Deer Hunting

Pages


Fall Turkey Hunting on Public Land

This title bout involved three guys, a turkey dog, and a gang of fall longbeards. A friend had the birds, which he’d seen while bowhunting. I had the dog. Our other buddy had the tag to fill. Deep in the Vermont woods, my white renegade English setter cast back and...


History’s Biggest Turkey Poaching Busts

Poachers steal resources and opportunity from everyone, and even relatively minor violations get hunters justifiably upset. But some incidents really roil law-abiding outdoorsmen and law-enforcement officials. That’s especially true with turkeys, which were pushed to the brink a century ago and nurtured back to today’s thriving populations only through the...


3 Great Stories About Hunting Mamas

Maybe your mom taught you to hunt. Maybe she runs the tractor during food plot season, sights in the rifles, sets the decoys, or does all the cooking. Wherever she fits into your hunting family, chances are it's an important role. Remember to say "thanks" to her this Mother's Day...


Don't Fear the Turkey Mouth Call

Afraid of using a mouth call? Your yelps failing to close the deal? Not sure which diaphragm to choose? Pennsylvania’s Scott Basehore is a longtime turkey hunter, guide, contest judge, and award-winning call maker at the highest level. I caught up with him for tips on how to improve your...


Tips for .410 Turkey Hunting

Boom. Down. Dead with a knockout punch. As my friends know, I’m a die-hard, old-school turkey hunter who believes in the big boom: a 12-gauge shotgun, reliably choked, is my best option for dropping turkeys in their tracks with confidence. Fact is, many of my grizzled turkey buddies who might...


Long Distance Turkey Calling

“If you have a turkey gobbling to your calling, but it’s far off,” my dad used to say, “and it shuts up, get ready. It might be on the way.” And man, I have thought of that tidbit of wisdom many times since. My father hunted ridge-running Pennsylvania turkeys, just...


The Toughest Turkey Hunting States

Defining a tough turkey hunt is tricky. Some hunters expect to easily fill tags on cooperative birds. Others measure a quality hunt by the standard of unpressured, gobbling turkeys in pretty places. Two old-school measures of toughness include shut-mouthed or henned-up strutters. Still, certain states are especially tough due to...


Best Turkey Hunting Road Trips

The familiar gravity of the open road is strong as black coffee, as familiar as the playlist you sing to, beating time on the steering wheel. Landscapes slip by like a movie on fast forward. Gas stop to gas stop, you wheel through the dark to the season’s first daybreak...


Favorite Turkey Decoy Setups of the Pros

Jake and hen decoys? Strutter and breeder? Full flock? Even with hyper-realistic fakes in your arsenal, you still need to adjust your tactics to the time of the season and how turkeys are behaving. The truth is, sometimes decoys work. Sometimes not. Why do realistic decoys fail? Often, it’s a...


Early Season or Late: What's the Best Time to Kill a Turkey?

I’ve turkey hunted in snow so heavy that I couldn’t see the decoy just 15 yards in front of me. I’ve also hunted in 90-degree heat while wading through thick, green vegetation that limited my visibility almost as much as the snow. Both of those happened in my home state...


Is It Time to Rethink Fall Turkey Hunting?

“It feels like I’m breaking the law,” my dad used to say of Pennsylvania spring turkey hunting. Though it was legalized in 1968, it still felt unusual to be out there in the woods. You see, in the north-central mountains where I grew up, the fall turkey tradition ruled. In...


Late-Season Gobblers: Get Your Bird at the Wire

Late-season gobblers are a mystery sometimes. Is it over? Are they done? Fortunately, the answer is always no. Breeding may wane, but turkeys talk to each other every day of the year. As the sun rises earlier each day, inching toward late spring, you lose more and more sleep. Sure,...


Tips for Hunting Turkeys Alone

Social distancing? Yep, this season is different. While it’s true I’ve happily gotten together with my tight-knit group of longtime gobbler chasers on hunts around the country for decades, certain local buds have also called me “the lone wolf” over the years. I’m okay with that, as I like to...


Are Turkey Seasons Opening Too Soon?

It’s no secret that turkey numbers are down, particularly in parts of the Southeast and Midwest. Lack of habitat, poor nesting conditions, predator impacts and disease have all gotten a portion of the blame for declining turkey numbers. But is it time that we, as hunters and conservationists, ask if...


Chasing the Multigobbler

He was a jake when we first met. It was April 24, 2016, and he came in dogging the steps of an eager-to-die 3-year-old. The big gobbler answered my first call, then crossed a valley at the speed of a forced-march. He paused behind a tree at 70 yards, just...


How to Double on Gobblers

It was one of those hunts where everything was coming together. After a hot, windy morning with almost no gobbling, my wife, Cheryl, and I finally struck up a pair of willing longbeards. They were just over the rise and out of sight. We had them on a string, each...


One Bad Mississippi Bird

In my experience, every longbeard in Mississippi’s Homochitto National Forest is a Bad Bird. But the bird I came to know as the Eddiceton Warrior was among the baddest. Not only did he whip turkey hunters, but he whipped his fellow turkeys, too. We crossed paths in 2009 when a...


How to Hunt Turkeys that Won’t Gobble

It had been a long three hours. We had slipped in well before daylight and popped out a blind along the ridgetop pasture. Our quiet yelps had gone unanswered since sunrise. We knew there were toms in the area; we’d watched them fly up while scouting the evening before, and...


The Turkey Ghost

Alabama turkeys are paranoid, unpredictable and unforgiving. They’re not like the Easterns that live in, say, Missouri or Ohio or New York. The birds that lived on my friend Ken Buce’s farm in Alabama were no exception. If one gobbled, he usually got a response from a hunter. And if...


How COVID-19 is Affecting Turkey Season

We’ve been asked to practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That means no school, no parties, no public transportation and no hanging out in restaurants. The “don’t list” is long, but we can turkey hunt, and that’s a good thing. In fact,...


Pages