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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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