Spring Fever… Turkey Time, Etc.

March 6, 2012

It’s that time of year.

The weather is fighting its annual battle, with cold-and-wet doing its best to hold its ground while warm-and-dry is pushing hard to take over.  It’s an epic conflict, resulting in wild winds and raging climatic fluctuations.  Across the midwest and south, it’s the beginning of tornado season as the warring frontal systems stir eddies and rip currents in the ocean of air in which we all swim.  Out here in the west, it’s a mix of sunshine and drizzling fog… frigid mornings and balmy afternoons.

Of course the weather isn’t the only thing in tumult right now.  For many creatures, spring fever is a very real phenomenon.  And amongst the critters feeling the pull are the wild turkeys!

That’s right, it’s turkey time!  Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the birds are still in big, mixed groups.  But I’m already seeing the beginnings of strut behavior and competition.  The jakes are sparring, and the bigger toms are starting to puff up and demonstrate their dominance.  It won’t be long around here before the breeding season is going full bore, and the canyons will echo with gobbles, purrs, putts, and cackles.

Are you ready?

I know I am, although I’m probably going to open my turkey season down in the Texas Hill Country this year (if I can get access to some of the properties where the birds are holding).  It’s time to dust off the decoys, clean up the camo, and pattern the scatterguns (or sight in the bows).  It’s time to drive the dog (and the rest of the household) crazy, practicing my turkey calls.  I’ve been a little slack this year, so I really need to get at it.

I’ve got some new toys to try out this year, and I’ve been eager all year for turkey season to finally arrive so I can get them into action.

For decoys, I received a couple of the Montana Decoys for review.  I’ve never used the silhouette-type decoys, but the folks at Montana assure me that they work like a charm.  I guess I’ll know soon, when I put out the “Teaser” hen and “Mr. T” tom.

I’ve also been dying to use this Benjamin Marauder for turkeys.  I had a great plan this fall, but coyotes showed up and crashed that party.  Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of shooting with this thing, but haven’t really been able to use it for anything other than paper.   Between Texas and California, I’m hoping to to finally shed some feathers!  Of course, I’ll keep the Mathews and the shotgun handy as well… just in case!

Got big plans for turkey season this year?




6 Responses to “Spring Fever… Turkey Time, Etc.”

  1. J.R. Young on March 7th, 2012 12:40

    I first hunted gobblers two years ago, and bagged my first tom last spring, I’m totally hooked. It was my first experience hunting an animal using calling and the excitement that it creates is totally addicting. We also got two toms in the fall season, which my wife and I stalked into a flock from 400 yards away. The excitement that brought was just as fun as calling in the spring.

    I went big this year and got a couple of Zink Avian-X decoys and am excited to use them. Just 3.5 weeks away here in CA.

  2. David on March 7th, 2012 14:34

    Can’t wait to read your reviews on the decoys. I booked a combo hunt…a trifecta hunt, if you will, with D and E Guide Service in Lake County, CA. I have hunted hogs with them twice now both times with great success.

    Ernie Sanders, the principal owner, talked me into something I couldn’t refuse. He is going to guide my youngest daughter for a turkey. She just started hunting this season and has Mountain Quail and Black Tailed Deer under her belt. She is stoked to go after her first gobbler. While she is hunting up the turkey with Ernie, I am heading out with his son looking for another hog. After we are done, we are going fising for some spawning black bass.

    So there you have it, the spring time trifecta, Bass, Hogs and Turkeys…

    Wish us luck!

  3. Phillip on March 8th, 2012 10:18

    David, that trifecta hunt sounds awesome! A great way to make the most of spring hunting seasons!

    JR, if you’d like to do a little write-up about those Zink decoys, I’d love to put it up here on the blog. I honestly don’t turkey hunt enough to really try out a lot of the products on the market, so anything I can collect from you readers would be great to share.

  4. J.R. Young on March 8th, 2012 19:58

    Sure, I have a Montana decoy tom too. Maybe I can experiment, but I think it will read something like this.

    “I shot a massive tom, I am the most awesomest turkey caller ever, I totally rule.”


    “I didn’t shoot a Tom, he got hung up, these stupid decoys are too fake.”

    Kidding of course, but I am anxious to get out there.

  5. Phillip on March 9th, 2012 07:52

    JR, that sounds like the perfect review to me… especially the second iteration!

    Get after ’em! If this weather doesn’t change, they should be going full bore when the season opens this year.

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