I have written many articles on equipment, techniques and how to’s, so know I am going to put a lot of this valuable information to the test and spend this Wild Turkey hunting season in pursuit of one of the most elusive of the Grand Slam Turkeys, the Osceola.
If you have no clue what an Osceola Turkey is, or where it is found, this isn’t really the article for you as I will go into those details in another piece. This article is for those individuals who are established Turkey hunters who are preparing for the upcoming season and pretty much know where and how they plan to proceed. It’s meant to just tweak their realm of possibilities and tell my ongoing quest as well.
So here we go. For the past two years I have not been able to secure private land to hunt so I was forced to endure the large number of crazies that head out to the public land such as JW Corbett and Three Lakes, in South Florida to try and take a bird. Now don’t get me wrong, there are quite a few established and excellent hunters who consistently take birds off these wildlife management areas, I unfortunately am not one of them. But, I have learned some techniques that may help those who know the routines, but are still coming up a bit short. I remember sitting against a cypress tree at an ungodly early hour, at what I thought was the perfect set up, only to have three rather large men carrying an aluminum ladder through the woods making enough noise to drown out a marching band. Not fun!
OK, so here is a great tip I learned, please comment on this if you think it makes sense as I have thought about this possibility and feel it is one of the reasons some consistently harvest birds while others do not. First, as usual you must not only know that birds are in the area, but also prior scouting should also give you some indication of their patterns. They quite often follow a predictable pattern after flying down from the roost, and on private land or lightly hunted land you can put yourself in an interceptor position to take advantage of them. Or, you can run and gun with out being cursed or shot at for interrupting another’s hunt. This is pretty much on par with some guy walking through the woods and blowing your favorite decoy to bits.
So here’s my plan for this year, if I am hunting on public land. Having already scouted the area and knowing the possible patterns of the birds and where a vast majority of other hunters will be moving through, I am planning on hunting the birds, not so much on where they usually will want to go, but where the other hunters might possibly push them! So this weekend I will start looking at angles and trails and paths of least resistance that the elusive Osceola Turkey would consider moving through to give a wide berth to the throngs of hunters that will be in the woods this season. So what do ya think? Or am I merely putting myself in the crosshairs of someone’s scope? Last tidbit of info although most know this already; do not practice your calling where you will be hunting! If you are as bad with a mouth call as I am, you are merely telling a Wild Turkey that you are there and conditioning him to run at that sound.
By the way, this year I have been able to get hunting rights on a 250 acre piece of land that is used for cattle. The edge of which is adjoining a popular WMA. I will keep you informed of my progress in hopes of bagging the elusive Osceola Turkey!