Double T's Tips for South Texas Turkey Hunts
We are only weeks away from the opening of Spring Turkey season in South Texas. Double T Outfitters is working round the clock to prepare the ranch for the 2015 season. We thought this would be the perfect time to share our best advice for harvesting a monster Tom, so check out Double T's tips for South Texas Turkey hunts.
The Spring season starts March 21 and runs through May 3 this year. If you are an avid turkey hunter, keep in mind the annual bag limit is 4 birds, and only one of which may be an Eastern turkey. Bag composition consists of both gobblers and bearded hens.
Though some may not realize it, turkeys are very smart creatures and often have quirky habits. They can see colors, as well as movement from distances up to approximately 100 yards away. Turkeys also have good hearing, and can fly up to 55 mph and run nearly 20 mph for short distances.
Wild turkeys prefer to roost in trees. Early scouting can help you locate popular roosting areas. Look for tracks or shed feathers for travel routes to and from feeding spots. Use camouflaged ground blinds, or set up with your back to a wide tree. Use vegetation for cover if needed. Find a comfortable position where you can easily hold your weapon. Use ground cushions if necessary. It's important to stay silent and still. Remember to be patient and let the birds come to you.
Make sure that you are fully covered and camouflaged, including gloves and a face mask. Camo vests with various pockets can also be helpful to store a variety of calls and other equipment. There are many options in colors and patterns available today so try and mix and match similar to the foliage patterns where you will be hunting. Also be mindful to use bug repellent with DEET and/or clothes with permethrin to guard against disease carrying mosquitoes and ticks, especially on warmer days.
Turkeys are social birds, so a variety of calls can help bring them close. Hunters should practice their turkey calls weeks ahead of opening season. There are many different types of calls available, including box, slate, tube, wingbone or mouth calls. All calls should be properly stored and cared for throughout the year, because not following the manufacturer’s instructions can lead to accidental warping which can damage or change the tone of the instrument. There are a variety of sounds a hunter can master to bring in shy birds, including putts, yelps, purrs and gobbles. While hunting, if one call isn’t working to bring birds in, hunters should be able to use various other natural turkey sounds at a moment’s notice.
As with any hunting, always be mindful of what is in and beyond your sight path before you shoot. Be especially careful if hens are around. Aim precisely at the Toms, as hens must be bearded to be harvested in Spring.
Double T would love to hear your successful tips for South Texas Turkey hunts. Let us know in your experience what has or hasn't worked in the past for turkey hunting.