached there was a group of wild hogs on one side and a Turkey strutting on the other. Bob was ready for round two. As we made our way to the other side of the pond the turkey we had seen had moved out of view but as soon as I let loose a cluck on the slate we had 2 birds respond directly in front of us and another to our right all three sounded about the same distance. At this point we where just waiting to see which one would make his way to us first. After a few more calls the two directly in front of us came into the opening they were fanned out showing their stuff. The third bird fired off and we knew he was just beyond our sight in the brush. Well the two birds in front had split and one was coming hard and the other a little more on edge. The close bird was at the point where Bob had to make a decision hold off to get a look at the third bird who was almost there or take the bird that was in range. The choice was made and Bob let the Turkey have it. What a Turkey hunt 2 birds in less than an hour. We had spent all day on day one trying to get a bird to cooperate with little success but we knew our luck was bound to change and it did. Congrats Bob on two fine Turkeys!! Thats what I love about Turkey hunts in Texas it is only a matter of time before your luck changes and the birds cooperate. You just have to hang in there and keep hunting.