Well, we have 9 days left in our turkey season. So, it is now or never and over the last couple weeks we have been hunting a new piece of private land. When we first started hunting this property our initial plan was to just figure out where the turkeys were and to get an understanding of what their patterns were. Once we had an idea of where the turkeys were and what they liked to do throughout the day, we would then try to put together a better plan for moving in closer.
The first morning we hunted we had a good encounter with a big group of jakes, but didn’t have any toms work their way to the field we were set up on. After a few hunts we quickly realized that, not unlike our public land hunting, these birds would roost near the property line and then fly down and walk only a couple yards onto a food source that was on a property we didn’t have permission to hunt on.
The turkeys were pretty consistenly feeding on the food source every morning that was immediately adjacent to the property we were hunting. So, we were easily able to see them and know where they were, we just couldn’t set up where we wanted too. The property line only allowed us to get so close to this field. There is probably only about a ten yard wide strip of brush and trees separating us from that field, but it has proven to be quite the challenge. It has been a frustrating series of hunts because we can almost guarantee that we are going to see turkeys on his field, but we can’t really do anything about it. We have set up as close to this field as we could about four times. We would call and the toms would gobble back. We would call and get the hens to call back. For the most part we have had good luck calling toms in, especially on private land with birds that are less pressured. But these toms would just not leave that field and cross the fence to our side.
After those several morning hunts, we decided the only thing we could do was try and make our decoys more visible to the turkeys when they were in the field. The fence line was somewhat obscuring our decoys and just calling to the toms wasn’t enough to get them to come in closer. So, after a morning hunt we scouted down the fence line and found an area that was able to give our decoys more visibility from the field.
We gave it a couple days and then we slipped in one morning to try out this new setup. We had one tom fly down behind us in the field, but as the morning went on he worked away from us with a couple hens. The ironic part now is that the turkeys aren’t using this field anymore. Before we had the turkeys and a poor setup, now we have no turkeys and a good setup. That’s turkey hunting for ya!
We haven’t done much turkey hunting since the first time we tried that new setup because it has been raining a lot here in Nebraska over the past week. So, we don’t know if the turkeys have returned to this field or not but we plan on going out in the next couple of days as things begin to dry out. Our plan is to hunt pretty hard over the next 9 days before our season ends. We are going to try that new setup a couple more times and hope that the turkeys are back to using that field again. We are also going to try and be a lot more mobile and hunt later into the mornings.
With it being this late in the season we are going to try and throw everything we can at these toms in hopes of getting one into range. So, make sure to check back next Tuesday for an update on how the last week of our season went. Also, be sure to check out our new Whitetail Instinct Podcast where we will be talking about public land whitetail hunting, whitetail habitat management, and giving updates on our offseason activities. Good luck to anyone still trying to fill a tag.