Doesn't get any better than this! Beautiful red and a child with a huge smile enjoying what we are so graced with down here. Way to go Cade!
PART 4 - MERRIAMS
Concluded my quest for the turkey slam last week in South Dakota. First morning proved to be cold and windy. We got too close to the roost and not early enough and believe we spooked the birds. They never made a sound in the tree and took quite a while on the ground before 1 gobble was heard. The cold and wind had the birds held up and quiet down in the draws and we could not get on any birds all day. Finally saw a huge flock and set up on those knowing that all those eyes would prove difficult and it did. Watched 80 birds for 3 hours with no shot.
Second day proved the right one. Cold again, but the wind was much lighter and the sun broke out around 9. Off the roost was right, watched 50 birds do their deal for about 2 hours with no shot. Gave up on them and went looking. Found a bird strutting with 2 hens. Climbed a hill above them and watched for a while. When he was done he went to strutting and gobbling. Made one light yelp from above him and he locked in. Strutted, gobbled at the base of the hill, then hopped a small stream, and up the hill he came and popped up less than 15 yards away!!! GRAND SLAM done @ 10:00 on May 1!
There is a ton of game in South Dakota. Watched mule deer, antelope, white tails, pheasants, grouse, rabbits, prarie dogs, coyotes, ducks, geese, etc., and of course lots of turkeys! These turkeys are tough because they populations are high and they stay packed up pretty well. Fun hunting, lots of walking and riding.
Never thought I'd accomplish this deal in one season, but the good lord blessed me and I can't tell you how good it feels.
Turkey season done for me, now it's fishing season!
Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Here is a couple of pics of the largest "shellcracker" as those redneck boys call them that I have ever caught. That thing pulled like a bulldog. All fish were caught on a Renosky micro jig in a private pond near Gadsden on Friday prior to the Nascar race in Talladega. Total of 153 bream were caught by two of us! It was incredible, basically every cast. There were lots of smaller bream, but over half were big eaters. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Had just unbelievable hunting last week in Telegraph, TX at a great friend's ranch. Brought my oldest son and brother along for the hunt. Here's how they went. Brother killed one first afternoon, not pictured, & son missed twice first afternoon. Next morning son killed his which was the most exhilerating turkey I have ever been on!!! Had 4 toms gobbling @ 60 yards to our left and 3 toms gobbling @ 50 yards to our right!! They were just gobbling their heads off at each other, lasted for probably 20 minutes or more. The group of 3 won out and moved in and the proof is in the pictures! Brother got busted that morning. Second afternoon I got busted by 2 strutters sneaking up behind me, brother didn't get an opportunity. Last morning had 3 come to brother & I, finally got the opportunity to double up and on the count of 3 the evidence is posted! That was way cool! The weather and birds cooperated pretty well.
I am noticing a trend though that I'm not liking too much. Last season I saw lots of jakes, hence the good populations of mature toms. I haven't seen the first jake in 4 trips so far this year. That'll make next year a tough year, as this year's survivors will be much wiser and not much of a new crop. Just my observation.
Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Part 3 - RIO GRANDE
Got the the 3rd leg of the quest for the slam in 2009 this Monday @ 6:15 p.m. in Menard, TX when this bird came out with 2 others and passed 30 yards out following a large flock of hens. Never heard any of them, not once. Extremely windy conditions I think had them quiet and spooky. This bird had triple beards!!! I didn't notice them till after the pics were taken and he was being cleaned, hence no pics. I'll post the beard only pics later when I get a chance. The back 2 beards were identical 8" and the front one was 4 1/2"; he weighed in @ 17.5 lbs and had just over 1" spurs. Last leg for the grand slam comes in South Dakota on April 30. Keeping my fingers crossed as I have been blessed to have bountiful hunts thus far. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
PART 2 - EASTERN The quest continued this weekend in Alabama near Butler. 3/21 Heard 3 gobbling @ daybreak and then 3 owls starting fighting right above me which had them just hammering and allowed me to sneak right on in. The first bird came around the corner on the road and the first miss in a long time happened as I was attempting to shoot around branches, no excuses, just whiffed @ 0650. Let things settle down for and hour or so and resumed the search. Decided to set up at an intersection where there was lots of tracks with no success or sounds for another hour. About to call it quits when a crow made one gobble down a logging road. Headed that way and in a matter of minutes after some purring and clucking and a couple of loud gobbles, saw 2 hens heading my way. Not too far behind 2 big black ones hot on their trail. The 2 hens walked by @ 5 feet and the first gobbler went down @ 12 yards @ 1010 a.m. The pic says it all. Bird had 9 3/4" beard, 1 1/8" spurs and weighed 16 3/4 lbs. Hunted again Sunday and heard a bird gobble over 100 times and finally got one to come out into a green field but had no interest whatsoever. May have been the other bird from the previous day. Rio up next in Menard, TX. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Part 1 - OSCEOLA HUNT: Headed to Okeechobee, FL to begin my quest for the turkey slam with a hunt for the OSCEOLA. Hunted on the Larson Family Dairy Farms property with Travis Larson. Let me tell you, this guy did his homework. The birds pretty much did exactly what he expected them too. Foggy conditions held the toms up from flying down a little. Had 3 toms gobbling on the roost then dead quiet for about 45 minutes. When they hit the ground the first bird headed our way and the second one was following and gobbling his head off. First bird that walked into sight is the one in the pic. 9" beard 1 1/4" spurs and weighed 17 lbs. Let me tell all of you that has never had the opportunity to hunt an Osceola, these birds are smart!!! We were so well hidden and that bird still saw me move my gun. Next up, Alabama for an Eastern. Will post results, good or else. Catch em and shoot em when you can! Good luck all.
Took my oldest son Devin on his first turkey hunt and he bagged his first turkey! Bird snuck up behind us. Thank goodness I opted for a portable blind setup. Those things are great for kids! Bird came to about 18 yards gobbling and strutting! What a sight, even for dad. Bird was a tick over 20 lbs, had a 9.25" beard, and sported 1.38" spurs. There were three other birds taken on the trip, one by yours truly, brother PB, and sis-in-law Anne also scored. All of the birds taken were over 20 lbs! That's rare in Texas. Next stop Alabama. Pic of my bird also on the post. Catch em and shoot em when you can!
Had some friends and hoonyangs come down to do some hunting and fishing with us last week. Due to the lack of ducks on our place, we spent more time fishing at Topwater Charters in Cocodrie. Capts. John, Joey, & Coby put our group on limits of reds both days we fished, also added a few trout and mixed other marsh fish in less than ideal conditions. Capt. Bryce even fed us while we down there one day. Poor duck season so far. Thank the good Lord for giving the Sportsman's Paradise we live in for other options. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Where did they wheel barrel guy go??? He had some great posts and then just disappeared. Too much pressure I guess.
These are absolutely real pics sent from a friends cell phone cam northwestern Mississippi close to the river. Believe them if you wish, but I know what my man told me!
Pic I meant to put in caption.
A couple of nice trout for my boys from Friday 7/6. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Fished the Houma Oilman's and switched gears this year to a new place and what a great decision it was. Went with Topwater Charters and their team of captains: Bryce Michel, John Pellegrin, & Chad Chaisson. We were able to beat the wind in the marsh and just hammer the fish. Boats catching limits of reds, throw in some drum, flounder, trout, & heads and it was top notch fishing in sub par conditions. Thanks to all involved with a top notch run organization. See all of y'all soon. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Went to a friend's place near Red Lick, MS to hopefully find some opening weekend turkey luck. We searched far and wide Friday to roost something with no luck. Saturday a.m. was literally going in the blind, heard one on adjacent land, but he wasn't budging. Searched all afternoon until near dark once again, no luck. Lucked up Sunday a.m. to hear 2 off in the distance, went to them, and called they answered. 10 mins. later a gobble 35 yard away and then done @ less than 20 yards. Bird had 9.5" beard and 1" spurs. This is my first Eastern after 5 Rios. These birds are definitely tougher to hunt. Good luck to all of the turkey hunters this spring. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Cousin Shane & I made a hunt on some friends' lease near Gibson on this very "ducky" day. Got our limit with no sweat in the wet, but surprisingly 10 bw teal & 2 ringed-necks. Amazing to see so many bw teal still here. Oh well, we'll eat good. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Got my limit this morning behind Paradis consisting of 1 mottled duck, 1 gw teal, & 4 ringed-necks. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Brother PB, Cousin Shane, & I were invited to hunt w/ a friend near Turtle Bayou on Wednesday 11/15. We lucked up and beat the rain by taking 4 limits quick and early made up of all Ringed-necks. Did see a small flock of Redheads and a big male Canvasback along with lots of Bald Eagles. Boy with that wind blowing it sure made the shell count go way up. What a blast shooting those little jets. Opening day on our place near Raceland was the worst we've had. A total of 10 ducks out of 3 blinds. Hoping more ducks show up with this weather. Catch em and shoot em when you can.
Well all of the bluewater boys will like to hear this one. Our tugs just arrived with the BP/BHP rig ATLANTIS in Green Canyon 787. Certainly it'll become yet another tuna & marlin magnet. Good luck!
Had the perfect weather forecast for a customer trip w/ Capt. Eric Pellegrin of Custom Charters on 6/28. Let me tell you the forecast of NE winds 5/10 and seas 1-2' were way off! The seas were consistent 4 footers and made the ride pretty brutal, especially on the way home! Anyway, to get to the fishing, we wound up with our limit of red snapper by a little after 10 a.m. Throw in a couple of mangroves and triggers to the box. We had lots of small ones all day. Capt. Eric did a great job in those adverse conditions to put us on the fish. Thanks for the great trip and service and looking forward to calmer seas.
Catch em and shoot em when you can.