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John's Journal... Entry35 - Day 1

click to enlargeTaking Turkeys In Florida

When I visited Wingshooters near LaBelle, Florida, below Lake Okeechobee back in early March, I couldn't stand knowing that Florida's turkey season had opened and that my home state of Alabama's wouldn't start until March 20. As I hunted for wild hogs there and heard toms gobbling, I had to chase the toms.

Craig Dougherty, vice president of the North American Archery Group in Gainesville, Florida, had invited me to hunt hogs at Wingshooters. Dougherty planned to drop me off to hunt hogs, and he would go and hunt turkeys. But I wanted to see toms and hear them gobble, even if I didn't carry a gun since I didn't have a Florida license for turkeys.

click to enlargeWhen Dougherty and I located a gobbler on the back side of the property line, we realized we'd have an almost impossible time calling him to us. The bird would have to walk through hip-high palmettos, cross an 8-foot-wide ditch with water in it and then come under or over a five-strand-barbed-wire fence.

click to enlargeDougherty and I set up in the only two green bushes in the middle of a cow pasture. As Dougherty started calling, the gobbler fired back a gobble. We soon realized that this hot bird really wanted to come to Dougherty's calling. However, I kept telling myself that Dougherty couldn't call that tom through all the obstacles. If the gobbler did clear all the obstacles, then when he got under the fence, looked out in the pasture and didn't see a hen, he'd probably strut and drum out of range to try to get the hen to come to him. But I learned many years ago that any time you thought you knew what a wild turkey gobbler would do, you only fooled yourself.

To learn more about turkey hunting, go to Night Hawk's Home Page, and click on hunting books.

For more information about North American Archery Group, which includes Golden Eagle, Bear, Jennings and Buckmasters bows and Satellite archery accessories group, call or write (352) 376-2327, 4600 Southwest 41st Boulevard, Gainesville, FL 32608-4999. For more information on hog hunting, contact Don Teston at Wingshooters (941) 693-2549, P.O. Box 980, LaBelle, FL 33975.



Check back each day this week for more about FLORIDA -- A PLACE WITH IT ALL ...

Day 1 -Taking Turkeys In Florida
Day 2 -An Eager Tom
Day 3 -Start Preparing Now For Bow Season
Day 4 -Hunting Hogs With A Crossbow
Day 5 -Other Places To Hunt Hogs In Florida


John's Journal