We may be looking at an early spring in 2017. Some seasons are underway and hunter success has been good so far. Casen
Holmes took a nice gobbler this morning (3-11-17) during the Mississippi youth season. Reports out of Mississippi indicate good gobbling on the limb with some activity after fly down. Turkeys have broken in to smaller groups making them easier to hunt. Warm weather may impact the birds to some degree but it’s usually minimal. Many folks with season openers in early April are nervous but have no fear-turkeys will still be turkeys and we’ll be chasing them regardless.
We’ll be leaving for Mississippi Monday or Tuesday of this week and I couldn’t be more excited. Hunting pressure will be an issue on this trip. Here’s what we plan to do.
#1 – Hunt during the week. We talk about this all the time but only because it works. Many folks will hunt before work but only for an hour or so. The mid morning time period should be good. We’ll have the luxury of hunting all day on this trip and the good thing with early season birds is they don’t travel far. Many will fly down and go quiet with hens but move slow for the rest of the day. I hope we can get tight to a flock off the roost and stay with them until we get the right setup.
#2 – Scouting is key. My plan is to get down there a day before the opener so we can scout. Listening at first light and dusk is a must during the early season because these are the two times when the birds are vocal. Midday gobbling can be non-existent before the hens start to nest. If we can pinpoint several roosted birds on the first day while scouting, it will afford us several options for opening day. This is a huge area we’ll be hunting (150,000 acres). Finding birds that aren’t getting hunted will take gas money and time. Creeks and burnt areas should be good this time of year. Right now hens are in search of the first green protein of the spring. These areas should have more forage than others.
#3 – Setup comes first, calling comes second. Most hunters will be calling to roosted gobblers as they wake up and give away their position. This may work some but most of these toms will fly down with hens and go quiet. The trick will be gaining the best position on these birds without making a sound. In open terrain this will be tough. This is where we’ll lean on our scouting once again. Any creeks, depressions, or thick cover may aid us in moving on the birds.
This should be a tough but fun hunt. Public land in the South is a turkey hunter’s paradise.