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Hunting Diaries

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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Posted by David Shashy on 04/28 at 09:51 AM
Hunting Diaries Strut ReportPermalink

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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Posted by David Shashy on 04/16 at 10:50 AM
Hunting Diaries Strut ReportPermalink

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


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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Posted by Mark Newell on 04/13 at 02:16 PM
Hunting Diaries Strut ReportPermalink

Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Strut Report - Central Florida - April 7, 2014


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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Posted by David Shashy on 04/07 at 10:24 AM
Hunting Diaries Strut ReportPermalink

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Tecomate Rut Report - Eastern MT - November 11, 2014


Dr. Ed Nighbert took a great old 10 point that was in hot pursuit of a doe late on Saturday afternoon in Eastern Montana. During the week that Ed and I spent hunting the river bottoms rut activity appeared to be progressing daily. We enjoyed moderate temps for the area during our stay with no significant weather changes during our hunt. There is a strong winter storm just hitting the Eastern Montana area today.

Significant snow and frigid temperatures are predicted. Hopefully the weather change will help get the rut cranked up into the frenzy level as Tecomate’s David Morris will head for Eastern Montana later this week Montana with Eric Lundgren of Remington Arms for what may be a perfectly timed rut hunt for big whitetails or mulies, hunters choice.

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Posted by David Shashy on 11/11 at 12:07 PM
Rut Report Hunting Diaries • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, November 10, 2014
Tecomate Rut Report - Eastern Montana - 11/10/14


It’s been a terrific first two days hunting in Eastern Montana with Bill Perkins of Perkins Outfitting out of Miles City Montana. And the bucks here are off and running. Dr. Ed Nighbert and I are sharing camp for four days. Right now it’s Ed’s turn. We are hoping that Ed bags his big Montana buck sometime during the next 48 hours.

Yesterday I took a great old Montana river bottom 10-point that was likely 7 years old plus. My buck and his running buddies were busy trailing and bird-dogging does in a nearby alfalfa field at daylight yesterday. He got past me during the first morning hunt but reappeared from the tall grass surrounding the alfalfa field late the same afternoon. I was fortunate to get a pair of Leupold cross hairs the buck’s vitals at 180 yards. My Remington 700 7mm Rem Mag did the job from
a rock solid bench style rest consisting of two Bog Pod tripods set up in my ground blind.

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Posted by David Shashy on 11/10 at 11:03 AM
Rut Report Hunting Diaries • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, October 23, 2014
2014 Early Season Whitetail Adventures – Central Kansas & South Texas


David Morris and I started off our 2014 seasons in Central Kansas in mid September, hunting big whitetails with outfitter Larry Ellis of Extreme Wildlife Adventures. Our early season muzzleloader hunt with Larry was terrific! And it was capped off by David and me both taking great bucks on the next to the last day of the hunt with our Traditions Striker Fire 50 cal muzzleloader rifles. In addition Bubba Belk of Sheridan Montana took a true world class giant of a buck on the last afternoon that taped out at over 232” gross B&C. All the action was captured on Tecomate TV

My Leupold rangefinder called the distance to my heavy beamed Kansas 6 x 4, 150 yards, so I held on center of the broadside buck`s heart/lung area while taking a bench-rest style brace on two Bog Pods in my ground blind, rock solid! Try it you`ll like it. The Traditions Smack-Down 250 grain bullet propelled by 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 muzzleloader powder hit its mark precisely. Great hunt!

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Posted by David Shashy on 10/23 at 02:08 PM
Featured Articles Hunting Diaries • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Tecomate Hunt Update – TX – Oct 14, 2014

“Bowhunting this morning on some TX finest open range whitetail turf. 77 degrees, humid, wind steady out of the south. Exciting!
First cold front of the year to pass thru midday. Temps should be down in the 50’s tonight, wind shift to north. Deer should move”

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Posted by David Shashy on 10/14 at 11:20 AM
Rut Report Hunting Diaries • (0) CommentsPermalink

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