There’s nothing like a spot-n-stalk method on hunting turkeys, especially if you want to challenge your skills as a stealthy hunter. The movements are slow, controlling every inch of your muscles, and relying on your camouflage. Turkeys have the best eyes, in my opinion, than any other North American Game Animal hunted. The only advantage you have over turkeys is their no sense of smell, but what they lack in sense of smell, they make up in their vision.
It’s getting late in the afternoon and I am hunting with my good friend JD. We both know the lay of the land very well, mainly palmetto flats, Oak hammocks, pastures, and cypress swamps. We made the decision to get aggressive and move in on where we have consistently seen turkeys in the afternoons prior to them heading to the roost.
We quickly get dressed in Realtree, with only our eyes being visible, throw a 12 gauge 31/2 inch Winchester Heavy Shot #5 in the chamber, our Straight Creek Call Diaphragm’s in our mouths, turn on the Thermacells, and off we stalk. We only have about a 250 yard walk to where we can take a sneak peek and see if the turkeys were out in the field just beyond a Cypress strand. As we are walking quietly just inside the swamp, a hen who must have had a nest, comes flying off a huge dirt mound right over the top of us. We both look at each other, grit our teethe and keep on, hoping she didn’t spook any others that may have been in the field.
I am just behind JD when all of a sudden he jumps back at me. Less than 3 ft from us was a cotton mouth (water moccasin) along a palmetto bush where we would usually enter the the swamp. We both instantly had intentions to kill the poisonous snake, but if we did, everything in the field would be gone. As he slivered off, we just kept on hugging the edge, now even more cautious. I am not afraid of too many things in the backwoods, but snakes just send chills down my spine. With less than 10 yards left before we can look out, we were now forced to crawl and yes, right over the slivering track of the aggressive snake. As JD, who is still leading, takes a look through the palmettos, an Osceola gobbler is in full strut facing us, just 25 yards away.
We quickly switch places and I make my way to get in position for a shot. Since he was the only bird in the field, and he was not alongside multiple birds with wandering eyes, I knew I it was going to happen. We have yet to even make a call and he gobbles. Since he was facing my direction I didn’t want to move my gun just above the palmettos causing him to be alert and run or fly off. I took the safety off and aimed the gun at the tip of the palmetto head. I knew if I just made a simple purr he would raise his head up leaving me a clear shot. Man, I love it when a good plan comes together. Just as he raised his head, I squeezed and feathers went flopping. What a hunt, which was only about 8 minutes long.
There’s nothing like that feeling of adrenaline just before success takes place. Almost every hunt has obstacles, but if adversity is on your side, success is not much further away. We were both aggressive and patient at the same time, leaving me with one Osceola tag filled and yet another one for my trophy room. Did I mention how awesome wild turkey breast tastes, mm mm GOOD! Hunt Strong & Never Give Up.
Camouflage: Realtree AP Green
Turkey Call: Straight Creek Calls (Diaphragm)
Gun: Remington 870 Express 12 Gauge
Choke: Primos Jelly Head
Boots: LaCrosse Alpha Lite 3.5
Conditioning: Hunt Strong, LLC.