John's Journal...

Turkey Hunting in the West with Wayne Carlton

The Wet Oregon Gobbler with Wayne Carlton

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: What many people don’t know about Wayne Carlton of Montrose, Colorado, is that for most of his life outdoorsmen knew him more for his turkey calling and hunting skills rather than hunting elk. Before Carlton moved to the West and started working for Hunters’ Specialties, he had his own line of calls and was known across the East as a very-good turkey hunter and turkey caller. For more thanClick to enlarge 20 years, Carlton also taught a turkey-hunting school at Vermejo Park Ranch, a 600,000-acre ranch owned by Ted Turner, just west of Raton, New Mexico. Wayne frequently does turkey hunting seminars in the West and still loves to call, hunt and teach turkey hunting.

I’m from Florida originally, and although we get quite a bit of rain, it doesn’t rain every day in Florida like it does in Oregon. So, I’ve learned that if you have to hunt in Oregon, you have to be prepared to call turkeys in the rain. In Click to enlargeOregon, I’ve seen some of the ugliest turkeys I’ve ever seen in my life. I define an ugly turkey as a full-grown gobbler with all his feathers wet that looks like he’s been in a washing machine, and he’s in full strut. I called-in an ugly tom in the drizzling rain in Oregon one time. The day was one of those kinds of days that when you got up in the morning, looked outside, saw the pouring rain and the bad weather, and you’d say, “I think I’ll hunt them tomorrow,because I want to sleep in today.” However, I knew I had to hunt in the rain. So, I went to a place where I felt sure the turkeys should be and started calling. Sure enough this old gobbler came-in strutting in the rain. Now, I’d hunted and killed turkeys in the rain before, but I’d never seen a turkey come-in strutting in the rain. He was in an open place strutting, and I kept a spruce tree between us, until I was close enough to get to hiClick to enlargem to call. Then the turkey heard me and strutted right to me, and I took him.

From this Wet Oregon Gobbler, I’ve learned that to take turkeys even in the rain, you:
* have to get out in the rain and let those rainy-day gobblers teach you how to hunt them.
* have to remember that turkeys are very adaptable if they live in the area of the country where there’s a lot of rain much of the time. These turkeys must learn how to do all the things a turkey does when the rain’s not falling, including finding his hens and calling his hens to him by strutting and drumming - even in the rain.
* must call a lot and move often, because the turkeys can’t hear from as far away in the rain as they can on a dry, clear day.

Today's Video Clip

How To Get the Turkey In Close with Chris Parrish

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Tomorrow: The Mariah Gobbler with Wayne Carlton

Check back each day this week for more about "Turkey Hunting in the West with Wayne Carlton"

Day 1: The Western Middle-of-the-Day Gobbler with Wayne Carlton
Day 2: The Wet Oregon Gobbler with Wayne Carlton
Day 3: The Mariah Gobbler with Wayne Carlton
Day 4: Some of Wayne Carlton’s 10-Most-Frequently-Asked Turkey-Hunting Seminar Questions
Day 5: More of Wayne Carlton’s Most-Frequently-Asked Turkey-Hunting Seminar Questions


Entry 556, Day 2