TIPS FROM DIXIE'S TOP TURKEY HUNTERS
Successful Turkey Tactics with Eddie Salter
NOTE: If you hunt turkeys in the South, you have
to deal with several subspecies of birds under different hunting conditions
and a wide variety of terrain. In ...
* Florida, you'll hunt palmetto swamps and pastures,
* Virginia, you'll hunt the mountains and the valleys,
* Texas, you'll hunt arid desert lands,
* Mississippi and Louisiana, you'll hunt along flood plains,
* Alabama, you may hunt pine plantations,
* many sections of the country, you'll hunt crop lands and
* other regions you'll hunt in deep woods. To have success hunting turkeys
in the South, you must use various tactics and understand the differences
in the turkeys and the terrain you hunt. I've interviewed some of Dixie's
top turkey hunters to give you situations and strategies that will help
you take more toms this spring.
'EM IN THE PINES WITH EDDIE SALTER, WORLD TURKEY CALLING CHAMPION AND
MEMBER OF HUNTER'S SPECIALTIES PRO HUNT TEAM:
QUESTION: Why would anyone hunt turkeys in a pine plantation,
since they often resemble biological deserts?
EDDIE SALTER OF EVERGREN, ALABAMA: One of the best places to take a really
big gobbler during the spring of the year is in pine plantations. Most
turkey hunters overlook hunting the pines because they don't believe there's
a food source in the pines for the turkeys. But you'll often find blackberries,
mushrooms and little green sprouts growing under the pines. Too, if the
pines have been burned, you'll see plenty of young growth a turkey can
feed on, and that's why turkeys will hold and feed in the pines. I'm convinced
that some of the best turkey hunting in the South often is in a stand
of 10- to 15-year-old pines. One of the advantages of hunting pine plantations
is that they usually have roads or firebreaks all the way around the pines.
If you hear a tom gobble, you can get to him quickly. Of course, one of
the disadvantages of hunting pine plantations, particularly if the ground
under the pines have been burned, is that the turkeys can spot you easily.
So you may have to build some kind of quick blind to keep the turkey from
seeing you when he comes in to where you are. Also, because the pines
are so thick, you often can't hear a turkey gobble as loudly as you will
if you're in the mountains or the open woods.
you hear a turkey gobblin' in the pines, get as close to him as you can
by traveling on the road outside the pines. Go three or four rows into
the pines before you start to call to him to insure that you have back
cover. Expect to see the gobbler before you can hear him, since even a
big turkey can move silently on pine needles. As soon as you get a clear
shot within range, take it. That turkey will spook easily when he spots
something that's not the same diameter as a young pine tree in front of
him. But if you want to locate turkeys this spring that few other hunters
will find, then hunt the pines.
To learn more about John E. Phillips' turkey-hunting
books, click here.
TOMORROW: CECIL CARDER AND ALLEN JENKINS