Quest for 450: Opening Day in Alabama

Spring weather has arrived much earlier than usual and from what turkey hunters are seeing firsthand from scouting is that the turkeys are well along in their springtime process for it to be only mid-March. Ordinarily Woodhaven Custom Calls owner Mike Pentecost would've been rushing out of the door on Alabama's opening day, hours before daylight, to try and get a jump on the other hunters to hit a nearby tract of public land he likes to hunt. But this year is different.

For Pentecost it marks his push to take his 450th wild turkey before he turns 50 on May 29. The super avid turkey hunter needs 11 more birds to reach this goal, but already his efforts have been hit by some challenges. He planned to film every hunt for a DVD and television show his company hopes to put together, but he suffered a delay in getting the camera, so he found himself on opening morning without a video camera to film the hunt.

"There was no way I was going to NOT go to the woods," said Pentecost. "I debated on whether to tote a shotgun or not, but ultimately decided to spend opening day here doing a little 'in-season' scouting."

It’s a tactic he's used before to dial in exactly where the birds are hanging out, and what they are doing at the time, before rushing in to hunt them. By reading the birds’ behavior, gobbling and patterns, a hunter can better determine his or her approach and hit the birds when ready. He typically tries to go out every morning and only "engage" a turkey when he thinks everything is right.

"The first time an old tom really has me on his mind is the last time I want him to have me on his mind," said Pentecost. "These in-season scouting missions really help me know exactly what is going on. I tossed a few calls out and the birds responded really well. But I decided to hold out and try to wait for the camera."

The original plan was to begin his quest in Florida anyway, though that trip looks like it will get postponed due to this latest snafu and some other things he has going on at home with the family.

"Hearing those turkeys this morning has me pumped up though, and I can’t wait to 'officially' begin my quest," he said. "I hope everyone will follow along on American Hunter's Journal all spring to see how things go."


Share |



Enter your comments below, they will appear within 24 hours

Your Name

Your Email

Your Comment

No comments yet, be the first to leave one below.