John's Journal... Entry 240, Day 2
THE TOUGHEST OF ALL TURKEYS
You're Hunting The Gould's Turkey The Wrong Way
Editor's Note: I've written four books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles about turkeys and turkey hunting. Two years in a row, I double grand-slammed on North American wild turkeys. I took two eastern's, two Merriam's, two Oceola's, and two Rio Grande's each of those years. Every year I travel the United States during the spring hunting wild turkeys. I believe there is such an illness as a "turkey addiction" because I have it. There's no other hunting sport I enjoy more than turkey hunting, and my dream always has been to take the Gould's turkey of Mexico and last year, I accomplished that dream. If you plan to take a Gould, I've found the place to go, the man to hunt with, and how to make your turkey-hunting dreams come true.
Jenkins and I are both experienced turkey hunters and we both hunted turkeys all over the United States. We used all the tactics we've always used to catch gobblers, and we only saw two Gould's gobblers and both of them were at long-ranges. Finally, on the last day of the hunt, I decided that Jenkins and I must be doing something wrong to not be able to find or take turkeys. I asked Miguel, Jenkin's guide, who spoke broken English, if he had ever taken turkey's before. "Oh yes. We usually get turkeys every time we hunt."
I was really confused now. If Miguel takes turkeys every time he hunts, I couldn't understand why we weren't even seeing any turkeys. So, I asked him, "Do you hunt turkeys like we do?" Miguel smiled and shook his head and said, "Oh, no. I've never killed a turkey like you're trying to take them." Of course my next question was, "How do you hunt turkeys?" I asked. "We hunt them off of horses," he said matter-of-factly. "We get on our horses late in the afternoon and ride up into the mountains at night. We use spotlights to spot the turkeys in the trees. On the horses we can ride right up under the tree that the turkey is roosted in and shoot them. In a good night, we usually get two or three turkeys. "I've never known anyone that hunts turkeys in the daytime like you two do," Miguel exclaimed.
Now, I knew the answer to why Allan and I had failed to connect on Gould's gobblers. If those birds had been blasted out of the trees on a regular occasion as Raoul told me they had been, there weren't nearly as many turkeys to hunt in that area as we had been led to believe. Those turkeys were probably so afraid of everything they would run from any sound or sight they didn't recognize. This was my first, and I thought my last attempt to take a Gould's turkey.
TOMORROW: GOULD'S AT THEIR BEST