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Strut Report: Midwest Turkeys Finicky, Northeast Hunters Having Some Luck

Many seasoned turkey hunters from the Northeast clear out to the Great Plains are reporting lower turkey numbers than 5-10 years ago, and this observation is echoing louder across the turkey hunting community as the season progresses. If you’re still out hunting, consider being selective in your harvest. That is,...


Fool a Field Turkey Without a Fan

One of the toughest turkeys is an old longbeard that spends a good portion of his day strutting out in the middle of a green field where he can see a country mile. As he spins and displays in his gaudy splendor, he’s telling hens in the area, “I’m the...


Avian Flu Sweeping Through Migratory Bird Populations

A new form of avian flu continues to spread rapidly among North American bird populations, especially many species of migratory waterfowl , prompting media headlines and creating concern among duck hunters and other observers. “This strain (of avian influenza) really seems to be devastating for wild birds, especially waterfowl and...


Strut Report: Deep South Birds Holding Steady, Mid-South Longbeards Heating Up

Last week, I forecast the action to be the best of the season . In some places, it was. In others, the next seven days might be even better. Of course, some areas in the southernmost regions are now closed, or nearly so. That said, most states in the region...


Strut Report: Midwest Seasons Start Strong, Northeast Season Openers Look Promising

Last week, I mentioned that I’d be bowhunting during Wisconsin’s time-period A over hen and jake decoys and calling loudly. On opening morning, I hunted 200 yards from a roost and heard only three gobbles. A lone tom flew down and gobbled twice at my calls. He didn’t see my...


10 Ways to Sound Better on a Friction Call

Mouth turkey calls are fun to yak on. So much so that most hunters yelp way too much and way too loud on a diaphragm. I’ll go out on a gobbler’s roost limb and say this: If we would keep our mouths shut and run a mix of box, slate,...


Turkey Hunting the Evening Shift

The afternoon doesn’t get much attention from hunters or turkeys. Birds hunker low in secluded places to while away the midday. Hunters take siestas to catch up on lost winks, or maybe work in the yard, around the house or at their job. But if your daylight and midmorning sessions...


Strut Report: Turkeys Firing Off in Midwest, Plains States

I mentored two boys during Wisconsin’s youth hunt last Saturday. While I expected the wintery, blustery conditions would stifle gobbling and strutting, they didn’t at all. Both toms the boys bagged gave us the full show. The first one, roosted alone more than 650 yards away across a paved road,...


Strut Report: Expect the South's Best Turkey Hunting in the Next Week

One step too far and that big, fat longbeard hit the deck, all but disappearing in a field of relatively short grass. Its red head turned a pale pink, and its snood shriveled to nothing. Two beady eyes peered from behind thin blades of grass. We waited to see who’d...


CWD in Alabama and the Cheapest States for Deer Hunting

How Long Do Deer Live? Researchers in Pennsylvania looked back at their 20 years of data from capturing, collaring, and tracking wild deer, and found that if a buck survives to his first birthday, on average he will live another one to two years. If a doe survives her first...


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How to Make a Deer Antler Turkey Tote

You’ve been after him since daylight. He flew down the wrong direction, avoided you on the next two sets, and finally committed the fourth time you got in front of him. Trouble is, you are now a mile or more from the truck. And this old gobbler is big. Really...


Strut Report: Northern, Plains Turkeys Warming Up Despite Winter Weather

I’m riding the coattails of a successful hunt in South Dakota on tribal land that ended with a gorgeous Merriam’s gobbler. During that outing, the flock I took my bird from consisted of 12 toms and eight hens. The toms were tolerating one another as they do all winter. They...


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