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Posted: 2/16/2015 2:11:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2015 10:37:17 AM EDT by webnole78]
Surely I'm not the only one getting excited

I always guide for Youth Weekend (March 14th this year) and then we really get down to business the following week so we're about a month out. Probably going to run over to the property in the next week or so to have a listen.

What's your go to gun(s)/call(s)? I use an 870 with Hevi 6's and a Jellyhead. The calls I mainly use are slate and glass pot calls. I use a box too but usually just for clucks. I mainly stick with the slate.

Started hunting a new property last year and did not get to shoot a bird (heard gobbles every morning though) so here's a pic of the last one I shot the season before last. I was by myself and the wife was out of town so I just had to make due with a selfie.



And here's the spurs (a spur) of the winning bird from our youth challenge last year. Don't remember the exact length but they were gargantuan.

Link Posted: 2/16/2015 4:21:16 PM EDT
We have had a couple wander by the hacienda in the last couple of days:

Link Posted: 2/16/2015 4:45:11 PM EDT
Sweet.

One of the guys I hunt with has cameras up at a couple of his places around here and he's had some nice action lately too.
Link Posted: 2/18/2015 11:56:17 PM EDT
I'm ready. I PCSed this last winter so it's all new territory for me. SBEII and slate call I made myself of whatever diaphgram call is working the best for me. I need to get to Florida one of these days and get an Osceola to complete my slam
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 4:49:35 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Teamvit:
I'm ready. I PCSed this last winter so it's all new territory for me. SBEII and slate call I made myself of whatever diaphgram call is working the best for me. I need to get to Florida one of these days and get an Osceola to complete my slam
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C'mon and get it man. We've taken turkeys around Tallahassee that were more Osceola than Eastern but we can't claim them because we're about an hour north of the cutoff I'm going to have to get down south myself at some point.

I have a bunch of Easterns and one Merriams under my belt, still need the Rio and Osceola.
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 6:44:38 PM EDT
Can't wait !

For the past few weeks, there has been a group of longbeards hanging out at the end of a cul-de-sac where me and my son turn around and wait for the bus.

Just for shits and giggles, one morning I decided to gobble at them. And all nine birds hammered back at me.

I then hit the last two notes of the barred owl's : Who Cooks For You Alllllll !!!!!!!. They all hammered again.

So every morning my 13 year old now rolls down his window and gets them to gobble at him.

We are having fun already !

870's over here too. With HeviShot. The stuff that has three different shot sizes. Standard Remington Turkey Choke for the 3.5" and Hastings tubes for the .20GA's.
We have one 870 Youth 20GA, and one Remington 1100 LT 20GA.

Slates and diaphragm. Slates mostly though.

I have this little slate that doesn't have a sound chamber. It sounds really soft and the birds just eat it up !
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 8:11:31 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Flatulence:
Can't wait !

For the past few weeks, there has been a group of longbeards hanging out at the end of a cul-de-sac where me and my son turn around and wait for the bus.

Just for shits and giggles, one morning I decided to gobble at them. And all nine birds hammered back at me.

I then hit the last two notes of the barred owl's : Who Cooks For You Alllllll !!!!!!!. They all hammered again.

So every morning my 13 year old now rolls down his window and gets them to gobble at him.

We are having fun already !

870's over here too. With HeviShot. The stuff that has three different shot sizes. Standard Remington Turkey Choke for the 3.5" and Hastings tubes for the .20GA's.
We have one 870 Youth 20GA, and one Remington 1100 LT 20GA.

Slates and diaphragm. Slates mostly though.

I have this little slate that doesn't have a sound chamber. It sounds really soft and the birds just eat it up !
View Quote


The Magnum Blend. A good buddy of mine switched to that a couple years ago, I patterned it too but the 6's seems to do better for me with the Jellyhead so I stuck with them. He had a different choke and it really liked that blended load.

That's awesome that they gobble at you and your son. It is fun isn't it? The shooting has pretty much become a secondary thrill for me, making them gobble at you is where it's at.
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 9:36:54 PM EDT
I use either an 870 w/ 18" bbl or a Benelli M2 with a 20" bbl.

3" #5 Federal turkey loads, 1 3/4 oz.

A few of mine takes...













Link Posted: 2/19/2015 11:10:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/19/2015 11:16:21 PM EDT by Teamvit]
Went scouting last weekend And i think I am going to go this weekend also. Saw birds and some good sign last weekend. I will try and get some pictures. Anyone hunting the Lincoln national forest in NM?
Link Posted: 2/20/2015 8:41:09 AM EDT
Yeah, I've been getting anxious for over a week now. My season doesn't start till mid April, so I've got quite a wait. My go to is an 870 w/ Jellyhead choke, and I'll be trying out Hevi-shot magnum blend for the first time this year(my traditional load had been Winchester XX). Calls are usually the old Lynch box call and a custom glass call I got down in Mississippi.
Link Posted: 2/20/2015 10:41:59 AM EDT
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Very nice! How do you like that shorter barrel on your shotgun? I really need to shave a few inches off of mine because right now it feels like a musket.
Link Posted: 2/20/2015 10:46:47 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Teamvit:
Went scouting last weekend And i think I am going to go this weekend also. Saw birds and some good sign last weekend. I will try and get some pictures. Anyone hunting the Lincoln national forest in NM?
View Quote


Up until last year we were hunting about 25 minutes away from my house so we would run out to scout and even catch some quick weekday hunts before work sometimes but last year we moved to a property that is about 1.5 hours away so our quick trips have come to a halt unfortunately.
Link Posted: 2/20/2015 10:50:44 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Brotherbadger:
Yeah, I've been getting anxious for over a week now. My season doesn't start till mid April, so I've got quite a wait. My go to is an 870 w/ Jellyhead choke, and I'll be trying out Hevi-shot magnum blend for the first time this year(my traditional load had been Winchester XX). Calls are usually the old Lynch box call and a custom glass call I got down in Mississippi.
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Oh wow, we're almost wrapping up here when you guys get started. I have a couple buddies who hunt Georgia and I'm always jealous when they get to keep hunting after the Florida season ends, eve though we do start earlier.

Sounds like we're pretty similar in gun/choke/load choices. Hell, the box call I use is kind of a "gen II" Lynch call. It was made by Allen Jenkins who was in on the early Lynch days and has since gone on to do his own thing.
Link Posted: 3/4/2015 8:32:03 PM EDT
April 18th for Ky.

Just bought a sx3 and a code black tube. Have some hevi shot blend.

Was going to pattern it Saturday but the snow may put a damper on that.
Link Posted: 3/4/2015 9:22:45 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By gsp:
April 18th for Ky.

Just bought a sx3 and a code black tube. Have some hevi shot blend.

Was going to pattern it Saturday but the snow may put a damper on that.
View Quote

I have found only one shot is needed for patterning with the HeviShot.... mainly because it is so expensive.

Try one shot at 15 - 20yds on a large target to make sure it hits where you are aiming.

In 3.5" 12GA, you are EASILY good to go out to 50-60 yds.

I'm not going to tell you the actual yardage I whacked one a few years ago, 'cause I'm kind of ashamed of it.

I called him through the fog at daybreak and misjudged the distance. Range finder said it was further than 60yds.

He dropped at the shot and acted just like the birds I have killed at 30 - 35yds with 3.5" Winchester Supreme #6's.

And I called him in with that little slate that doesn't have any sort of a sound chamber. 25lbs.


One of my most memorable hunts.
Link Posted: 3/12/2015 11:10:42 PM EDT
Headed up to the Lincoln national forest in NM scouting this weekend. I have a few spots I want to hike back into and scope things out
Link Posted: 3/13/2015 11:05:16 PM EDT
1 week out here. We have our youth challenge in the morning with about 30 kids hunting, I'll post up some pics of any birds that are taken. We had 7 last year so hopefully they get a few.

Still haven't been out to our property yet. A couple of the guys have been out in the last couple weeks and have heard some gobbling but said there is a TON of water on the ground right now. Hopefully we have a dry week this week before the next Saturday.
Link Posted: 3/14/2015 1:20:29 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By webnole78:


Very nice! How do you like that shorter barrel on your shotgun? I really need to shave a few inches off of mine because right now it feels like a musket.
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Originally Posted By webnole78:


Very nice! How do you like that shorter barrel on your shotgun? I really need to shave a few inches off of mine because right now it feels like a musket.


The short barrel is the shiznet. MUCH easier to handle in a thicket. I've missed birds because the barrel hits a sapling when I'm swinging.

On another note, heard the first gobbling of the year here on the farm Thursday morning. 3 birds, going crazy from 6:47 to when I left around 7:30.

Heard another one yesterday morning.

27 days until the opener.
Link Posted: 3/14/2015 2:36:45 PM EDT
Awesome^^ Definitely going to take mine down to 20" after this season.

We had our youth challenge this morning and the weather ended up being pretty rainy and windy but they did bring in 5 birds. Heaviest was a little over 18 pounds, longest spur was a little over an inch and the longest beard was a hair under 10" (sorry I don't remember the exact lengths/weight on these).

The 2nd bird from the left was the best overall. The one on the far right was actually a decent turkey but he had no spurs at all. Just some black nubs.



The kids get this weekend, then we wait 5 days and it's on.
Link Posted: 3/14/2015 6:14:16 PM EDT
Lowcountry SC regular season opens tomorrow.

Man, I wish I was there.

If I play my cards right, though, I might be able to hunt 4 states this spring: SC, NC, VA, and MD.
Link Posted: 3/15/2015 7:25:19 PM EDT
Season opens April 6th for me and I can't wait. My shotgun is Mosserg 835 Ulti-Mag with Jelly Head Choke Tube .690 const 608. Heavi-shot #4, which was 3 inches last year& took my gobbler but want to see how the Winchester Supreme 3.5" #5 shot will pattern out of it. I also just purchased a new Bushnell 1x4 scope that I plan to try. I didn't use decoys last year but plan to take a jake and hen decoy with me on opening day. Good luck all.
Link Posted: 3/17/2015 12:39:37 PM EDT
Hoping to take one with my bow this year!
Link Posted: 3/17/2015 2:56:07 PM EDT
We open this weekend. I probably won't be going until the following as that is when I drew for Guana River WMA.

As far as guns and loads, I shoot a Benelli Super 90 with a factory full choke and Federal 3 inch 2 oz load 7 1/2s. They don't make the 3 inch shells in 7 1/2 anymore, but I stocked up as they stopped making them and have a few years supply left. Contrary to what you will read in magazines, they are highly lethal.
Link Posted: 3/18/2015 4:08:31 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By 1dreamer:
Season opens April 6th for me and I can't wait. My shotgun is Mosserg 835 Ulti-Mag with Jelly Head Choke Tube .690 const 608. Heavi-shot #4, which was 3 inches last year& took my gobbler but want to see how the Winchester Supreme 3.5" #5 shot will pattern out of it. I also just purchased a new Bushnell 1x4 scope that I plan to try. I didn't use decoys last year but plan to take a jake and hen decoy with me on opening day. Good luck all.
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Same here. I got to where I like traveling light and ended up leaving the decoys behind all last year. I'm fairly certain it burned me on the last hunt of the season so I decided I would take them out this year again. Put them in the truck last night actually.
Link Posted: 3/18/2015 5:51:10 PM EDT
I'm not a big fan of decoys, like to travel light. I don't hunt a lot of open terrain and typically set up in an area thick enough so that I can't see the bird until he is within range. They do have their place though.
Link Posted: 3/20/2015 12:55:17 PM EDT
Good luck to any of you guys heading out tomorrow morning!

I've never killed a bird on opening day so hopefully that streak ends tomorrow.
Link Posted: 3/21/2015 10:48:40 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By webnole78:
Good luck to any of you guys heading out tomorrow morning!

I've never killed a bird on opening day so hopefully that streak ends tomorrow.
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So... How'd you do?
Link Posted: 3/23/2015 9:17:17 AM EDT
Not good at all, although it was nice to be back out there. Never did see or hear anything.

A couple buddies took turkeys from different properties but nothing out where I was.
Link Posted: 3/23/2015 8:29:11 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By webnole78:
Not good at all, although it was nice to be back out there. Never did see or hear anything.

A couple buddies took turkeys from different properties but nothing out where I was.
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Saw you are in Tally. I'm in Jax. If you ever want to do an Osceola on the cheap, I'd suggest putting in for some of the quota hunts. Hatchet Creek and Camp Blanding have a lot of birds and very little pressure.
Link Posted: 3/24/2015 3:22:18 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By wally910:


Saw you are in Tally. I'm in Jax. If you ever want to do an Osceola on the cheap, I'd suggest putting in for some of the quota hunts. Hatchet Creek and Camp Blanding have a lot of birds and very little pressure.
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Originally Posted By wally910:
Originally Posted By webnole78:
Not good at all, although it was nice to be back out there. Never did see or hear anything.

A couple buddies took turkeys from different properties but nothing out where I was.


Saw you are in Tally. I'm in Jax. If you ever want to do an Osceola on the cheap, I'd suggest putting in for some of the quota hunts. Hatchet Creek and Camp Blanding have a lot of birds and very little pressure.


Awesome, thanks for the heads up. Was just talking with someone the other day about wanting to find a spot to shoot an Osceola.
Link Posted: 3/25/2015 11:13:14 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By webnole78:


Awesome, thanks for the heads up. Was just talking with someone the other day about wanting to find a spot to shoot an Osceola.
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Originally Posted By webnole78:
Originally Posted By wally910:
Originally Posted By webnole78:
Not good at all, although it was nice to be back out there. Never did see or hear anything.

A couple buddies took turkeys from different properties but nothing out where I was.


Saw you are in Tally. I'm in Jax. If you ever want to do an Osceola on the cheap, I'd suggest putting in for some of the quota hunts. Hatchet Creek and Camp Blanding have a lot of birds and very little pressure.


Awesome, thanks for the heads up. Was just talking with someone the other day about wanting to find a spot to shoot an Osceola.


No problem. FWC also has some limited opportunity hunts on some absolutely fantastic land, the two best probably being Lake Mary Farms and Fisheating Creek. You pay 5 dollars an entry and can put in as many entries as you like. They draw 5 permits a piece for three three day hunts. I once requested the numbers to see odds, and the first phase in Fisheating Creek had some kind of asinine number of entries like 6K for 5 spots. They make a killing on those, but if you draw, you literally cannot find a better place to hunt an Osceola. I find that I draw on the regular quota hunts about every other year. If you don't draw, you get a preference point that ups your odds the following year. Application period is around October to November.

Between my dad and myself, we have taken 20-30 birds off of Camp Blanding alone and I have personally watched flocks of twenty to thirty longbeards fighting. The problem there is that you don't know what zones will be open from year to year due to maneuvers and you cannot scout.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 11:28:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2015 12:00:03 PM EDT by webnole78]
Finally got one on the ground this morning. One of the smaller birds I've taken but I don't care, it's the last week of the season and it was a quick and FUN hunt.

I went yesterday and had a hen cutting and cackling early, about 100-150 yards away out in front but out of sight. Went back and forth with her for a while then she just went silent. Sat patient and called every so often and finally a while later two hens came right into the decoys and stayed for a while but didn't have anybody tagging along unfortunately. They eased out and I waited a little longer then got up and left.

Went back to the same spot this morning and again, right at daylight the hens started up again. This time there were 3-4 of them going absolutely nuts but they were back behind me kind of diagonally. Basically I was set up on a gradual hill and they were just over the top out of sight again but pretty damn close. The first cuts startled me. Again went back and forth with them for a while and they were getting closer but still out of sight then I caught sight of a single turkey way out straight in front of me. I think it was another hen but couldn't be sure, it was just too far out and was just a dark blob. It's slowly heading my way and at this point I have forgotten about the other hens behind/beside me and the gun is up. As I'm watching it slowly come in trying to make out what it is I glance over to the right a little and low and behold, here comes that white head. Sneaking in quiet, never gobbled.

Had a gobbler decoy set up and I think he was coming right to it. Those hens kept cackling and he would glance their way but he kept coming. They were making me nervous so as soon as I had a shot I took it, he was about 15-20 yards away. I might have gotten a nice show out of it if I held off a little longer but didn't want to risk it with those hens still going crazy.

Hens started cutting about 6:45, I was putting the tom in the truck and heading out about 7:15. Very exciting 15 minutes or so. 9 1/2" beard, 3/4" spurs.

Link Posted: 5/3/2015 12:29:40 PM EDT
Good work!!! I got my bird opening morning. I had a Southern AZ Gould's tag I was wearing camo, I just took off a layer that was my camo and had my black sweater under it.



No spurs sadly, but he had a 10" beard and weighed 23-25lbs. My buddy shot one during the first hunt a week earlier that had 1" spurs with 9.5" beard and weighed right around 28lbs.
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