Whitesburg KY

Struttin’ Time

Where it’s OK, afternoon hunt is best

I love being me — and having you as my friends. I was taught as a child growing up, along with many of you, that good things happen to those who wait. I have been there, done that many times over a long lifetime.

As of a week ago, I would not have given my chances of getting in a full turkey season even a shot in the dark. I have tried since 2006 to get into Mexico to hunt the Gould turkey. I never gave up, and as of today my flight is booked, my license is in my pocket, my outfitter is on the same page as I am, and it looks as though my hunt for the Gould will finally happen.

I have pieced together part of my annual turkey hunt out west. I will hunt Kansas and then Mexico, after which I will fish the inland waters of St. George Island in Florida. I could not get it together for the other four western states, but I am thankful for what we did get.

I also applied for the Maine moose hunt again. I have applied for 34 years, never been drawn, but am always hopeful. If this should be our year to get drawn, yes, we are going.

This will probably be my last year of hunting the world. The miles and years have finally caught up with me. We will still have several good years left to do our Struttin’ Time column; we just will hunt from behind our desk.

We are now in the middle of our wild turkey transition periods, so please clip these out of your copy of The Mountain Eagle and keep them. They are useful to us as hunters.

Remember, we are in Zone Two, where transition period number three starts April 19 and runs through May 3. This period is similar to the rut for whitetail deer, which is the best time for hunting.

Afternoon hunting, where allowed, is the best time to hunt turkeys. Hens are setting and the big gobblers are lonesome, making this the best time to call. Remember, if you get a gobbler answering your calls — between two and five — he will probably come in. The few hens that are still available leave the gobblers quickly.

Gobblers spend longer times on their roost, in the trees, with intense gobbling, waiting for their hens to come in. Also in nature, keep in mind, the hens go to the gobbler. We humans change nature.

The gobbler will stay put, trying to get the hens to come to him. Do not call to gobblers on the roost.

Next week we will talk about how to hunt the turkey during this period.

Until then, be safe.

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