Larry Stephens

Larry is an avid sportsman, having spent over 35 years honing his outdoors skills. He has been published in several national hunting magazines including; North American Whitetail, Florida Sportsman and Bowhunter magazine, for some his trophy harvests. Larry has hunted a number of different states for a variety of Big Game from Idaho to Illinois to Florida and many in between. Larry has harvested many trophy deer including the largest Non-Typical, Free range, Northeastern Whitetail in 2005 to be entered in the SCI record book and received a Crystal-Major Award for this accomplishment. Among his other favorite trophies are two multi-bearded Osceola Gobblers that would rank #2 and #3 in the "Osceola non-typical" category in SCI. Other awards include both Gold & Bronze medallions for western, northeastern and southern whitetail categories in SCI and is a Certified Measurer for this Record keeping Organization. A number of his harvests also qualify for the Pope & Young record book, including (3) bow killed bucks with a gross score that exceed 150". Along with his other outdoors related interests, Larry is the author of a Hunting related blog, trophy-hunting.blogspot.com and a Kayak fishing blog, kayakfishingforbigfish.blogspot.com Larry is also an accomplished Building Designer and taxidermist He is the Owner of Stephens Design and Drafting which he established in 1987. His Design business has afforded him a flexible work schedule that allows him to be able to spend a tremendous amount of time afield each year. He lives and breathes fishing, hunting and the outdoors and enjoys sharing his experiences with other avid sportsman.

wart headed jake 1wart headed jake 2wart headed jake 4wild turkeys 1Sharp Eyed Hen 1Step aside 1Strutting gobbler 1Stretched out 1Strutting gobbler 2Blink 1Boss Gobblers 1Boss Gobblers 2Brown Eyed Gobbler 1Colorful Gobbler 1Copper Tone Gobbler 1Eye to the Sky 1Fluffed up Hen 1Full Fan 1Gobbler 1

Beautiful Osceola Gobbler 1

Now that’s one ugly turkey!

Ole' Wart Head the Jake

Ole’ Wart Head the Jake

I pulled my camera cards at Bull Creek this morning and had a pile of pictures to review. Though there were some really good shots, strutting long beards, etc…..this one turkey really stood out from the rest. He’s a Jake and has the wartiest head I have ever seen on a turkey. I feel kinda sorry for him!

Pretty unusual though. Here’s some pic’s of him.

Ole' Wart Head the Jake 2

Ole' Wart Head the Jake 3

Larry S.

D  A  M  N   a  Mosquito!!! Ticks and Chiggers too for that matter.

If you have spent any amount of time in the outdoors you’ve no doubt had a run in with one or all of these biting bugs. If you’re a turkey hunter…putting up with these guys comes with the territory. Biting insects pretty much go hand in hand with turkey hunting.

Most of my turkey hunting time, which is almost every day of the season, is spent hunting Osceolas in Florida. There may be some other places in North America that best Florida for biting, stinging bugs but were near the top of the list, guaranteed. This makes devising a plan to defeat the bugs a real must

The First Line of Defense!

Protective outer ware…..The Bug Tamer !      Bug Tamer                   

I Like to avoid using chemicals when ever I can. During dry years when the mosquitos are relatively tame, most of the time I can get by using a Bug Tamer jacket and no repellant. The Bug Tamer has a mesh outer shell with a large chord mesh interior that holds the outer shell off your skin just far enough that the mosquito’s beak can’t reach you. Over the years they have used a few different sizes on the mesh outer shell including some that are tight enough that a no-see um probably can’t get through. I have (3) different versions and camo styles myself.

 

I almost never use inspect repellant directly on my skin! I just don’t like it and it’s a poor choice for deer hunting anyway. Obviously, turkeys don’t smell so the odor part is not an issue. I consider this a last resort option.

My second line of defense!Repel Permanone

Treat my clothing with an insecticide that is designed for this application. There are a number of companies that sell this product such as “Repel Permanone ” and “ARI Tick Stuff “. One name for it is “Permanone” but the active ingredient is “Permethrin”. As a word or caution….read the warning label on Permethrin….it is not to be applied to your skin! It is for treating clothing only!

Permethrin is the only pesticide approved by the EPA for this uses. When it is applied properly, permethrin binds tightly to the fabrics, resulting in little loss during washing and minimal transfer to the skin. It will reportedly last through multiple washings. Also, Permethrin is poorly absorbed through the skin, although sunscreens and other products may increase the rate of skin absorption.

Permethrin is a common synthetic chemical, widely used as an insecticide, acaricide, and insect repellent. It belongs to the family of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids and functions as a neurotoxin.

The chemical binds to the fabric being treated and actually kills insects that come in contact with it. This stuff works incredibly well. You absolutely will not get a tick or chigger while wearing cloths that have been pre-treated with this product. Since I use a Bug Tamer jacket I only treat my pants and saves me a little money. However, If you sit down in high grass or come in contact with brush above the ARI Tick Stuffwaste line, it’s possible you could get a bug on you that way. The jacket and treated pants will eliminate 99% of them anyway.

I have seen ticks literally jump off my pants trying to get away from this stuff! It’s a beautiful thing to see!

You can also treat your head net with the Permanone when the mosquitoes are extra bad. I try to avoid it but sometimes it’s a must. Mosquitoes react a little differently than ticks and it takes a few minutes of buzzing around before they realize your not something they want to eat and leave. You’ll sit down and get swarmed but after a few minutes you’ll realize, they’ve all disappeared!

Additionally, the U.S. Military has been using permethrin to treat combat uniforms for over 20 years in order to better protect soldiers from the risk and annoyance of biting insects.

With this combination you’ll be able to keep yourself pretty much bite free while hunting or scouting.

Oh yeah, your wife will appreciate it when you and your cloths come home, bug free!

Best of Hunts,

Larry S.

 

The following photographs were taken with a Bushnell Model 119335C trail camera at a prospective stand site at the new tract. I am amazed at the size and condition of the Hogs on this tract. For eating I would prefer some smaller, 75lb kind of hogs. This tract has some incredible hogs.

Only (2) bucks visited this spot with the larger of the two still in velvet.

I was also excited to find (2) more gobblers that are not associated with the other birds I have found. I believe I have located a total of (8) gobblers on this tract so far and that is only from (3) locations. There is another group of birds using  a spot that I have not set up any cameras in yet.

Looks like it’s going to be a good year!

cam collage 8-14-13

I headed out to Bull Creek today to pull the card from the camera at the feeder site. Apparantly the feeder was not working correctly but  I had some interesting pictures of some up and coming young gobblers. They should be some fine 2 year old gobbling turkeys by the spring.

There is a really interesting picture of a gobbler stretched up as high as he can get, looking at the corn lying on the feeder spinner just out of reach.

 

There were a number of hogs there looking for corn, especially after the squirrels gnawed the handle off the feeder and crashed it. It was basically a free choice feeding at that point.

SUNP0074

SUNP0077

SUNP0089

SUNP0148

SUNP0078

SUNP0160

SUNP0219

SUNP0253

SUNP0266

SUNP0312

Larry S.

 

I slipped out to Bull Creek Ranch to add some corn to one of the feeders I had left out there. I should have pulled it instead of just leaving it hang empty for so long…when I opened the feeder motor compartment, Bull Ants went  e v e r y w h e r e ! There must have been a couple hundred of them.  Got it topped off with corn and operating so I should have hog harvest video to post soon.

The cooling afternoon showers make this prime time for some evening hog hunting. I drove up on a brown shoat rooting up some St. Augustine grass on the edge of the hammock on the way in. He was a little small to shoot, guess he was about 45#. There seems to be plenty of hogs around.

I remembered I still had a trail camera running out in the pasture that has been there since the end of gobbler season. I pulled the card in it to see what has been going on. The camera is in no particular travel route, nothing to funnel them, no enticements to get them close to the camera but for some strange reason, almost every turkey that has passed by has walked so close to the camera it fills the whole frame? It was the strangest thing.

Anyway, the young jakes are getting some pretty decent beards on them now and there was a number of mature gobblers.

The grass in the pasture has gotten a little tall but I did not notice any young poults with any of the hens. They sure seem to take a beating. I guess it did not help that we had a couple severe storms systems this spring right during the main part of the hatch.

I wanted to share some of the pics with everyone of what’s been hanging around this spot.

BC-Collage-2

There is nothing like acquiring access to a new hunting tract. I just this week added another interesting private property to the roster.

My assessment of the property on the first ride through was that it held some real promise. After putting some boots on the ground and running a trail camera for a week it is obvious that it is going to be even better than I first thought. The deer population is outstanding and we have already seen two bucks on camera that would make the Florida Buck Registry. We broadcasted some whole corn out with a trail camera to keep watch on it and after a week it had 5-6 velvet horned bucks, countless does and a few nice Hogs visiting on a regular basis.

I put out some corn and another camera at another location and after two nights had a big spike and 5-6 does on that one. There are more bucks in this place than you can shake a stick at!

There are two aspects that make this piece of property such a game magnet. The first is that the tract is bounded on two sides by substantial crop fields. The other is the large swamp strand that bisects the property. A large portion of the swap has been cut over and grown back into one giant bedding thicket. The trails coming and going out of the cut over are pretty impressive. Most of the perimeter of the swamp is bordered by a wide band of oak hammock with large mature oaks with a broke to semi open under story. An awesome place to call up a gobbler!

Speaking of turkeys, we found a trail camera that someone had forgotten and reviewed the photo’s on it, along with the numerous bucks and hogs was a pic of (5) mature long beards.

I was scouting another section along the swamp edge that fronts the farm and flushed (3) different birds off the roost at dark this afternoon.

With a good portion of the swamp being cutover and to thick for a turkey to use, it limits the number of turkeys that can be supported but there are also some large pastures and sod fields adjoining that will help off set that a little.

I’ll be getting some more camera traps set up over the next couple of weeks to see what other trophies await to be hunted.

Here are some of the first trail cam pic’s along with some from the forgotten camera we discovered.

Larry S.

Fall gobblers 0230

Florida deer on trail camera

Monster Florida BuckNice velvet 8pt

Florida wild hog.

Florida Whitetail buck in velvet

Whitetail velvet horned buck

florida spotted hog CDY_0023  Florida Buck CDY_0046 Great Florida Buck CDY_0509

Mature Forked Horn cull buck CDY_0529

Buck CDY_0601 Great Looking Florida Buck CDYi0144 Florida Trail Cam Buck CDYi0148

A Pile of Velvet Horned Bucks WGI_0015 Monster Velvet Horned Buck WGI_0027

 Velvet Buck WGI_0091Big Fat Hogs WGI_0110

Some Fine Wild Hogs WGI_0124

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE on the Raspy Red Reactor,

Feb. 2, 2014

It looks as though Woodhaven has solved this sticky problem!

Not long after receiving the replacement call that had some of the same issues as the first, I received a follow up email from Scott Ellis himself wanting to verify that my problem had been resolved. Scott is the Head of the Pro Staff for Woodhaven Custom Calls and Pro Competition Caller. After relating my story over the phone and a number of email exchanges Scott had Woodhaven forward another replacement call and this one performed as designed.

-What Went Wrong?

Scott related that their tape supplier had received a bad batch of adhesive and that the problem has since been corrected! That was good news to me because I really liked the quality of the sound from the Red Reactor call.  I was planning on this being my new go to call for this coming spring.

-What I Like About the Reactor?

As I stated in the beginning of this review, I’m no competition caller but I have been using diaphragm calls for my entire turkey hunting career. I have always had difficulty trying to blow a three or certainly a four reed call and just stayed away from them for this reason. Personally, I found that it took so much air to make a sound on them that I couldn’t really call soft on one. I first heard about the “Raspy Red Reactor” when I saw Scott Ellis demonstrating it on Youtube. He is an awesome caller and it really got my attention when I saw him reproducing every call in the book on this thing.

I am having a bit of trouble with a kee kee on this last reactor for some reason but hopefully I can over come it. Other than that, I can handle anything form soft tree calls to really aggressive cutting on this call. It purrs really well also.

I really appreciated and was impressed with Scott taking the time to follow up and make sure this problem was resolved. Matter of fact…..I just sent out an order for (2) more Red Reactors and (1) Yellow Venom.  I’ll make a post on the Yellow Venom when it arrives.

If you need some help with your calling from someone that I would personally recommend as a top notch caller, contact Scott on face book or on his web site….http://www.scottellis-eliteturkeyhuntingandcalling.com/default.html. I would recommend you get a copy of his “Mouth Call Magic” DVD.

Scott Ellis - Mouth Call Magic

Best of  Hunts,

Larry S.

 

 

 

 

Initial Review

June 10, 2013

Recently I was watching champion turkey caller Scott Ellis demonstrating his signature call, the Raspy Red Reactor by Woodhaven Custom Calls. Scott is an awesome caller and I was impressed with the sound of the call and the fact that he could make every sound made by a turkey using this call.

I decided I needed to give the Red Reactor a try. At $10+ it is at the upper end of the price range for diaphragm calls, especially given the short life expectancy of this type call when compared to other turkey calls.

My preferred call is the simple double reed call with no cuts and I have killed a pile of turkeys with one of these. As a matter of fact most of the turkeys i’ve taken have fallen to this call.  However, this type call is a clear sounding call that produces very little, if any rasp. I also find a little rasp desirable. The rasp comes from the way the reed is cut or split.

On the next to the last weekend of the season, I cut some sign of a gobbler that had strutted down a dirt road on the edge of the lease. This bird had been heavily hunted and was only alive because he spent most of his time across the fence.  The next morning I set up on him and I decided to put some “Raspy Red Reactor” on him. Exactly 2 minutes after hearing his first gobble, he was standing 30yds in front of me looking at my decoy! This Tom had been hunted hard by some pretty good hunters and was one of the few remaining mature Gobblers left in the area. I dubbed him “The Last of the Mohicans!” Click the title link for the whole story.

Woodhaven Raspy Red Reactor 1 sm

Though the sound of the call and its performance on the first field test was super impressive, I had a problem…..about the third time I used the call I noticed the tape was coming off.

I was torn on what to do with the call given the issue of the tape coming off. The call sounded so good I did not want to give it up for a replacement.

After the season was over I called Woodhaven to discuss the matter. They asked me to send the call back to them and they would provide a replacement at no charge.

Against my better judgement but thinking that the replacement call should sound basically the same, I shipped the call back to the manufacturer. After about a week and a half I received a package in the mail from Woodhaven……my new call!

I considered not using it until next season but couldn’t resist giving it a run. Boy was I disappointed! I could hardly do anything with the new call and the calls that I could get out of it did not sound that great.

That wasn’t the end of the bad news…..you guessed it, the tape was beginning to show signs of coming off after only an hour of use. I don’t know what to think about these calls but I can’t use them if the tape is going to keep coming off like this. I cannot ever remember running into this problem before. I will contact Woodhaven again to let them know about the problem but I can’t see myself wagering more money on one of their calls. When I’m guiding another hunter, I need to be confident in my call and know that if I have to go to a new call in the middle of the season, the new one will sound and preform just like the previous. So far, I am sorry to say that Woodhaven is not living up to that expectation.

So….the hunt for the best diaphragm call goes on.

Here are some photos of the original failing call. However, I must say that this did not seem to affect the sound of the call.

Woodhaven's Raspy Red Reactor 1

Woodhaven's Raspy Red Reactor 1

 

If there are any updates on this product I will post them as they develop.

If you have had any similiar issues, please add a comment to share with others.

Thanks,

Larry S.

 

If you would like more information on the “Raspy Red Reactor” call, just click on the link.

 

Man by his very nature, is a Hunter, a predator by design. To deny this fact is to be dishonest with ones self. Though the desire to hunt is instilled in all of us to varying degrees, the ability and knowledge of how to hunt, must be learned.

Starting your young hunter on the right foot is critical to their development and future as a hunter. Hunters above all and by far carry the majority of the burden for care of the wild places and the creatures that reside there. The recruiting of  young hunters into the sport is very important to its future and thereby also, the future of the wild places.

Adventures in the Outdoors!

I can’t say that I have any real memories of my first hunts with my dad and grandfather. They were more than 40 years ago now. However, they served as the foundation that so many futures adventures would be built upon. What those experiences accomplished was to instill a love for the outdoors that I will carry with me to the end of days.

Dad couldn’t leave the house to go hunting or fishing without me, and it was a rare occasion when he did. There wasn’t any adventure in the outdoors that we did not embark on and we were in the woods or on the water on almost every day that he was not encumbered by work.  We hunted anything that would run, trapped coons and wild hogs, ran trotlines, cut bee trees, gigged flounder, crabbed, cast netted mullet off the beach at night, fished both salt water and fresh, stayed out all night gigging frogs, shrimped, you name it, we did it!

All of these experiences served to instill a great appreciation for all things wild. I have hunted from the mountains of Idaho to the swamps of Florida and seen sights that no hand and canvas could match. I’ve have witnessed wild creatures embroiled in their most secrete of  habits and of course, learned of both life and death. All experiences that I would not trade for the world!

If you are reading this article I guess I really don’t need to sell you on the benefits of spending time in the outdoors with your son or daughter. You should already have a handle on that, as well as the rewards that are to be gained. Though hunting may not necessarily be a skill we now need for survival, a more grounding experience you will not find. I do not feel that people that grow up involved with hunting and fishing have questions of what life is all about.

It should also be evident that I have a special passion for turkey hunting. The point of this article is to give you some tips that may help you plan a successful turkey hunting adventure that you can share with your young son or daughter thereby passing your knowledge to the next generation.

Hunting is an experience which has no end to what can be learned. The following information covers most of the basics and some advanced ideas in both gear and “how to” that will help to get the novice hunter started off on the right foot in the sport of turkey hunting.

  • What Is An Appropriate Gun For A Young Turkey Hunter?

Most young hunters will not be able to handle a full size shotgun. For very small hunters I would recommend a single shot 20ga shotgun in 3” magnum. They are some of the lightest weight style guns and have a simple action which are both equally important qualities for the novice.

Magnum turkey loads can kick like a mule! If the punch from a magnum load is a concern, a high brass 2 3/4″ shell could be used. For that matter even a low brass game load in 2 3/4″ could be used, however you should shorten the shot range accordingly based on how your gun patterns. I would start at 20 yds and advance until the the number of shot in the kill zone dropped to less than 5-8 pellets. That would be the guns max effective range.

For the mid-sized hunter a semi-auto or pump action 20 ga, in 3” magnum may fit and carry with them for a number of years. The semi-auto produces a little milder kick due to the gas operation which is a welcome result.

I would recommend practicing with 2 ¾” #8 dove shot but hunting with 3“ magnum in #5 or #6 shot.  In the excitement of  shooting a turkey, the extra kick from the magnum load shouldn’t be noticed but it surely will be at the range!

Homemade Remington 870 Stock 3-9-13 028The gun should be a youth model gun with the shortest barrel length available. The extra weight of a longer barrel is difficult for most youths to handle. The shortened butt stock is typically mandatory also. Most Youth stocks have a LOP (length of pull) of 13” but most could be altered if necessary.

My 10 year old daughter went on her first turkey hunt this year and since I had neglected to deal with the long stock issue of her weapon until the last minute, I had to build a cut down stock to fit her Remington 870 from a piece of 2X8 yellow pine I had in the shop. I could not bare the thought of cutting off the walnut original. I robbed the softest butt pad I could find from another shotgun and the job as complete. The little 16 ga. Pump fit her like a glove and she downed her first turkey within an hour of the coming of daylight, on the opening mornings hunt.

I would also recommend having the youth hunter practice on a life sized target to learn what the sight picture should look like when the moment of truth comes. You can easily sketch out your own full size turkey silhouette onto a piece of cardboard or even purchase some pre-printed copies.

  • What Is The Best Choice In Camo Clothing?

Camo for youths is not as readily available as adult sized camo and is available in less of a variety of patterns.

Also, there are not a lot of camo patterns with a substantial amounts of green in the pattern for spring turkey hunting. Currently my personal preference is either RealTree’s – “all-purpose green” or Mossy Oak’s – “Obsession“. It can be a good idea to use a browner pattern on the upper body as this will blend with the trunk of a tree better. I personally like to miss-match my camo, using a different pattern on top.

Mossy Oak Obsession®

Mossy Oak Obsession®

Realtree APG ®

Realtree APG ®

Realtree Xtra ® Green Camo

Realtree Xtra ® Green Camo

Of course turkey hunting requires top to bottom total camouflage so you will need gloves and a head net that fits as well. I prefer a ¾, mesh type head net as a rule.  I always prefer to cut the tips off the fingers of my gloves. At least for the thumb, index and middle finger’s. The others can remain and do not hamper your feel or use of your fingers.

If there is a thing I hate, it’s wet feet! A pair of light walking boots that are waterproof are mandatory in my book. I do not like rubber boots if I can avoid them but when hunting wet woods they are pretty valuable gear and beat wet feet. Rubber boots tend to also be heavy but the worst problem is stepping in to deep and over topping the boot! They don’t dry out.

Though I don’t personally give them a second thought…..snakes may be a consideration when hunting in the south. Turkeys here are typically associated with wet areas, particularly in the early season. A young hunter with little woods experience may not pick out that coiled moccasin before he steps on it. A pair of snake boots or gators might be worth the parents piece of mind.

Coiled Cottonmouth Moccasin

The photo above is of a Moccasin I ran across while turkey hunting this year. This snake is more dangerous than the average as he is about to begin shedding his skin. Though difficult to see in this photo his eye is beginning to take on a blue hue and that is the first indication that they are about to shed. When this happens their vision is impaired and they are less apt to run. This is a snake that would let you walk right up to him and then strike with no warning.

I would also recommend a turkey vest for the young hunter. Having his or her own gear just like dad will go a long way towards making them feel a part of the hunt as opposed to just an observer. I guess there is a cool factor in being completely outfitted with all the necessities. Of course a dry seat is of utmost importance and a waterproof cushion is a must, at a minimum.

  • Which Turkey Calls Are Best Suited For A Young Hunter?

I would definitely recommend you purchase your young turkey hunter his or her own call. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had by mastering your own call. Also, it gives the young hunter something to do when trying to out wait a longbeard. Allowing the young hunter the ability to call affords him or her a larger more active roll in the hunt. A box call is probably best but a slate or glass call is also a good choice. I would consider some of the small diameter slate type calls to fit the youths hands better. One of my favorite box calls is the Lynch box. The smaller single sided, Fool Proof, model 101 call would be a great choice that he or she would never out grow.

Children have a heightened ability for learning and if your son or daughter expresses the desire to learn to use a diaphragm call that would be an outstanding achievement and worth the effort. However, they should master all the basic calls on a box or slate call first so they have a feel for not only the sound they are trying to mimic but the cadence as well.  The diaphragm call is an advanced and much more difficult call to master but comes with some real advantages.

If you decide to give a diaphragm call a try, depending on their build, you may need to select a small frame type call made for women and youths. I would start out with a simple, single or double reed type call. They typically have little rasp to them and are a clear sounding call but easier to learn on. I can’t tell you how many turkeys I have taken with a standard twin reed call! it’s a pile!

I would also recommend outfitting them with an owl and crow call. They are easy to learn to use and there is nothing like hearing a distant gobbler respond to your call from his roost. Even if they cannot quit get the turkey call down in time for their first hunt they can at least experience the excitement of fooling a tom into a response with a locator call.

  • Things to Consider When Planning a Youth Hunt!

Another very important consideration when planning to take a young hunter afield for their first hunt is to remember that they have a shorter attention span than an adult. They will not have developed the drive and enthusiasm for the hunt that you may have. A 3 hour stint in a turkey blind with nothing to do may seem more like an endurance test than a enjoyable adventure to a beginning hunter.

When afield, it is important to not just take the prospective hunter hunting, but to make an adventure out of the entire occasion, teaching them everything about the natural world that you can. The average person knows little of the world that exists in the woods and on the water and therefore can never really understand or appreciate the  love for the outdoors a hunter develops over time. Doing this will keep their mind occupied and fill the day with interest.

It is also important to remember that your son or daughter does not have your stamina for a 5 mile prospecting adventure. It is best to start off with relatively easy hunts and preferably in a dry area.

Keep in mind the comfort of your young hunter. This is another important aspect that will make the hunting experience a failure or success. Of course, if you are hunting from an enclosed blind you will need chairs to keep you high enough to see out and shoot. You may be there a while…..get a chair with a back and avoid stools. A prolonged and  uncomfortable position could ruin the hunt.

A compact pair of binoculars can also be a big plus. Searching for game with his binoculars is a good way to pass the time. Also, there is usually almost always some kind of bird or animal activity to watch, even if only a fluttering redbird.

  • How to Close the Deal – Taking the Shot!

This is one place where you can make or break the new hunter. You want to stack the deck on his side as much as possible. Hunting a location with few turkeys is not the best way to start off. You want them to be entertained and see as much game as possible.

Consider their shooting limitations. Set your hide for a relatively close shot when possible, 20 yds is ideal. From your target practice, He should already have a good feel for the sight picture he will be looking for.

One thing that can make a big difference in the enjoyment of the hunt and the success is an enclosed blind. A blind affords the young hunter the ability to move a little without scaring off the turkeys. Little things like being able to thump a mosquito when necessary helps keep the hunt from being more like a torture test.

A shooting stick can also be a big help for smaller hunters that have difficulty with the weight of the gun. As a rule, the gun may have to be held in shooting position for some time before a shot at the turkey is offered. The young hunter can’t be rushed on the shot.

One last important thing to consider when turkey hunting is how to actually sit during the hunt!

Unless you have some physical limitations that prevent this, you should always sit with one knee up, the left for a right handed shooter, with the gun resting on your knee. Of course this does not apply if you are in an enclosed blind. For a right handed shooter you should sit so that the birds approach is left of center. Sitting in this manner provides for the least amount of movement prior to the shot. Hunter movement is the number one reason for missed shot opportunities when turkey hunting.

Sitting at the swell butt of a big cypress 4-13-13 sm

Turkey Hunt - Oak Tree Set Up 1 SM

If you are hunting with a very young hunter you shoulder consider having them sit between your legs. You can whisper instructions readily and even help them with the gun a little if necessary.

  • Safety First!

Last, but one of the most important issues with this sport is SAFETY! Hopefully your young hunter comes to love and appreciate the outdoors as much as you and these early trips afield will shape how they handle themselves and a weapon, probably for the rest of their life. It is extremely important to teach them all of the aspects of both gun and personal safety. I find that the best way to accomplish this is with repetition. Each time your son or daughter handles a gun you should be reminding them what to do or quizzing them with questions. For example, just before they pick up their gun I like to ask…..o.k., what’s the first thing you need to do when you pick up a gun?  Then comes….Where should your barrel always be pointing?  Eventually gun safety will become second nature and done without need for thought.

 

With some preplanning and a few tools of the trade your son or daughters first hunts can be an enjoyable experience that will provide memories for years to come.

Passing on the knowledge and love for the outdoors is the best way I know, to ensure that our hunting heritage is preserved for the future.

If there are any questions or advise you need help with that I did not cover here, don’t hesitate to contact me using the contact form. I’d be glad to help in any way that I can. Any comments that you may have are greatly appreciated as well.

Best of Hunts,

Larry S.

If you are on my site you are probably an avid hunter like myself and I expect you are taking advantage of the use of a trail camera for monitoring game movement, etc.

I have amassed a collection of (8) trail camera that I am currently using. They are especially useful when it comes to turkey hunting, particularly the time lapse units that do not rely on motion to trigger the camera. You can watch a large portion of a field, road, pasture, etc. and get a good idea of when and where the birds are coming and going.

Of course you are going to need SD memory cards for the camera to record the photos too. I like to have at least (2) cards for each camera so I can pull one and install a fresh one all at the same time with no down time for the camera.

With all those cards I occasionally run into a problem with one. Recently I had the lock fall out of one of my Sandisk Extreme cards. When this happens you cannot write to the card or erase any of the photos from it.

SD CARD MISSING LOCK 1

The card on the left has it’s lock in place and the card on the right is missing its lock!

An easy repair for this is to cut about a 3/8″ wide section of scotch tape and wrap it over the lock area being careful not to cover the copper contacts on the back of the card.

SD CARD LOCK REPAIR 2

I pulled this strip of tape off using the cutter on a tape dispenser but I would recommend you cut it with scissors for a clean edge that is less likely to snag in the card slot.

SD CARD LOCK REPAIR 3

Install the tape from the back side so as not to cover the contacts and wrap it tightly over to the opposite side.

SD CARD LOCK REPAIR 4

The camera of computer will now read and write to the card normally.

You could also fill the lock slot with a stiff epoxy or superglue a strip of plastic in place to simulate the lock for a more permanent repair.

Larry S.

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