Biding Time

Still in Alabama at a time he had hoped his spring quest would have him putting gobblers on the ground in Florida, Mike Pentecost is biding his time…though he is beginning to rework his strategy. Not one to rush through a season and be done, Mike mixes plenty of hunts in with friends and then finishes up later in the season. Early season in Alabama is actually usually tougher hunting, he said. But with spring coming in so early, the turkeys are way ahead and Mike is now worried that the whole mating game of the turkeys will be done by mid-April. That means the usually still productive final weeks of the season may not be that way this year.

“I don’t normally get out much this early, but the birds are really early, so I may need to try to change my usual strategy,” he said. It’s something he would have already done had he had the video camera he ordered in his hands. But that’s been held up.

Mike went out early in the week to scout a location that he likes to hunt along a creek bottom. The area east of the creek was recently prescribed burned, and the area west of it is leaf-covered forest floor. On Tuesday morning, he had multiple toms gobbling at daylight and decided to move in closer for a little interaction.

“I decided to see how these turkeys interacted with each other and see what type of hen interaction and number of hens were with the gobblers still and in the area,” he said. “I called with different types of calls, but the most effective ones were kee-kees and yelps. These calls got immediate reaction from one of the gobblers and his hens.”

The turkeys crept to within 35 yards forcing Pentecost to sit tight until they wandered back off. It was counterintuitive for him to shoot, but he really wanted to catch all of his birds on camera this spring.

“They hung around me for about 45 minutes or so before I could get up and ease out without spooking them,” he said. 

It would have been a successful hunt had he been toting a shotgun.

Areas where a burn meets an open stand of trees, particularly if a creek botton runs through the area, are great for locating and working birds. The exposed ground will green up first in the sunlight and will naturally attract turkeys to the spot. Remember that this spring as you begin your own early season hunt. 

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