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Strut Report

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Tecomate Strut Report – Central TN - April 25th

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Returning to TN to take another crack at these stubborn birds, we were greeted with rain, fog and wind our first two days. But with the weather clearing up on Sunday, I was able to get one on the ground finally around noon, getting out in front of this nice longbeard who would not leave his two hens. Riding high into Monday morning, I was able to decoy stalk my second bird in a huge field. We spotted him about 10 am strutting hard with a hen. After an hour of crawling behind the strutter decoy, I finally got within his comfort zone and he came charging. I eased out from behind the decoy when he cleared the 20 yard mark and put him down…it is an incredible way to hunt these field birds! And it was my heaviest bird to date, weighing a little over 24.5 pounds. Its always a blast to get to hunt the turkey rich area of south central TN and I hope to go back again next year! With my home state of Alabama’s season coming to a close this week, I am having to hang up the turkey vest and calls for another year. Good luck to all of those who still have time left in their season to chase these incredible animals.

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Posted by Bowen Slade on 04/29 at 11:23 AM
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Tecomate Strut Report - Kentucky - April 22, 2015

Despite lots of gobbling the eastern gobblers of Central Kentucky proved to be invincible for me on opening weekend this spring. I enjoyed 3 days of chasing these big birds in the hills, hardwoods, and river bottoms of the Blue Grass State about 45 minutes out of Lexington. I was treated to some terrific southern hospitality by my friends and hosts Dr. Ed Nighbert and his brother Bill at their family farm.

The Kentucky season opener, Saturday morning 4/17, was the only day of good weather that we encountered during our three days at the Nighbert camp. We all heard numerous gobblers at daylight, only to have gobblers shut down quickly after flying down. None of us came close the first day. We each heard multiple gobblers at daylight. They all failed to work with us. The most responsive gobbler I heard was a mature gobbler across the river from the Nighbert farm who refused to fly across the the 60 ft wide waterway. He was present, and vocally accounted for, sounding lonely morning, noon, and late afternoon that first day. Each time I passed within earshot he felt obliged to remind me of his presence. He may as well have been miles out of hearing as my efforts to coax him across the swift flowing waters of the Chaplin River amounted only to wasted time and frustration.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Tecomate Strut Report – Middle TN – April 22, 2015

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Well it’s back to Middle Tennessee for our annual voyage along the Duck River in pursuit of some big gobblers. This year was not as productive as in the past with fewer turkey sightings and a lot less gobbling heard. But my friend, Chris, and I hunted hard for two days and managed to scratch up three good gobblers. Staying in areas all day where we knew turkeys like to be and just simply being patient is what rewarded us our harvests this year. I did kill one of my biggest birds to date: a 22#, 10” beard, and 1 5/8” spurred giant.

Be patient, hunt hard, and don’t give up. You to will soon be carrying out a giant gobbler over your shoulder.

God Bless and Happy Hunting.

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Posted by Mark Newell on 04/22 at 03:45 PM
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Thursday, April 16, 2015
Tecomate Strut Report - Texas Hill Country Rio Grande Gobblers – April 16, 2015

It was revenge of the Rio`s for me this past weekend at Bill Carter’s extraordinary Apache Springs Ranch. Scores of Bill`s old devious gobblers did their level best to frustrate me during my 48 hour visit to this gobbler hunter`s utopia. After last year’s hunt, when it seemed I could do no wrong, the tables turned 180 degrees for most of my weekend. Rio`s aren’t easy. I blew one opportunity after the other, running off multiple mature Rio’s that are likely still laughing. I think most of my problems stemmed from over estimating the distance to gobbling birds, moving in too close, and inadvertently bumping them. To me, gobblers in fairly open cover, like the hill country, often sound farther away than they really are. It’s a different sound than gobblers in the timbered area where I am most used to hunting them, in the southeast and Florida. Yeah, I know, it’s a personal problem.

I heard gobblers every time out, each morning and afternoon, lots of them. But bringing them in, within 30 yards for sure shot, proved to be problematic. Friday afternoon began in a familiar pasture that holds lots of gobblers. I called and was immediately answered. Then, after 45 minutes of silence I got caught shifting positions by a huge gobbler that was sneaking in silent. Next, just minutes later, I proceeded to bump a whole group of responding gobblers by trying to move in and get set up at what I thought was a safe distance - wrong, too close. They saw me and scattered.

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Monday, April 13, 2015
Tecomate Strut Report – South FL – April 13, 2015

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Oak Hammocks, Orange Groves, and Osceola Gobblers!!

For several years the elusive Osceola sub-species of wild turkey has been the only bird holding me back from completing my Slam. The Grand Slam of wild turkeys consists of harvesting the four sub-species of turkeys that are located in the United States. They are the Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam’s, and Osceola. The coveted Osceola is typically the hardest one to take due to its small range where it calls home, which is found only on Florida’s peninsula.

We were hunting just southwest of iconic Lake Okeechobee and less than a mile from the Everglades. The view during the drive in the afternoon before the hunt made up of primarily sugar cane fields as for as the eye could see. That soon changed when we got closer to our hunting destination, which consisted of small patches of old oak tree hammocks with Spanish moss hanging down and large cypress heads with big palmettos underneath. It was a beautiful sight to say the least.

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Tecomate Strut Report – Central TN - April 13, 2015

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Well with the AL turkeys giving me a hard time still, I decided to stop in and hunt with a friend from central TN last weekend. Even in the rain and wind, we had multiple birds gobbling off the roost. However, they were with hens and flew across the river so we decided to move spots around 7:30. We spotted two strutters pulling up to the next farm and the stalk was on. With a hen keeping the toms attention off us, we crawled down a ditch and got within 80 yards of the two toms. We hit the end of the ditch and threw up the strutter decoy. Only one of the birds decided to ease our way to check out the intruder, but we were able to put him down at 30 yards. It was a nice 3 year old bird weighing 21 pounds with 1 1/8 spurs.

Great morning hunt and I can’t wait to go back and hunt the beautiful hills of TN soon! The Alabama birds have been awfully quiet with a constant string of bad rain and wind, mixed with foggy mornings. It seems like a feat just to hear a bird gobble on the roost! But with hens starting to nest, the toms will be lonely after mid-morning and may start to be more vocal in the next week or two. Regardless, I will stay after these AL birds until I get one on the ground!

Bowen Slade - Tecomate Accounts Manager

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Posted by Bowen Slade on 04/13 at 12:46 PM
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Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Strut Report - Central Florida - April 7, 2014

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You don’t know how happy I am to present this report. Gobbling action was strong Saturday morning in a Central Florida near the tree where I sat. I heard 3 different gobblers all of which were very vocal and all seemed to be headed my way shortly after daylight. One great old Osceola gobbled roosting nearby gobbled almost continually, both before and after he pitched down in easy shotgun range. The only problem, of course I was set up with shotgun pointed the wrong direction. I was well hidden and fortunately the gobbler was patient enough to let me contort for the 20 yard shot. Finally I had my 2015 spring gobbler. He has great hooks, around 1.5”, and a 10.5” beard. While only weighing in at 16 pounds I am still convinced, by his long sharp spurs, that he is a 4+ year old bird.

All last week I observed gobblers along the highways and back country roads around my home while I traveled for work. Prior to Saturday gobbling action has been thin. Nearly all gobblers that I encountered last week were in the company of hens. Quite few hunters I have spoken with are only hearing gobblers early on the roost locally, with gobbling subsiding soon after fly down.

But it’s far from over here. Plenty of time left here! Hoping for some cooler and less humid weather soon.

Good luck hunting!

Be safe!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Strut Report – South TX – March 31, 2015

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As predicted, the hunting this turkey season is hot and heavy right now in south Texas.  Gobblers are everywhere and looking for love.  The only issues you might encounter are hens, but sometimes (and I do mean sometimes), things go just as you plan them.

My wife Dani and I set up downwind of a big group of birds on their roost this morning and had an incredible hunt! With 5 gobblers in sight down a sendero, Dani’s big three year old Tom sneaked in quietly; only giving himself away when he went to full strut so close you could almost feel it. Due to the wind, the big boy was about to continue on past us en route to the invisible hen he had been listening to, and Dani stopped him cold at around 10 steps.

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Posted by Hardy Jackson on 03/31 at 11:12 AM
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