When I look back at Turkey Camp 2017, there are two things that immediately come to mind and they’re both the weather. The weather was uncommonly warm this season.The harvest in our county was down, and I can only think the weather had something to do with it.
It was a record mild winter. That gave the turkeys a leg up. I am fairly sure we had more survive the winter than average. It also meant things were a little accelerated. However, rather than moving everything evenly forward a couple of weeks like it did the flowers, the warm weather made the turkey’s normal breeding pattern a rather slap-dash herky-jerky affair. I saw hens obviously nesting in March instead of mid-April. I never did see the big flocks build and break up. I seldom saw turkeys in their normal places. There was more breeding action in the afternoons than the mornings. It was all sort of on its head from the get-go.
Another thing: I don’t know if there was something wrong, but all the turkeys we took in had relatively empty crops and very little fat. I blame the weather.
I tagged out. SuperCore and Angus each got one and left one tag unfilled. Angus had a running battle with one gobbler that lasted over the last two days. We think it was the Virginia Rambler that I connected with in a pre-season scouting trip. You heard his grandfather on one of my Podcasts back in 2012:
This fellow basically took over the role of boss gob from the bird I nailed on the Opener, and was pestering the same crew of hens throughout the season. I tracked the gob for Angus and put him onto him. Angus had the bird coming to him two-days running, but in each instance, the bird went silent. Angus got up to re-position and came eye-to-eye with the turkey at close range. Patience is a virtue.
We had no major changes in gear this year, except I started carrying a new turkey purse. It is a Rothco Tactical bag. It did a great job. I’m going to retire the old bag. It was starting to show its age.
The other piece of gear I want to crow about is my knife, the fixed blade Buck #?. I went through two deer seasons and two turkey seasons and it only started to dull up after the first turkey this year. That’s 4 deer and 3 turkeys on one sharpening.
SuperCore got a bird this year. He is now using an ATV to get back and forth to his blind. He parks the quad next to the blind and puts a camo cover over it. His gobbler walked out of the treeline at 12 yards. Granted, he was on the side of the blind opposed to where the quad was parked, but he did walk within 20 yards of a parked ATV. If you are looking for examples of whether a parked quad scares turkeys, here is at least one data point.