John's Journal... Entry 240, Day 3
THE TOUGHEST OF ALL TURKEYS
Gould's At Their Best
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.
I was invited to go on a Gould's turkey hunt last spring by Linda Powell at Remington, and Mike Jensen with Kahles Optics. They had hunted this ranch before and promised we would have a great hunt, but I never knew that Gould's gobblers could be as much fun to hunt as they were on this hunt. We hunted with Jose Morales at El Cajoncito Adventures. His ranch is located 35 miles south of the U.S. border from Douglas, Texas. Now anytime you go into a foreign country most of us are a little nervous. I'm sure we've all heard horror stories about what happens to Americans in foreign countries. However, one of the aspects of this hunt that I really appreciated was Morales met us at the border, helped us fill out all of our paperwork, enabled us to get our shotguns, ammunition, scopes, binoculars and camera gear into the country without any hassle. He preformed the same task when we left the country. So, immediately I was much more comfortable with our host than I thought I would be.
"You'll be hunting 23,000 hectares, which is about 50,000 acres. You'll be the only hunters on this property and we only hunt this property once a year. There are plenty of turkeys, and I don't believe you'll have a problem harvesting a gobbler. Each one of you will have your own guide who either lives on the ranch or is one the vaqueros (cowboys) who works cattle on the ranch," Morales said. Morales also mentioned the turkeys live in the mountains but they come down to his farm during the mating season and you usually locate them where you find large cottonwoods for them to roost in and water for them to drink. When we arrived at Morales' ranch, we found a very comfortable working cattle-ranch with vaqueros that looked and acted just like they stepped out of a western movie. These vaqueros were the real deal. They got up at daylight, ate their breakfast, packed their lunch, and rode out in a group to rope cattle all day and to come back into the bunkhouse at night. Just being on this ranch and meeting these vaqueros and learning how they live and work was more than worth the time and money spent for the trip. I was having a good time even before the hunt started. And the food, the food was delicious, there was plenty of it, and prepared in the style of old Mexico. I could tell that this Gould's turkey hunt would be much different than sleeping in a tent deep in the mountains and getting lost.
TOMORROW: THE DREAM OF THE GOULD'S GOBBLER COMES TRUE