This was my second trip of the 2019 Texas spring turkey season. This trip I would be down in Zavala county chasing big Rio Gobblers in that south Texas brush country. I had two tags left to fill and I would be hunting a huge ranch which had a solid turkey population. I have hunted this ranch for the last 8 years and know the area pretty good. I left Port Allen around 4:00am on Thursday for the 11 hour drive. Picking up my close friend near San Antonio we arrived at the ranch just in time to unpack and ride around the ranch to see if we could stir up any gobblers and put one or two to bed. I was able to fire up a few gobblers and setup on them only to have young birds come in. I also bumped into a huge rattle snake while trying to close the gap on a gobbler. Talk about an adrenaline rush! He rattled when I got within a few feet of him as I wasn?t paying attention to the ground. A quick shot of turkey load put an end to that threat! As dark approached I could hear what sounded like several gobblers along a creek about ï¿½ mile away so I eased closer down a road that ran along the creek towards them. As I got closer I could make out several gobblers strutting in the road about 400 yards from me. I just sat back and watched them until they made their way towards the creek and flew up on the roost between the road and the creek. So I was set for the morning! I had what appeared to be several big gobblers roosted and I also heard a few more close by. Friday morning I went back to the area the gobblers were roosted in. It was about an hour before daybreak as I wanted to ease in as close as possible down the road where I had last seen them before they went to roost. I set out my hen decoy and eased back into some bushes where I could watch down the road. The view was tight as I could only see down the road and I knew I could have birds come in from behind me but this was the best setup I had. As the song birds started their morning off so did the Gobblers! I let out a few soft tree yelps and the woods exploded with gobblers. I couldn?t believe what I was hearing. It sounded like 8 or 10 gobblers along the creek stretching for about 150 yards are so. Every time one would gobble the others would answer. I would let out yelps and the creek bottom would explode with gobbling. This was a once in a lifetime event to hear something like this. After good light and about a thousand gobbles later I heard the closest turkeys fly down. They were close and less than 100 yards from me. Down the road about 80 yards I watched 3 long beards appear in the road and start strutting and gobbling. 3 Jakes showed up and was between the hen decoy and the 3 strutting gobblers. They were freaked out and didn?t know what to do and just stood there. About that time something caught my eye to my left and two big long beards stepped out in the road right next to the decoy. They circled the decoy and immediately knew something wasn?t right. I put the bead on one of them and BOOM, hit him with 12 gauge 3 ï¿½? Winchester #6 XR Turkey load at 30 yards. He rolled and before I could get another shot at the other one he had run out of site. My Gobbler had a 10 ï¿½? beard with 1 3/8? spurs. Friday afternoon I setup in the same general area and called in several young gobblers and Jakes. So right before dark I moved locations farther down the creek about a mile and roosted several more gobblers for in the morning. Saturday morning I setup in a nice clearing that ran along the creek. As daybreak came so did the gobbling. There were two gobblers within 200 yards of my location. I made a few soft tree yelps and had both of them fired up and gobbling. I heard the closest one fly down and I made a cackle which put him in high gear heading towards me. I saw him walking fast down a cow trail towards my location out at 100 yards. I threw out a few yelps and got him all fired up. He was gobbling and strutting. The other gobbler was closing in but I couldn't see him yet. The first gobbler approached to within 70 yards and hung up and the 2nd gobbler went silent. The gobbler I was looking at had me pegged and was just strutting around in circles. After about 10 minutes we he turned around facing away from me in full strut I made a soft yelp, he came out of strut and came in to 35 steps. He went back into full strut and I got ready and clucked at him. He came out of strut and stretched he neck out looking for me. BOOM, I let him have a solid load of #6 Winchester XR turkey load. I smoked him and he did a flip. He had a 10 ï¿½? beard with 1 1/8? spurs. What an awesome Texas turkey season I had this year. Two great trip in two different areas that produced 4 great Rio Gobblers with tons of awesome memories. Back to my place this coming weekend in Catahoula parish for the last weekend and hope the weather finally cooperates. Take care be safe and hope you turkey hunters are enjoying some of the great outdoors this spring.
I just completed my first of two spring turkey hunting trips to Texas this past weekend just east of San Antonio in Guadalupe County which is a 4 gobbler tag county. I arrived in the afternoon on Thursday and the weather was perfect. 70 degrees, sunny and very light breeze. I headed out to a creek bottom Iâve hunted before that runs along a cow pasture. I setup where I could see both the creek bottom and flat along with a view of the cow pasture. I also decided not to use my decoys as not knowing how many turkeys were in the area and cows get very curious of decoys. Once settled in I made a few soft yelps and got an immediate reply from a gobbler some 200 yards away. I got a little aggressive with my calling and got him fired up and gobbling at every call I threw at him. Shortly I caught some movement along the creek and watched as 4 hens were walking fast in my direction. They had me pegged and was walking straight at me. I knew the gobbler would be following so I got ready with my shotgun pointed in the same direction as the hens came from. All 4 hens walked up to within 5 yards of me and stopped. They were looking around but making no calls. After a few seconds they moved around behind me and started walking off. Thatâs when I saw the big gobbler coming up the same trail as the hens did. He was a Hoss with a big rope for a beard! As he came in one of the hens which was behind me made an alarm call and froze the gobbler in his tracks. But it was too late as he was standing 40 yards in a nice opening. BOOM, I let him have a load of 12 gauge 3 Â½â number 6 Winchester XR Turkey load! What and adrenaline rush! I was only there for less than 30 minutes and had my first gobbler of the trip down. He had an 11 Â½â beard with 1 Â¼â spurs. I still had plenty of daylight left so I moved to another location and roosted 4 or 5 gobblers for the next morning. Friday morning as daylight came I was deciding which gobbler to go after as the woods were alive with gobblers gobbling on the roost. I settled for the closest one and worked him for several hours playing cat and mouse with him. He had several hens with him and I caught several good looks at him as I would try to out flank him. I had no luck breaking him away from his hens so I decided to try him in the afternoon. Friday afternoon I setup in a nice flat with scrub oaks that was adjacent to a creek bed. I put out both my gobbler and hen decoy in a nice opening about 20 yards from my location. I started making soft yelps and as the afternoon went buy I started getting a little more aggressive with my calling. About an hour before sunset I got a response from what I thought was two gobblers. I threw out a few more calls and had them locked in on me gobbling at ever call I would make. It was so cool as it was one of those picture perfect hunts. Every time I would make a call they would gobble and get closer. I got my shotgun ready and pointed in the direction I last heard them gobble which was only about 75 yards away. I made a soft yelp and there they were only 20 yards gobbling. To have double gobblers that close to you gobbling is awesome! I put the bead on the biggest one and BOOM. He rolled and the other took off before I could get a shot on him. This was another good gobbler with 8 Â¾â beard and 1 1/8â spurs. A cold front came in Saturday and the wind really picked up and the temps fell. I did work several more gobblers but they were locked up with hens and had no interest to come see a lonely hen in the bushes calling to them. I found a few awesome antler sheds from this past seasons bucks that survived which is always a neat find. I plan to head back to Texas in a few weeks and try to fill my remaining turkey tags on some of those big Rio Gobblers. Louisiana Season opens this coming weekend at my place near Sicily Island which I hope to connect with a big Eastern bird. I hope you enjoyed the story and good luck if you are trying your luck at any gobblers this season.
This past weekend while checking my trail-cameras and looking for antler sheds I ran across a mature Doe that had been recently killed and half consumed. It was covered up with leaves and small limbs and the guts had been removed and covered completely up about 10 yards away. Known predators in the area are coyotes, bobcats, and bears. Iâve never seen coyotes cover their kill and not sure about bears, but bobcats yes. I thought this would be a good thread to start and see what opinions might come up and what has other people seen. I setup two trail-cameras to see if I can catch some action but I left a lot of human scent while examining the remains. My best guess is there is a highway about 400 yards from kill site and maybe the deer was hit by a passing vehicle and then taken down by a predator. No drag marks from kill location which indicates it was killed there.
Also found one very nice new buck hooking and have several bucks on camera starting to drop their antlers.
Finally getting a few fawns starting to show up on cameras around my place in Catahoula Parish, best guess they were born around first of July time frame. No twins yet just singles. This could mean two things 1. The Momma Doe is moving each fawn separately which is good or 2. The coyotes, Bears, and Bobcats and picking them off. Time will tell as we move closer to fall and I monitor the fawns on camera and hopefully start seeing twins. I also have a big pregnant Doe on 7/25/18 which indicates secondary rut (mid to late January). Coyotes are an ever growing problem and need to be kept in check. Hard to do this year round and wish we could trap them during the summer months.
Here is one of my food plots where I planted Iron Clay Peas back in Mid-May. The deer pretty much left it along until around July 4th. At that time something changed and they started hitting the peas hard. Within a few days all the peas in this small half acre food plot was whipped out. Deer day and night eating until most all the peas were gone. Even had a Doe bring out her little fawn to get in on the action.
One of the biggest and most important projects you can do on your hunting property is improve wildlife habitat. Every bit helps even if itâs just on an area the size of a football field. Good quality habitat is by far the most important over supplemental feeding or food plots.
This spring it was time to thin out some pines on my place in Catahoula parish. I worked with a logger and we walked over the property and I showed him what I wanted to have done. I was interested in thinning a heavy stand of 15 year old pines and develop some great wildlife habitat in the process. There was also some stands of gum, willow, and less desired tress which I wanted removed. My goal was to open the forest floor enough so I could get good sunlight on the ground for native grasses and briars to start growing. We did a heavy thinning and removed every pine that was not straight or had multiple splits on the main trunk. We developed shooting lanes and made a nice food plot in the process. Now that we have completed the cutting I will help the native briars jump start by planting seeds from blackberries I have picked earlier and dried out. One quart bag of blackberry seeds will plant about 25 acres. I completed briar planting two years ago on a 25 acre clear cut and Iâm seeing some awesome results. I now have briar thickets that are 6-8 feet in height and 20-30 feet in diameter. This is going to make for some awesome cover for deer, rabbits and other wildlife in the coming years.
Lots of people donât know where to start when it comes to improving wildlife habitat on their hunting grounds. Weather you lease land or own it get with your local Wildlife biologist, your local Forester, and work with the landowner. Most landowners I deal with are more than understanding when it comes to improving their timber stand which improves wildlife habitat. Go in with a plan and you will see results very quickly.
I am also working on another part of my property doing Hinge Cutting which is a technique of cutting unwanted trees about chest high and leaving one side of the tree attached, then pushing it down. The tree will stay alive for several years and produce unbelievable cover for wildlife. It also lets sunlight in which creates more natural browse for wildlife. I try to do several areas about the size of football fields each year. You can search on YouTube for videos on Hinge Cutting and Improving wildlife habitat. Check it out as there is some interesting information on improving your wildlife habitat.
I hope you find this interesting and I will post pics of the hinge cutting we have been doing over the last few years in the coming weeks.
Here is a big Bear on my place in Catahoula parish reaching up and pulling down the feeder motor. Last pic his eyes are closed as I guess he got an eye full of corn! Funny stuff but they are very destructive animals.
Here is another trail-cam pic from my place in Catahoula parish of what I believe to be a dog, but some of my friends believe itâs something else. What you think?
I wanted to share a very cool trail-cam pic from my place in Catahoula Parish. Full moon setting in background with a nice 6pt. One of the better pics I have seen from my place.
Big Cats from my pier in Lafitte, catching the big ones at night and using cut bait. Even the big flathead bit on cut bait!
Interesting picture and interesting statistic.
Just returned from my second turkey hunting trip this spring season in Texas over the Easter weekend. I was invited to a ranch about 100 miles west of Dallas Texas in Palo Pinto County. I have hunted this ranch before and there are lots of turkeys and big mature gobblers in this area. I arrived along with two other friends on Wednesday afternoon in time to make a late evening hunt and hopefully call one in or roost one for the following morning. The wind was pretty stiff but I did manage to call in two young gobblers which I videoed with my phone and one hen, I also heard another gobbler in the distance but never could locate him at dark. My two buddies were hunting in different locations on the ranch and one of them was able to roost three different gobblers. So the next morning we split up and tried to get on these gobblers. I made my way to where he had heard one of the gobblers on the roost the afternoon before. I know this ranch so I kind of knew about where this gobbler would be roosted at. There was a nice size lake with big trees on the dam end so I figured the gobbler would be in that general area. I eased into the area and waited for day break. As the birds started singing so did the gobbler. He was only about 200 yards from where I had stopped to listen for him and he was exactly where I thought he would be. I slowly made my way closer and found a good spot to setup which put me about 100 or so yards from his location. I settled in and made a few soft tree yelps which set him off gobbling. After a few minutes I heard a hen start calling to him while still on the roost. He would gobble at her and I would call and he would gobble at me. After about 5 minutes of this action I heard as a turkey pitched out of a tree and landed only about 20 yards in front of me. It was a hen that I never knew was there. Then a second one, third one, and a fourth hen landed out in front of me. I froze as the hens started walking away. The gobbler by this time was gobbling at everything, crows, songbirds, and owls. I let the hens get about 50-60 yards away and I made a few more soft yelps at the gobbler and he fired back which seemed to make the leaves on the nearby trees rattle! One of the hens then started calling to him and he would answer her. It was so cool to be this close and hear his thunderous gobble and see all of this unfold. He finally pitched out of the tree and landed in an old road bed about 80 yards from me and went into a full strut. I then unleashed a volley of cuts and cackles which made him crazy as he gobbled his head off and was strutting straight in my direction. About this time one of the hens which was about 50 or so yards away from me started calling at him. He would come out of his strut look over at the 4 hens and then look for me. He would then go back into his strut and start wobbling in the direction of the hens. I would cut and cackle at him and he would start moving in my direction. This went on for several minutes and he was slowly getting closer. He kept looking for me and was checking out the four hens off to his side. When he got to about 50 yards he came out of his strut and stood up looking for me. After a few seconds of not seeing a hen in my direction he turned and started walking towards the four hens and went back into a full strut. At that time I decided it was now or never and gave out a loud cluck with my mouth call which froze him and made him pick up his head. BOOM I let him have it with my Browning Gold 12 gauge 3 Â½ inch number 6 turkey load. He rolled and I had a great gobbler on the ground. He had a 10 inch beard and 1 1/16 inch spurs. I was so pumped up just to have witnessed this kind of action was just awesome!
My other two buddies each had opportunities but one missed and one got his gobbler. Man I love hunting these Rio Gobblers, lots of fun and plenty of action!
I just completed my first trip to south Texas for this springs turkey season this past weekend. As always I was not disappointed chasing those Rio Gobblers and Hogs. I arrived in time to make a quick scouting trip on several ranches that I had permission to hunt on. My good friend had trail cameras set out and we had a good idea as to what ranches had the best turkey population. We set out a ground blind on the ranch that had the best opportunity for big gobblers.
He also showed me pics of a big blonde boar hog that was coming to one of his deer feeders consistently every afternoon and asked if I wanted to try and get him. I said sure and the big boar looked really cool in the trail cam pics. So Friday afternoon we setup in a ground blind about 150 yards from the feeder and sure enough like clockwork the big boar showed up. I gave him time to settle down and start feeding then I let the cross hairs settle on the side of his head and squeezed the shot off. The big boar dropped in his tracks. We had no scales but figure he was in the 250 pound class.
Saturday morning we headed out way before day light and I set out my gobbler and hen decoy on the edge of a cow pasture close to where we had set up the ground blind the day before. We climbed into the ground blind and waited for day break to come. As soon as the song birds started we heard what sounded like two or three gobblers on the roost about 300 yards away and across the cow pasture from us. I let out a few tree yelps with my mouth call and got an immediate reply. We sat tight and as soon as I heard them fly down I started calling to them. They would gobble and I would call, this went on for several minutes and I could not see them due to the way the cow pasture was laid out. I could tell that they were coming in closer so I backed down on my calling and just gave out a few purrs and clucks. My buddy was running the video camera and we had decided we would look over any gobblers that came in and try to take the better ones. After about 10-15 minutes a Jake showed up along with a few hens. They seemed a little nervous with my hen and gobbler decoy close buy but didnât run off. Shortly after that I watched as 4 big long beards came into view all strutting and walking straight towards the gobbler decoy. I picked the best gobbler out and waited for the shoot. BOOM he rolled and I went for another, BOOM another one rolled. I had two nice gobbler down and the other two was jumping on the ones that I had just shoot. We kept videoing and watched as the other two gobblers just went crazy attacking the two gobblers that had been shot. We finally emerged from the blind and went and checked out my two gobblers. One had a 9 Â½â beard with 1 3/8â spurs and the other had an 8 Â½â beard with 1 1/8â spurs. I tagged the turkeys and picked up our gear and headed for another ranch to see if we could get another gobbler fired up.
We rode over to the ranch I had shot the big boar hog the afternoon before and checked out one of his hog traps on the way in. While fooling around with the hog trap we heard a gobbler sound off about 400 yards away, I quickly grabbed my gear and ran down the edge of the cow pasture for about 100 yards trying to cut the distance. I was out of breath so I took out my box call and made several yelps and got a reply from the gobbler. I then eased into the wood line and found a good spot to setup. I took out my mouth call and started working on him. Every time I would call he would answer and he was getting closer. When he got to about 75 yards I shut up. I could not see him but knew he was getting very close and I didnât want him to know exactly what tree I was sitting by. There was this dead silence in the woods as I waited for him to appear. After about 5 minutes I picked him up walking down a fence row head straight towards me to my right. We he went behind a clump of brush I eased my gun around to catch him when he came out the other side only 25 yards from me. When he cleared the brush I clucked and he froze with his head fully extended, BOOM I let him eat a load of 12 gauge 3 Â½ #6âs. This big Gobbler had an 11â beard with 1/ Â¼â spurs. What a way to start off my Texas turkey season with 3 big gobblers on the first day of my hunt. I hope to get back down to south Texas in a few weeks and try and finish filling my last Turkey Tag. We took some great video footage of both the big boar hog and the turkeys which I will post when I get some time after turkey season.
I'm getting ready for the opener! Here a few neat trail-cam pics from my place in Catahoula Parish.
Just completed our annual rifle deer hunting trip to Nebraska, this year made for my 21st year heading to this hunting destination. This year there was six of us hunting the farmland in the North West corner of the state. Mostly corn fields and cattle pastures. Weather was unseasonably warm but that didnât stop the action as we took 33 deer in six days of hunting with several nice bucks. The area we were hunting allowed for two buck tags and four doe tags per person. We saw plenty of bucks but nothing huge as we have in past years. I believe the weather had the big boys laid up. I took some great video of bucks chasing does and even caught one mating a doe which I will post on YouTube later when I get some time under channel LETUMGROW.
Fished the Little Lake area over the weekend with some friends from Nebraska and had a blast with the Reds. Found several schools working the banks and we jumped all over them. We also just worked the banks hard and that produced several nice Reds in the 7-10 pound class. All of our fish were caught on Gulp Shrimp tight lined, gold bladed spinner baits, and gold spoons.
I ran my trail cameras this past weekend and found the ever growing population of bears! I have big bears, small bears, bears with tags, bears with collars, and even cubs!
This past Friday and Saturday we loaded up on nice Reds in the Little Lake area. Friday afternoon we had our three man limit in under 3 hours with 4 going over 7 pounds, Saturday morning was steady and had several over 8 pounds. Specs all over the place just running small. All of our fish were caught on gold spoons and gold bladed spinner baits working around the grass beds. Water was really clear and had fun sight fishing and casting to several Reds.
Here are a few pics of the Bulls we caught during the rodeo this past Labor Day weekend in Grand Isles. In 3 days of fishing we boated and released around 60 Bulls and brought 4 in to the rodeo to be weighed in. All caught on Cut Mullet and Live Crocker. Sharks not as bad as previous years but hooked a few.
As you can see in these two pictures the Hybrid Soybeans and Iron Clay Peas are really working great! This makes the third time the deer have hit them hard this summer. Notice the dates on each picture, in a matter of a few weeks the deer devoured the bean and pea tops. The good thing is I have a solid stand which is allowing the plants to come back strong and allow this heavy browsing. If you go back to my original post on 6/16/16 'Summer Food Plots' you can see the progression with pics. Between the two dates on these pictures I had over 700 pics of deer browsing the tops!