TURKEY HUNTING


VIDEO/HUNTS FOR 2011


BY

DEREK FOWLER


MARCH 26, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #1
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAD
PM HUNT CALLED IN 5 JAKES AND 1 HEN

On opening day evening Dad and I hunted a small food plot on our hunting club in Baldwin County. We got set up at around 2:00. After minimal calling we had a gobbler answer us at between 300 and 400 yards. After more calling we could tell there was more than one gobbler. The gobblers worked their way around and down the road we came in on. They soon entered the plot and there were 5 of them but they were all jakes. They made their way to our decoys and put on a show strutting and gobbling. All but one of the birds gobbled and he seemed love struck with the floozie decoy. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.


APRIL 2, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #2
LOCATION: JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAD
AM HUNT CALLED IN 2 GOBBLERS, 4 JAKES AND 1 HEN

Dad and I traveled to the Cullum property on this morning. We made our way to the hillside where we had prepared spent time earlier in the season cleaning a quiet path out. We set up our Primos Vision blind well before daylight in hopes the birds would be roosted nearby. Daylight came and there were no gobbles at least nearby. As the light increased a couple of birds began gobbling far to our left. I glimpsed a bird flying down to our left but wasn’t sure at that time if it was a gobbler. The other birds continued gobbling but seemed to be getting closer. I spotted a turkey which apparently was the bird that had flown down earlier. It turned out to be 4 jakes. They came to our decoys as the other gobblers came around behind us. A hen had flown down from our right and made her way in to the jakes and decoys. I could hear one of the gobblers drumming behind us as they made their way around our right side. By the time they made their way around an in front of us they were about 60 -65 yards and out of range. They continue on the same route as they completely circled us out of range. We thought surely with the hen and jakes less than 20 yards in front of us that the gobblers would be enticed to come in but it wasn’t to be. They continued across a large pasture leaving the hen and jakes behind. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.


APRIL 9, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #3
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAD
AM HUNT CALLED/SEEN 2 GOBBLERS, 6 JAKES AND 2 HENS

Dad and I went back to our club in Baldwin County. We slipped around the swamp bottom and came in to the edge of it from the other side. We were set up before daylight. The first bird gobbled to our left at about 200 yards. This bird gobbled several times before a different bird gobbled to our front right at about the same distance. A couple of hens began yelping and cutting between the two gobblers and the bird to our left flew down first and made his way briskly and directly across the swamp bottom. The two gobblers met with several more jakes and two hens directly in front of us at over 150 yards. They stayed there for over an hour and finally slipped away following the hens. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.


APRIL 10, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #4
LOCATION: TWIGGS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAD
AM HUNT CALLED 3 HENS

A short hunt on some property my Dad hunts on this morning produced video of a hen with about an 8 inch beard See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler..


APRIL 11, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #5
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
AM HUNT CALLED 1 GOBBLER AND 1 JAKE

I returned to our club in Baldwin County to try the gobblers that had eluded us on the previous trip. I set up in the bottom near the strut zone where the birds were previously. On this trip the bird gobbled and had roosted near the original blind position. The bird gobbled continuously but wouldn’t come in my direction. He appeared to be headed to the food plot on the hill. I gave it about 30 to 45 minutes after my last call and then slipped out to make my way around and cut them off. Once I got out on the hillside I paused to see where the gobbler was. Yep, he was headed right where I had just come from. I set up where I was in a nice hardwood flat and called the birds to within a 100 yards but no further. As the gobbler seemed to be headed away from me I decided to go around to the food plot and see if I could get them to come in there. When I got set up there the bird gobbled back where I came from – again! I decided I would sit it out here and see what happens. In a few minutes a bird gobbled closer but didn’t seem to be the one that gobbled before. In no time he and a jake appeared to my left. I could get fair video but didn’t realize they were as far around as they were. When they started moving back the way they came I decided to take the shot. The gobbler was only a 2 year old but weighed 19 pounds, had a 10 inch beard and ¾ inch spurs. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.

Dereks Gobbler #1 2011

APRIL 15, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #6
LOCATION: TWIGGS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAD
AM HUNT CALLED 1 GOBBLER AND 4 JAKES

Dad and I made an evening hunt on some private land in Twiggs County on this evening. We called for about an hour and had almost given hope of getting a bird to respond when we saw 4 jakes feeding across the field. They worked their way around the upper side of the field but did not seem interested in coming in our way. As they made their way back to where they had come they started yelping. I told Dad that there had to be another bird for them to yelp. I’ve seen this before and it typically would be a mature gobbler they would be yelping at. Sure enough a mature gobbler came over the hill and was as hot as they get. He answered everything I threw out and eventually came close enough for Dad to take a shot. The gobbler was only a 2 year old but weighed 17 pounds, had a 9 inch beard and 5/8 inch spurs. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.

Dads Gobbler 2011


APRIL 29, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #7
LOCATION: LAURENS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: KEITH SMITH
PM HUNT – GOBBLER VIDEO

On this afternoon Keith Smith and I would try a field where Keith had been seeing a nice gobbler but had had no luck calling him in. We made it to the field and setup inside the wood line on the far end. After about an hour of sporadic calling the bird entered the pasture in front of us. We had set up a strutting jake, a standing jake floozie and two hens. The bird seemed interested, but did not appear to want to come in to the decoys. At about 125 yards out the bird would stop and look and continue working around us. It was then that the wind gusted and the gobbler decoys both turned toward the gobbler and stopped almost facing him. This was all it took………..for him to turn tail and run! He didn’t want any part of a confrontation with another decoy other than a hen. This was definitely one hunt we would have done better to leave the decoys in the truck! We should have realized Keith had been watching the bird on several occasions and had not seen any other gobblers with him. This was a good lesson. Always study your previous hunts and learn to read a gobblers reactions to help you on future hunts. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.



MAY 5, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #8
LOCATION: WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
PM HUNT – CALLED/SEEN 1 GOBBLER, 4 JAKES AND 5 HENS

I hunted some private land on this evening which Dad and I had only hunted on one other occasion. I spotted a hen on my way to our previous blind and decided to make a new blind that would allow me to cover more of the pasture and possibly not spook any birds in going farther. The hen didn’t see me so I tarted clipping the brush and getting set up. In scratching out the leaves for a place to sit, I must have excited another hen behind me which started clucking and purring and coming my way. I didn’t see the hen because it was literally a thicket of briars and brush. I finally got set up and heard a bird gobbler to my right back side. The gobbler made his way toward where the other hen had come from. By now she had moved on, so I wasn’t sure why he didn’t come to my calling. Once he made it to our other blind he stopped and strutted for half an hour. He then started coming my way and I really thought he was coming in but when he went back behind me I couldn’t understand. I looked to see what could have turned him and I then saw the 4 jakes that had entered the pasture and he neither wanted anything to do with the jakes. The jakes made their way across the pasture in front of me and I then heard the spittin’ and drumming to my left back. The gobbler had made his way around me and the thicket and would now come into the pasture at about 30 yards to my left. When he did I could not see him well enough to shoot and he was soon too far to shoot. I videoed him for a while until the jakes again ran him off. They soon made their way out of the pasture and I was about to get up to trim some brush to make my next hunt better. I stood up and saw him entering the pasture again. This time some hens had started yelping back across the field in front of me and started coming my way. By now it was getting real late but I thought he might still come my way so I sat it out. He eventually made his way back across the pasture and roosted somewhere in front of me across the pasture. When the hens had left I finally finished my pruning that I desperately needed to make my video much better on the next hunt. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.



MAY 6, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #9 LOCATION: WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
PM HUNT – CALLED/SEEN 1 GOBBLER, 4 JAKES AND 5 HENS

I returned to the private land the next evening. As I neared the opening to the pasture I glassed carefully and spotted some turkeys near the edge where I would make my way into the pasture. I carefully watched until I could identify most of the birds as the jakes I saw the day before. I continued to ease toward the birds staying on the edge and as much out of their sightline as possible. After about 10 minutes I had made my way about 75 yards and within 30 yards of them. By now I could tell they were all jakes, but didn’t want to spook them in fear of not knowing where the gobbler was. I knelt down behind some thick brush and watched as they made their way out into the pasture. When they had made their way far enough that I felt they would go the other way, I was going to ease up and hopefully run them quietly away from me so I could make my way to the blind which was about 150 yards farther up. As I did the front bird started walking nervously away which was perfect. I had now switched the camera off which was a big mistake. As the other birds spooked, a couple went to the right which was not what I wanted and one jake and a hen went with the other to the left. The fourth jake picked up and flew directly at me. I was motionless as this unfolded and it was as it was in slow motion. As the bird got closer I was really starting to worry that he was going to hit me. I could have literally reached out and touched him as he flew past. He was so close I could see his eyes looking left and right but not at me at all! Whew, finally I was able to continue up the edge to the blind. I glassed the remainder of the field carefully and set up quietly. I eased out to set out a couple of hen decoys and was a little cautious at getting too far out in the pasture. When I made my way back in the blind and looked at the decoys and realized they were too close so I got up and moved them farther out. Returning to the blind I heard a gobble that couldn’t have been 100 yards away. I set up quickly and the bird came out just as he did the day before and made his way toward the “strut” zone where he had been the day before. A couple of hens came out and made their way across the pasture but seemed to be coming close enough that he might follow and see the decoys. Instead, he made his way back like he did the day before but instead of going behind me he stayed in the pasture and it seemed he might even come too close between me and the decoys. Boy it was a great thing I had moved them farther out. He finally saw them and immediately went to the breeding decoy which I had sat close to the ground. I didn’t waste much more time as my season had been one of the toughest to date. My second gobbler weighed 19 pounds had a 9 ½ inch beard and 1 ¼ inch spurs. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler..

Dereks Gobbler #2Dereks 2011 Spurs



MAY 11, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #10
LOCATION: WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: KEITH SMITH
PM HUNT – CALLED/SEEN 3 GOBBLERS AND 5 HENS

As the season was nearing the end I much needed a few more hunts to have enough video to make a DVD. Keith Smith and I traveled to Toomsboro in Wilkinson County on this evening to basically scout some land for a possible lease. We were supposed to meet the owner of the land who was somewhere on the property. We unloaded the golf cart and slipped around the roads until we met the owner. He told us a couple places that we might try hunting that had not been disturbed. It was already getting late and we would only have about an hour of good hunting when we finally got set up. We made our way back to the truck and got our gear and slipped in the golf cart in the direction that we felt had been least disturbed. We left the cart and walked another couple of hundred yards when we spotted a flat that looked to be our best spot at calling and being able to see well enough to shoot and video. When we sat down we put our back to what would eventually be the direction the birds would come from. After a few calls a hen started yelping and then a gobble. As the birds got closer we realized we needed to move so we crawled across to a couple of trees in front of us so we could direct our attention toward the oncoming birds. After a little longer it appeared that there were a trio of gobbles and for a while we had hopes of doubling. There were 5 hens that made their way around our left and back side and had to come within a few yards of my position. After moving we really were not very concealed so we sat motionless until we almost started cramping as the hens made their way scratching and purring right past us. When they had move about 20 yards farther behind us we thought this could not possibly go wrong now. The gobblers would surely come right in wouldn’t they? The stubborn gobblers were hung up and did not move for about 30 minutes, so it seemed. I had all but ran out of tape with the camera so I had left the camera off for much of this activity. One of the birds finally made it out far enough for Keith to see and he was waiting on my cue. I finally saw him and told him to shoot before I actually turned the camera on. Did I actually do this? My primary job to get footage and here I was with an empty tape and didn’t even cut the camera on! I did have enough tape left to get some video after the kill. Keith’s gobbler was an old bird and weighed 20 1/4 pounds had a 3 beards – 11, 9, 9 inches. The longest spur was 1 ¼ but the other was broken at 1/2 inch. See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.

Keith Smiths 2011 GobblerKeith Smith Spurs



MAY 13, 2011 VIDEO HUNT #11
LOCATION: WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAD
PM HUNT – CALLED/SEEN 2 JAKES AND 2 HENS

Dad and I returned to the private land where I had killed my last bird in hopes there may be another mature bird in the area. At initial daylight there were no gobbles but we heard a couple of hens not long after. What we thought to be hens yelping turned out to be jakes. I had taken my bow in case one of the jakes came back so it would seem I would soon have a decision to make. The jakes didn’t act very interested at first but one finally came in nervous and cautiously to the decoys. He did not come to the location I had planned to video and shoot, and my first reaction would be to just let him go. He lingered around long enough that I thought I needed to break my drought with the bow so I set the camera and eased my bow up. As I drew the bird became more cautious and as I shot I can’t tell you where my arrow went. Apparently it didn’t come close enough to spook the bird. I’m still not sure but I think it may have hit something near the blind and flew wildly. It was Friday the 13th! See this hunt on my 2011 video: Turkey hunting with Derek Fowler.


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