John's Journal... Entry 244, Day 5
HUNTING GOBBLERS IN ANY WEATHER
Steve Stoltz On Warm-Weather Toms, Part 2
Editor's Note: The rain beat on the tin roof of the camphouse like machine gunfire. I couldn't believe the rain pouring down on this opening morning of turkey season. But because my friend Don Taylor of Birmingham, Alabama, and I wouldn't miss hunting on opening morning, regardless of the weather, we braved the windy and wet weather outside. Finally at 11:00 a.m., after rain had soaked me from the tip of my head to the soles of my feet, we found a lonesome gobbler in a cow pasture and called him in to the gun. I prefer not to hunt in the rain, wind or snow or under drought conditions, but like most hunters, I have to hunt when I get the opportunity, whether the weather conditions favor hunting or not. Often, I'll get a dose of bad weather on many of the turkey hunts I go on each spring. I always carry an extra bag with me with raingear, snowsuits and suntan lotion, because I've learned through the years that bad weather follows me wherever I hunt. This week, some turkey hunters who take toms under good and bad weather conditions will tell us their tactics for taking birds in any weather.
According to Steve Stoltz of St. Louis, Missouri, a World Champion Turkey Caller, and a member of Hunter's Specialties' Pro Hunt Team, turkey droppings can dry so quickly you can't determine their freshness. Don't plan to find much reliable sign when you scout for turkeys in hot weather. "I also have discovered when hunting turkeys in hot weather that often the hens will roost with the gobblers," Stoltz reports. "Then when the birds fly down, the gobblers don't have to gobble to get the hens to come to them. You'll want to concentrate your hunting in the areas where you've seen turkeys before the weather has turned hot and dry. To successfully take turkeys in warm weather, go out, and roost the gobbler the night before you hunt him."
Most of the best turkey hunters in the nation hunt gobblers in all weather conditions. They all believe the more ground they cover, the more areas they call to and the longer they hunt, then the more often they'll pinpoint turkeys to take -- regardless of weather conditions.
I never have seen a gobbler bagged from the bed of a hunting camp. If you want to take more turkeys this spring, get out into the woods, and disregard the weather.