The Turkey “NOWCast” is an on going posting of the most Current Information on Turkey Activity Here in Central Florida, What’s Going on Right NOW!

 

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

Thoughts of breeding are definitely starting to take hold with Toms in east central FL. Photographed two different single toms strutting with big hen flocks this morning…

Osceola Tom Strutting in the Sun 2-17-17 10

Strutting Osceola Tom 2-17-17 9

 

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2017

Up to this morning I haven’t seen any toms showing any interest in hens. Spent all day Friday and Saturday scouting all of the mature toms we saw were by themselves or with other toms. Did find two places where birds strutted for hens since the rain so it’s just now starting to get going. The Gobbler in the photo was the only mature tom with this flock of hens and jakes. He strutted non stop and even gobbled a few times.

strut sign 2-9-17

Osceola Strutter with hens 2-12-17

Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017

Have a group of gobblers on a little tract that are coming to a small food plot the owner had been feeding deer at. He told me there was about 9 toms in the bunch but I didn’t know about all the hens and jakes. They have been a little illusive, showing up at ahead or after me. Finally got to see them yesterday. unfortunately, a big bunch of hens were already on the plot and I couldn’t get to the palmetto and cabbage fan hide I had prepared. tried to slide up the ladder in to a covered deer stand but all the hens started leaving to the NE. I sat there a few minutes and decided to hang out a bit. pulled the watkins long box, dawkins alum. pot and my siren mouth call out. did some kee keeing and some lost yelping and a bird answered me in a dry cypress pond to the south. I gave her some more including some up and down yelping and cutting. she answer but never got real fired up but somewhere in the mix I heard one gobbler yelp! then things started happening….4 jakes came in from the north, a few minutes later, all the hens start coming back from the NE. about that time, 3 strutters come in from a dim woods road from the SE and 3 hens come flying in from the cypress….it was an amazing sight. It was hard over cast and I was back about 125yds which is a little far for real good picture but got some decent stuff. while this was going on the owner text me that there were 6 gobblers in his pasture and several of them were strutting.

big osceola flock 1-28-17 big osceola turkey flock 1-28-17 Osceola Strutters 1-28-17-3

 

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017

Needed to go ride a friends tract this morning that I book some hunts on.  Stopped by a spot i knew some birds would be roosted on the way. Did a yelp cutt right into a long run of yelps on the new Darrin Dawkins alum. pot I picked up at Unicoi….it set the whole flock off and the gobblers started hammering. I wasn’t close enough to tell what was what but apparently they like it! Owner reported he heard 6 gobbling on one of my other tracts this morning…

Crescent tract toms 1-22-17 6

 

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017

Took this picture of an Osceola this morning with some almost white colored tips on his secondary tail fan feathers. They strutted for about 15 min. and it was over, never gobbled on the limb either.

january-strutters-1-8-17-1-c

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017

First Strutter of the new year!!

Got some pretty nice turkey pics this morning, they didn’t gobble on the limb or the ground but did get to see a little dominate strutting action….Both of these were great Birds! The slicked down Tom was walking fast so I cutt at him on a mouth call to stop him for a pic. When the strutter heard that he came running in to let everyone know who’s boss….He actually laid down, still in strut. The laying down part seemed a little sub like but he was clearly the Dominate bird….

first-strutter-of-new-year-1-1-17-3-c-n

fall-osceola-gobbler-flock-1-1-17-4-c-n

first-strutter-of-new-year-1-1-17-1-c-n

 

Monday, Dec. 26, 2016

Well, I crawled back under him for some pics this morning but decided to move over just a little where I thought I had a clearer view of him. That was a mistake and I was committed at that point. pics were a little disappointing, just to many little limbs in the way but he did gobble and strut . came off the limb real early and cut things short. He gobbled about 8 times. There were at least 5 mature toms within hearing that I know but only 3 gobbled and only on the roost.

strutting-on-the-roost-12-26-16-2

Here’s a pic of him from last night….

gobbler-on-the-roost-12-25-16-1

 

Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016

Birds gobbled on the limb pretty good this morning. First I’ve heard this early. Never gobbled again once they flew down. They were roosted several hundred yds from the hens and jakes. I managed a few pics of one roosted hen before fly down but that was about it.

roosted-osceola-hen-12-25-16-4

 

Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016

Ran into several dozen birds picking a row crop field this morning, all jakes and hens…..

2-dozen-osceola-turkeys-12-24-16

 

Monday, Dec. 18, 2016

Just off the roost this morning, First birds i’ve seen offer to strut so far…spring is coming….

first-strutting-gobbler-of-the-year-12-18-16-1

 

Friday, Nov. 25, 2016

Found the mother load of turkey tracks this morning…..awesome!

the-mother-load-of-turkey-tracks-11-25-16-1

 

Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2016

Well, after two and a half miles of scouting the Island and surrounding river swamp…..it’s a bust! The hill was a thick scrub that a rabbit could hardly get thru and there was ZERO turkey sign in some of the nicest looking river swamp you can imagine?? Couldn’t strike a bird or find any sign that a bird had ever existed there?? If someone would have told me that is what I would find I would have told them they were crazy and knew nothing about a turkey. My only possible explanation is that the big cypress was cut between the island and the hill and it is so bad that a bird living there would have no way to access the hill. I think I will find some birds if I go west and get past the old swamp cut were they can go back and forth.

BUT….it wasn’t all bad news! we did actually strike two birds up in the morning about 9 and 9:30, saw 2 more strutting with hens on a road adjoining a clear cut, ran up on a big flock in a broken clear cut with 4-5 jakes and at least 2 more longbeards, saw another gobbler on a rough clearcut shortly after that and found where another bird had strutted with some hens on another road. probably 7 different gobblers in all. Still a little weak for such a large tract and as much ground as we covered but looking better!

strut sign 3-16-16 1c

Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016

It was super windy this morning so I didn’t get out in time to try to hear one on the limb but got on some birds that were gobbling on the ground. They had been in the road and had it slam tracked up for a 1/4 mile. Left a little strut sign also….

Two Osceola Gobblers 2-25-16

 

Strut Sign 2-25-16

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016

A little strut sign in the road this morning. Birds are strutting quite a bit but not going into a hard strut where they drum and drag their wings. Most of the birds I am seeing strutting have their wings 2-3″ up off the ground. I watched the bird that left the strut sign in the pic below walk a long ways down the road strutting but he only drug his wings twice.

Turkey Strut Sign

Big Turkey Beards

 

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016

Birds didn’t gobble that good this morning but did strike one on the limb that only gobbled once and another on the ground about 8:30 AM that gobbled about a dozen times. This bird on the roost never gobbled , Just got luck and happened to spot him from about 250yds out.

Osceola Tom on the Roost 2-20-16 by Larry Stephens 1

 

Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

The Toms are still bunched together but are gobbling and strutting pretty good in anticipation of up coming breeding opportunities. I roosted some gobblers last night and slipped back in there this morning before daylight for some pics. The Bird I was there for had moved during the night but I found another strutting on the limb….no SD card in the camera! Boy did that ruin my morning! Went in to pull a trail camera card and walked in on a big bunch of birds that probably numbered over 20. Had 2 longbeards for sure.

Osceola flock 2-15-16

Here’s the bird from the evening before that moved on me over night…..

Gobbler just flown up to Roost 2-14-16 2 sm

 

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016

The birds are still all grouped by sex but the toms a definitely starting to show some interest in the hens and gobbling pretty good, Lots of strutting but the hens are not hanging around with the toms yet. I struck 3 gobblers on the roost at daylight this morning that gobbled at most everything I gave them but not hardly any on their own.

Roosted Wild Turkey 4 sm

 

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016

Rain over night had the birds out in the open this morning. Got a pic of a group of 17 hens out buggin and a trio of long beards.

Iron Flats Long beards 1-17-16 2 sm

Osceola Hens out bugging 1-17-16 sm

 

Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

The Birds are still grouped up by sex at this point which is to be expected even though I’ve got a couple of strutters on camera. It will be a little while yet before they start breaking down.

15 Red Headed OsceolaToms 1-15-16 by Larry Stephens

 

Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015

Lots of birds starting to show up on trail camera!Pretty Osceola Turkey Flock by Larry Stephens

 

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2015
Browning Trail Camera video of a flock of Osceola turkeys feeding in an oak Hammock. Dec. 2015

 

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015

Turkeys are turning up more and more. Got this nice winter gobble flock on trail cam.

Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015

Just a small mixed fall flock of hens and jakes that showed on one of my cameras.


Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2015

Since we don’t don’t fall turkey hunt around here I don’t go way out of my way to keep track of the turkeys on the Tracts I hunt but I did run across a pile of them picking out on a farm field that had just been worked with a disk. There were 7 gobblers and 13 hens separated by sex into 2 flocks. They are having a pretty easy life right now, plenty of food and water around and the acorns are starting to drop. hen flock
gobbler flock

Sunday, Apr. 19, 2015

The hens here are definitely actively nesting. I am seeing mostly single hens and in places where you would expect one to be nesting. I found another broken egg Saturday as well. Most of the gobbler sign seems to be around places where hens a nesting or coming to dust. Gobbling activity is not to good but we did hear two birds this morning and called up a magnum 5 year old this morning, one of the best Osceolas I have ever seen! He gobbled great on the limb and pretty good on the ground. I guess he came to us so fast he did not have a lot of time to do much gobbling. We had gotten set up on him while he was still on the limb. From set up to dead was 8 minutes flat! and he had to cover about 125-150yds to get to us. The old Bull Creek Custom Calls “SIREN” and a custom slate had him completely fooled!

Friday, Apr. 3, 2015

This has been one of the strangest spring seasons I can remember. I have no idea what is going on but there is very little turkey sign to be found and very little gobbling as a rule. Found an egg yesterday and that seems pretty early. The first dust bowls started turning up on several tracts which always signals that nesting has started or is about to.

Osceola Hen Dust Bowl 1 sm

 

Sunday, Mar. 29, 2015

This is some sign that has been extremely hard to come by this year. Only about the 4th or 5th time I have found any strut sign all season? I have been on 8 or more different tracts and all have had great to good turkey populations to date. I looked at a new, small 50 ac tract yesterday owned by an elderly fella and he related he would normally see 8-10 gobblers in his yard this time of year but has hardly seen a turkey this year? We found one hen track on his place. Very little turkey sign on roads and have not seen one hen dust hole yet?Strut Sign - Jeffs gobble 3-29-15

 

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015

Saw a super gobbler with two hens today. It’s the first Gobbler I have seen with hens this year. This is in east central Florida but still pretty early for this. From what I have been seeing all the birds are still in their respective groups. To bad he’s a city turkey, He’s got a great beard!

Osceola gobbler & hens

 

Friday, Jan. 2, 2015

I haven’t been out to the woods since we got back from our Illinois hunt. Decided to go service one of my feeders and get a couple cameras back up while there’s still a couple weeks left in the season. The was a pile of sign around! Have some hogs back in the area and a few are magnums! The really encouraging discovery was all the turkey sign, both in the woods and out on the road. Lots of scratching feed sign. I even flushed a big flock of about 12 birds a little before dark. Hens I’m sure. They were milling around along the edge of a swamp waiting for fly up.  There are way more turkeys there than last year!

pile of turkey tracks

big hog and turkey tracks

 

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014

My bride Tammie talked me into going cow huntin’ on the Dbl. “C” this morning. We had an early start and it was pretty dang chilly! Below freezing I expect with some patchy frost on the ground. Of course I had my eyes open for any turkeys. In short order we crossed up a flock of 11 gobblers. Most were nice 2 year olds but there were about 3 that had real good beards. Of course it is still about 2 months until this flock will start breaking up for the breeding season. These birds were busy working on keeping the pecking order in check. This place as some serious gobblers on it!

DBL C Turkeys 12-13-14 sm2

Sunday, Apr. 12, 2014

I hunted Scott Ellis and his wife Kim this weekend. We set up on a gobbling bird Saturday morning that gobbled o.k. but had other turkeys with him and would not move our direction. Sunday Morning we hunted a bird we had seen late in the day on Saturday. From the roost we only heard one bird gobble 2 times though there were at least 4 different gobbles within hearing. They gobbled later on the morning once they were on the ground and we worked one in to within shotgun range only to have him escape. He gobbled pretty decent for a short period.

 

Monday, Apr. 7, 2014

Most of the hens we are seeing now are all singles and an occasional pair. A number of the hens are hanging around a specific location and obviously have started to nest. Gobbling activity has backed off a little however.

 

Monday, Mar. 31, 2014

The hens have started to split up now and I am beginning to see a few dust bowls. More importantly, the gobbling has pricked up dramatically.

 

Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014

gobbler track 1

Finally, Friday and today was without rain, That’s not much time to build up sign on the roads but I needed get to it. Went to track the roads on the 6500 ac tract first and intended to also hit a WMA before driving to another little 130 ac tract in Ocala that I just got access to. Ended up doing a little foot work trying to figure out a little group of birds I found and did not make it to the WMA. Only got to track part of the big tract but found about 6 gobblers. All were single tracks except one pair with a handful of hens. One other gobbler was traveling with a couple hens.
The odd part was that there was NO strut sign to be seen! It is more obvious with each passing day that breeding is going to be later than normal. Everything is really retarded.
The 130 ac tract had a pile of hen and gobbler tracks both but also void of strut sign. The owner said the big flock has over 25 birds. but could not tell me much more than that.
Inspecting Gobbler Tracks
Larry

Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

The bachelor groups of gobblers have finally started to break up this past week. This is pretty late historically speaking but bodes well for the up coming season and should extend things a bit compared to last year.

I pulled a bunch of trail camera cards at Bull Creek Saturday  where there was 7 mature birds in a wad and the most I had on camera at one time was 2! The owner confirmed that they did in fact break up this week and a number of them have not been around for 3-4 days now.

Saturday morning a pair of gobblers was roosted across the fence but on gobbled two times and that was from the limb. They would not gobble on the ground but then, what was the point, they were standing in a flock of about 15.

 

Monday, Feb. 17,2014

Strutting Osceola Jake Turkeys 2-17-14

This morning I went to another tract that is about 1,200 ac with some row crop fields on two sides. I did not hear a bird gobble on the roost but they were there!

After some loud aggressive yelping and cutting I had some hens begin to answer me in a wood lot adjoining a farm field. I moved down a woods road that bisected the wood lot and spotted a bird in a road to the west from a 4 way. Birds started calling from in the field. I took to steps and spotted strutters about 50yds into the field. There were 5 jakes there and 4 were strutting. After putting on a show they moved west to hook up with some more jakes and there ended up being a total of 10.

There was also birds in the field to the east, They were a long ways out but I could make out beards on a few. After reviewing the footage I realized it was a group of 6 long beards and some miscellaneous other hens and jakes.

I was ready to head out and stepped back into the intersection and spotted another bird down the east road…..another super nice long beard! After filming him for a minute I turned to the west and spotted a bird about 150yds and other turkeys started filing across the road. At least 6 hens and 2 jakes there! One hen even sported a 6-7″ beard.

It was one incredible morning of scouting.

 

 

Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014

Bull Creek Osceola Turkey Flock

Man! you talk about some turkeys…..I found em baby!

It’s the oddest thing, you go the entire deer hunting season in the fall and hardly see a turkey, as soon as spring starts to approach they begin turning up everywhere. It’s almost like they have been living in a hole in the ground.

Sunday morning I headed to Bull Creek Ranch to see what was going on out there. I wanted to get to the pasture roost in time to see what flew down at first light but I was running a little late and the birds were already on the ground. It was quite a sight to see…..24 some odd Osceolas, all in one wad! Strutting birds with white-blue heads everywhere. At least 6 mature gobblers and a number of jakes that were also offering to strut.

Gobblers are still bunched up?

 

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

Things are just barely starting to show signs of getting started here in central Florida. My Dad was Speck fishing this morning on an area lake that has some turkey woods around it and related that he heard two birds that gobbled way into the morning. One gobbled over 100 times! Another report from a friend related that he is not yet seeing any gobblers around the hen flocks. I expect most of the gobblers are still in bachelor groups right now. Turkeys are still not being very visible and I have been seeing only a few in my travels. All that will be changing pretty quick as the days start to warm up and lengthen.

 

Sunday, Jan. 19,14

We ended up doing a little dog hunting on one of our leases this weekend. We saw a number of turkeys that got pushed out of a block by the dogs, including 2 really good gobblers. We also pulled a trail camera that had some interesting Gobbler pictures on it. Besides that I got a report of the first strutter of the year early this week. It is pretty early for that but things should be getting started in just a couple of weeks.

Stretching Gobbler

 

 

Sunday, Oct. 6,13

The Jakes from this year are growing pretty good. They are starting to get a more mature look about them. Their beards are still a little short for the most part but March is still a long ways off. Here is a trail cam photo of  a trio of gobblers from the 1200 ac lease.

Gobbler Photos By Trail Camera

 

Sunday, Aug. 4,13

I just this past week gained access to another 1,200 acre + property. I have started getting familier with it and geting some cameras out. Something interesting  showed up on one of my trail cameras there…..(4) gobblers! Two are long beards which will be 3 yr olds this spring and one looks to be a jake that will be a ready to go 2 year old in the spring. Couldn’t tell much about #4. I also found a monster lone gobbler track on the dike road not far from the camera area.
As typical for turkeys, they don’t miss anything. One of the longbeards spotted the camera and gave it some due scrutiny.
Gobblers on Trail Camera

 

Saturday, May 4,13

I think the monsoon has finally ended! It could not have come at a worse time for the turkeys. We have just gotten over a tremendous 3 day rain. I have not checked my rain gauge today but I expect it will end up being 8-10″ of total rain. There is standing water everywhere and I am afraid many of the turkeys that have just hatched or are about to hatch, will not make it. Weather like this takes a heavy toll on young turkeys. All we can do is hope for the best. I’ll be running some cameras soon to try to get some idea of what has survived.

 

Monday, April 22,2013

Well…..Spring Gobbler Season has finally come to an end. Sunday was the last day. The weekend was marked by wet windy weather and by all accounts was very uneventful. Most people I spoke to did not see or hear a turkey. The turkey activity really started on a down hill slope about three weeks ago and has petered out to nothing. I guess it is just time for it to be over.

A friend called me today to report seeing a hen with some just hatched poults. This is the second report of turkeys being hatch during the season that I have heard this year. I cannot remember seeing new poults during the actual hunting season in the past. This was a really  weird year for turkey hunting and I have to think that it is related to the weather. Additionally, we had a great deal of poor weather, a lot of windy days and at least three of the five weekends were rainy. That makes for some tough hunting and limited gobbling which is what its all about.

Despite the tough conditions, most everyone I know limited out and made a successful season out of it. Hopefully, this trend of poor weather conditions does not hurt the survival of the new poults!

Larry S.

 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It appears that the gobblers mood has just taken a 180 degree turn. Everything I was seeing and hearing for the last couple weeks was a disinterest in hens or coming to calling. Gobblers were not even being seen with hens.

For the last 2 days that has seemed to reverse itself. I know of 3 birds killed that all practically came running to hen calling this weekend! Another friend called in a pair of strutters that were drumming but he missed a shot with a crossbow!

The hens are all nesting now and I am seeing only a few scattered hens here and there.

If you haven’t harvested a bird yet you had better get busy as your time is short. This coming weekend will wrap it up for another year.

Downed Osceola Gobbler 4-14-13

As for me it is over….I’m punched out! I have finished all of my guiding but I still have a few friends that I’ll be trying to help out with the final push.

Larry S.

 

 

 

Thursday, April 11,2013

I just got a report today from one of my huntin buddies that he ran across a hen with 6-7 new poults this morning! From the description I expect they are about a week old so that puts them born about April 4th which was about 2 1/2 weeks into the season. That is about as early as I can remember seeing baby turkeys before. The interest in hens definitely seems to be headed down hill as most all of the hens appear to be nesting now.

I hunted a public land bird this morning but only called up two hens. Heard no gobbling but then again the weather was not suited for gobbling, warm, overcast and humid.

I did run across some baby alligators that just hatched out and got a little video of them. The have incredibly good vision. They are pretty hard to sneak up on!

Turkey Hunting & Baby Gators

 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We experienced some pretty poor turkey hunting weather  on Wed. & Thurs.. Friday was overcast but started to clear later in the day. This all had the gobbling really curtailed. I hunted a guy on Fri., Sat. and Sun.  The birds did not gobble on the limb but finally gobbled about 5 times on the ground later in the morning. Saturday we heard two birds gobble twice and some gobbling just at the end of my hearing gobble 6-7 times. Sunday was a mystery? The weather was perfect but we only heard one bird gobble ONE time?? I still can’t believe it. Things really appear to be winding down. The number of Trail camera pictures I am getting has really dropped off also.

 

Monday, April 1,2013

I headed over to Bull Creek Ranch to pull some camera cards and get some up to date intel on the comings and goings of the turkeys. I am definitely seeing a change in the birds. I believe some of the hens are starting to nest as they have broken down into single birds or a small 2-3 bird group. Many of the hens have disappeared and I am not seeing have the number of hens that I was 3-4 weeks ago.  Also, I am getting almost no pictures of gobblers with hens!

I have a guided hunt coming up at the end of the week and it looks like the weather is going to be poor. I’ll be keeping close tabs on the time of day that the turkeys are showing up on trail camera, particularly my DPS-Time Lapse camera. I have it watching a pasture so I can determine where the birds are crossing it and WHEN! There has been a lull in the interest in the hens so this info might just make the difference between me being a hero or a zero this weekend!

A friend of mine had an awesome hunt on Sunday. He and his hunting partner fell into a group of gobblers and jakes that were hot to go! Even the jakes were gobbling. They had 3 hens go by just before the gobblers showed but there were no hens actually with the bachelor group. They managed to shoot a double which is no small feat.

Bull Creek Gobbler Strutting & Feeding 1

Osceola Gobbler in the Sunlight 1

 

Sunday, Mar. 31, 2013

It is funny how individual turkeys can be. This morning I hunted a WMA bird for the second time this week. He was roosted about 300 yds from his last location but did the exact same thing. roosted in a river swamp that was so thick with young cabbage trees that you can’t get all that close to him or find an open enough place to call him and see more than 15yds. He gobbles his head off on the limb then flutters down and never calls again.

Mean while, I had heard a bird off in the distance at first light. He was a long ways, just within hearing. When it was clear the bird I had set up on was not coming, I decided to go to the second tom. It turned out that he was on the other side of the river but was tearing it up! He would cut my calls with his gobble and answer everything I did. He was a very killable bird except for the 350yds of water separating us.

A friend of mine roosted some birds last night but they would not gobble this morning. They moved ot a new location and found some hot birds that were really hammering. He and a friend set up on them and killed a double!

You can just never count on the mood of a turkey!

 

Saturday, Mar. 30, 2013

Thursday afternoon I threw my turkey hunting gear in my buddies truck and we headed for his lease in south Georgia. Last year we hunted there and it was outstanding! Turkeys everywhere! I have never seen so much turkey sign in such a small area. We were expecting another awesome hunt. What we found was a property almost void of turkeys! We had one gobbler to hunt and saw one hen?

We almost killed that bird twice in the same day. He gobbled good on the limb Friday morning and outstanding on Saturday morning, probably 100 times while still roosted.

Friday We heard him gobble from our camp at 12:30 pm.We grabbed our gear and took off after him.  He was gobbling at almost every call we made and cutting our calls with his own. I knew we had him hooked when he started that. He came to just within shotgun range but the shooter couldn’t get a shot.

We have no idea where all the turkeys went to? We actually ended the hunt early and headed home so as not to miss Easter….that’s a first!

 

Stretching Gobbler 3-13-13 1Tuesday, Mar. 26,2013

I hunted a guy today at Bull Creek Ranch and noticed that the Hens are breaking up into small groups and singles. We saw four single hens, one group of four and another of about five.  The odd part is that almost every gobbler we saw was either with other gobblers or jakes.

We saw 7 long beards in a day and a half of hunting and only two were with hens. Those two roosted close to 4 hens that evening but the next morning they flew 150yds out info a pasture and walked off together leaving the hens? From the roost, one of those birds gobbled 2 times and the other gobbled 9-10. However, there were some gobblers roosted about a half mile to the NE that were hammering!

The birds seem to be entering a phase where they are a little disinterested in hens?

 

Sunday, Mar. 24,2013

Gobbling was pretty much non existent here this weekend but it was just weather related. It was overcast, with a front passing thru and we had some rain on Saturday as well as Sunday. On the back end of the front the winds were really blowing! It was 20-25mph here with some higher gusts. some places reached as high as 86mph near Orlando! The weather is improving for the first part of the week and the action should get back to normal.

Here is a cool picture from last week…..

 

Natural Turkey Blind

 

Friday, Mar. 22,2013

The birds are gobbling failrly well considering the wide swings in the weather we have been having. Hearing a gobble from the roost in the afternoon this week has been a challenge due to the overcast/humidity. Thursday afternoon A hunting partner and I slipped in to a block of pines where we knew a bird would be roosting. He only gobbled one time but it was enough for us to get a decent course on him. The next morning we set up on him in the dark but he was farther around the pond from us than we figured. He gobbled 8 or 10 times on the limb then flew down and gobbled every 3-5 minutes for an hour and all of the sudden, shut up and we never got to see him. I expect he finally gobbled up a hen and followed her off.

I have noticed that the hens are beginning to split up into smaller groups this week. Right now they seem to be in small groups of 3-6 with very few single birds.

Larry S.

 

Tuesday, Mar. 19,2013

We got our hat handed to us this morning though we did call in a hen and 2 jakes that were completely fooled by the decoys. Had a bird gobbling on each side of us but never really came to us. It finally broke down and we slipped thru the woods to the next road and busted a dandy that was standing in the road. My partner for the morning spotted another gobbler just down the road but he knew something was wrong and slipped off. The road was completely cut up with strut sign. They were there strutting all morning while we were backed up to a pile of tops at a log deck about 200yds off!

Evening roosting has been limited due to cloudy conditions with higher humidity. This afternoon was breezy also and we have not heard a bird gobble from the limb in two afternoons.

Here is some strut sign from this mornings hunt….

IMG_1320Turkey Strut Sign

Jakes like the decoys 9 sm

 

Saturday, Mar 17, 2013

The Spring Gobbler season opened here on Saturday. We had an awesome first weekend! Just about froze to death though. It was close to freezing Sat. AM. I hunted by myself Saturday and got some of the best ever Turkey footage…..three strutters, one mounts a hen and stands on top of her in full strut with the others strutting right there around them.
I killed one of the sub-birds after the others finally cleared. Just a very nice 3 yr. old bird, 1″ spurs, 9 7/8″ beard, but tiny in body….I doubt he was over 15 lds. I fell into these turkeys when my initial plan broke down and they were all already on the ground. One or two of the three gobblers came to where all the action was going on, gobbling along the way. They probably gobbled 12 times or so all morning.
The dominate bird was another story. He was on the other side of an tiny island of head high palmettos all morning drumming……well over an hour and in gun range the whole time! Just about killed me! It was all I could to to pry two gobbles out of him all morning. Finally the drumming stopped and I new they were finally about to make a move. 4 hens passed by a tee in the road I was watching. After a time 4 more came out followed by three strutters! One hen squatted to be breed and the dominate birds mounted her and just stood there in full strut!! What a sight.
One of the sub-birds, frustrated by not being in on the action was off to the side putting on a show of his own! This video may require an XXX rating! Finally, some of the turkeys shuffled around and gave me an opening. it was a long 46yd shot. The video footage was exceptional (for a change) and I can’t wait to share it. I promise you’ll be impressed.
Frustrated Gobblers 1 smCabbage Creek Bird 1 sm
Incredible Turkey Strut sign 1
I scouted Saturday night and found some more birds and hunted a guy Sunday morning. He shot the Godzilla of gobblers!!!!!!! weighted 20.11lb, 1.25″ & 1.125″ spur but had FIVE BEARDS!!!!!!!!! The main beard was 11.125″. Without a doubt, the best non-typ. Osceola I have ever seen. The gobbling was off the chart! The first bird gobbled in the dark and from there it was non-stop gobbling. One of the birds gobbled at anything that made a sound. It was an awesome hunt but I got very little footage prior to the shot.
Have a look at this MONSTER…………..
The Godzilla of Osceola Turkey's 1211

Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013

Today was the opener for the (2) day, 2013 Florida Youth Spring Turkey Hunt. The weather was about perfect…..cool temp.’s, clear skies and high pressure. I hunted my 10 yr old daughter Morgan at Bull Creek Ranch and we had one incredible hunt! We arrived just as the turkeys were getting on the ground so I don’t know how well they gobbled on the limb but they gobbled pretty good on the ground. I didn’t want to try to call up the long beards as we were on a Jake hunt but when (4) strutters showed up I couldn’t help but cutt at them to get them to gobble on camera. They gave us a real show. When Morgan downed one of the Jakes, the four gobblers came running in the beat up on on the flopping turkey. Here’s a link to the video, Morgan’s Turkey. The hens were especially vocal this morning and it was pretty much non-stop turkey calling.

Though these birds strutted a lot, strut sign on the roads has been non-existent. I covered the better part of a 6500 ac tract Sunday without seeing one strut mark. One of my hunting partners found the same results from his scouting that day on a 2200 ac tract an hour away…..tons of turkey tracks but no strut sign?

I hunted Morgan again on Sunday on our own little property where a super long beard has been using with a bunch of hens. We had the gobbler come by at 12 yds, following 10 head of hens but some miss communication about the safety let him get buy without getting shot at. The whole group was headed to the neighbors and did not stop to hang around. The gobbler spent the morning strutting in the neighbors yard….out of bounds for us.

Morgans 2 hunt gobbler 1Morgans 2 hunt gobbler 2Morgans 2 hunt hen 3

Looking forward to the regular season opener on the 16th.

Larry S.

 

Wednesday, Mar. 5, 2013

The weather here in central Florida has been terrible for anything to do with turkeys for the last few weeks, cold and windy. It has not slowed down their daily routine but gobbling has been curtailed greatly. Windy, cold and falling pressure does mot make for good gobbling. Though the Early Youth season opens this coming weekend with the Regular season the following, gobblers here can still be seen in their small bachelor groups and have not split up yet to speak of. Hens are still in large groups as well.

Another interesting thing I am seeing with my time lapse cameras is that the gobblers are not following the hens around so much. Mostly seem content to be in their group, watching what is going. I regularly see one group of 4 longbeards coming and going by themselves with no hens with them. Some of the other gobblers i’ve seen on other properties are following hen groups so things don’t seem to be in full swing like you would expect. I feel like the weather is holding things up a little.

As I look out the window of my office it’s gusting 15-18 mph right now and a cold front is expected to pass through tonight.

The weekend weather looks better for the youth hunt and I’ll have my 10yr old daughter Morgan out looking for a Jake. Hopefully we’ll have a video to share. With all the jakes I have been seeing, it should be an easy hunt if we can escape detection from all the turkey eye.

Here’s some recent trail camera photo’s to drool over!

Larry S.

Osceola Turkey Flock

Osceola Jake Turkey

Fl Longbearded Turkeys 3-5-13 020

Displaying Osceola Turkey Gobbler

 

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013

I needed to run out to the ranch today and service the feeders and trail cameras. I have a camera in the corner of a pasture that has a little hammock area there that borders a creek swamp. I had just walked up to the camera when a hawk started to scream down the fence line. Just then (3) gobblers challenged his call! I never get tired of hearing that.

Apparently it’s on! The trail cameras were smoking from all the picture taking. I had over 4000 pictures to go through and there were some incredible gobbler photo’s in the bunch. The gobblers are still tolerating each other and one bunch still has (4) mature birds hanging together and all strutting!

I will add a few here and do a full post tonight with a bunch more. If you don’t get excited by these you’re hunting spirit has long since died.

It’s about time to start scouting.

Larry S.

 

Tuesday, Feb. 5,2013

I ran across a big flock of turkeys in a pasture this morning. There must have been 15 birds in the bunch including one big strutter that was in full display mode! He couldn’t have gotten any bigger if he tried. I pulled a bunch of trail camera cards this afternoon and some had turkeys and some did not. I had some really good pictures and will post more when I have time.

Tuesday Jan. 29, 2013

This is really early to see strutting gobblers but I actually saw a tom strutting with a group of hens this morning. That was about 8:30 AM and a friend called about 3:00 PM to tell me about seeing the same bird, still in full strut! This has been a very warm winter and the temp.’s more resemble April than the end of January. Tomorrow’s forcast high is for 82 degrees! Here in central Florida the maple trees are starting to put on lush bright green new leaves.  I do not recall seeing a strutting bird this early in the year before.  Of course, one eager strutting gobble does not a pregnant hen make! However, It does sound like it could start early.

Larry S.

 

Thursday Jan. 24, 2013

It is a little early to be worrying about spring turkey hunting but I was out on my Bull Creek lease prepping for a hog hunt tomorrow afternoon. As I slipped across the pasture at last light to check on a feeder, I heard the familiar sound of a distant gobble come floating across the pasture from the river swamp. It is only notable due to the time of the year. I spend a pile of time in the woods every year and can count on one hand the number of gobbles I have heard in the fall. Actually, that one just made (3) Osceola’s are notoriously tight lipped and almost never gobble outside of the spring mating season.

If a gobble was the last sound I heard on this earth….it would be o.k. with me.

Besides that, I have been seeing some large hen flocks in my travels. Hens and gobblers are separated based on sex at this time of year with the exception of an occasional Jake or two that is allowed to mix with either the hens or gobblers. However, typically even the Jakes separate into groups of immature males. Also occasionally, a mature gobbler will hang with a group of jakes. Pretty interesting.

Here is a pic of one of the trophy gobblers that has been using one of my feeders lately.

Larry S.

Thurs. , Nov. 8, 2012

We just spent 10 days bow hunting for whitetails on our lease in west central Illinois. The Hunt was great as far as shooter buck sightings but we saw very few young bucks and does. As a matter of fact it was some of the least movement I can remember seeing in the 11 years we have been leasing that farm.

Like wise, the turkey sightings have been almost zero. It has been so bad we have not turkey hunted it in 3-4 years now. Not sure what is going on. We see a few gobblers but never see a hen turkey any more. I don’t think I have seen a hen in 5 years?

This is the only photo of a turkey I got off the trail cameras on this hunt and I had five cameras running.

 

Fri. , Oct. 14, 2012

I guided a hog hunt at Bull Creek over the weekend and the Turkeys were everywhere. The owner related that when all three or four flocks get together in the pasture they number nearly 100 birds! Incredible. There are at least 13 long beards, 12 jakes and the rest are hens with their surviving young. They are just hanging around, picking and being turkeys. Here’s a few pic’s from the Hog hunt.

 

Mon. , Sept. 17, 2012

As usual for this time of year the turkeys are keeping a low profile. I have not run into any toms in my travels lately but the hens and poults have been a little visible and showing up at the deer feeders to pick up a little corn. I have four mature hens using at my property and frequenting the feeder there. I have another feeder at my hunting club that a bear just tore down and there were 4-5 birds coming to it also.

Bow season has just opened here in Florida but since the State placed turkey hens off limits it has curtailed a lot of interest in fall turkey hunting.

 

Mon. , July 16, 2012

One of my hunting close Buddies was out servicing his trail cameras and drove up on a hen that had just hatched off a clutch of young poults! He reported that you could hardly see them in the grass and could not have been more than 3-4 days old. It is getting pretty late in the year to be hatching turkeys but a hen that has had her nest destroyed, etc. can nest up to three times in a single season though I think it’s a little uncommon.

Rick did have some interesting pic’s of a hen with a few spotted fawn.
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Tues., June 26, 2012

It looks like this years new turkey poults are doing well. The weather here in central florida was dry and favorable for the young turkey hatchlings. Wet weather really takes a toll on the little guys if it arrives to early. I took some time this morning to video 3 hens with 6-7 half grown poults out picking seed heads and bugs in a field between rain showers. They were over 150 yds distant so the video is not great. I clipped this frame out of the video of one of the hens and four poults. Most of the birds that have made it this far should make it.

 

Sat. May 19,2012

I ran into a Bachelor group of Monster Gobblers This Morning. Every one of them was just as big as an Osceola can get. I was able to video them for 15 minutes or so and watch them preening and stripping seed heads. I called at them a little, natural voice but couldn’t get them to respond though two of them did walk over to the truck and came as close a 30yds. Obviously, the breeding is all but over since the mature birds are grouping back up. I expect the odd hen that lost her clutch or had her nest destroyed by varmints may breed again but other than that it is over for this year! Good luck to the new Poults…..they’ll need it!

.


Look at the hooks on the bird on the right!

 

Fri. May 18, 2012

I finally was able to get some new poults in front of one of my cameras! They look to be a week and a half to two weeks old. They have some really good natural camouflage and really blend in with the ground cover in the photo’s. Here are a couple of photo’s of them.

Click on the thumbnail to expand to a detailed photo!

Thurs. May 17, 2012

I pulled some trail camera cards this afternoon and walked in on about 8 turkeys milling around the roost just before fly-up. Looked like 5-6 jakes and 2-3 hens. Did not see and Poults and No hens have showed up in front of the cam’s with any. The Jake’s beards have grown noticeably since the season closed. The Long beards are still showing up also.

 

 

Wed. May 9, 2012

I was on my way home from work this afternoon and it was maybe an hour before dark when I noticed something in the road up ahead, a 150yds or so. Pretty quickly I realized it was a turkey but is was moving a little odd and really crossing the road at a snails pace. As I got closer I realized why…. She had two newly hatched poults that were no more than 3 days old. I tried to get a little video but they got in the bushes before I could get the camera rolling.

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