Make Your Turkey Hunt a Success: March Newsletter
Make Your Turkey Hunt a Success
Now that the spring turkey season is in full swing, it’s a great time to refresh yourself with some great turkey hunting tips. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Ron Eakes wrote a comprehensive article about the steps necessary to bag a big gobbler.
Click on the photo for a video from OutdoorAlabama.com by Ron Jolly on sighting your shotgun, a critical step in preparing for a successful hunt. And, here are a few of the great tips from Ron’s article that should pay off once you’re in the woods.
Because wild turkeys have such keen vision, camouflage is almost a must to avoid being seen. This normally includes a camo suit, cap, facemask and gloves. Don’t forget to wear dark colored socks so that they don’t show when you sit down. Always remember: Controlling movement is most important regardless of how well you are camouflaged.
The best shotgun and ammunition for turkey hunting is the combination that delivers a dense, hard-hitting pattern at 40-45 yards. Most hunters use larger gauges (12 or 10 gauge) with tight chokes (full or extra full). Shells are usually 3 or 3 ½ inch magnums loaded with #4, #5 or #6 size shot. The smaller the shot size (the larger the number), the greater the number of pellets in a shell. However, the smaller pellets weigh less, carry less energy and provide less penetration at longer distances than pellets of a larger shot size.
Good calling and knowing when to call are often critical keys to success in turkey hunting. Hunters typically imitate hens to call a gobbler into gun range. Hens make a variety of calls: yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs and whines. The best way to learn to call is to practice with an experienced turkey hunter or to purchase an instructional video or audio cassette and then practice the calls taught by the instructor. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in each of these calls to have success in turkey hunting. Gaining a good command of yelps and clucks will be of most benefit to new turkey hunters.
Read all of Ron’s article at this link and good luck on your Black Belt hunt!
Enter Our Big Gobbler Photo Contest
Our seventh annual Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Big Gobbler Photo Contest is underway now through the end of the spring season at our website. When you bag that big gobbler, shoot a photo and upload it to us at AlabamaBlackBeltAdventures.org/biggobblercontest for a chance to win a prize package worth $175.
The winner, determined by the number of votes received at the web page listed above, will win a handcrafted Jager Call with striker, a Jager Calls T-shirt, a Summit Predator Blind and a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent. Jager Calls owner Josh Cumbee is the sponsor of this year’s contest, which is open to photos of turkeys taken during the 2018-19 season in one of the 23 Alabama Black Belt counties.
You can enter one photo in the contest and everyone can vote once per day on any photo. The deadline is the end of the season – April 30. The Big Gobbler winners from the 2017-18 and 2016-17 seasons are not eligible.
Visit our website for information on public hunting areas in the Black Belt as well as checking out our list of outfitters and lodges that offer great full-service hunting options at alabamablackbeltadventures.org/outfitters-lodges.
Prime Crappie Time in the Black Belt
March and April are thought to be the prime time to fish for crappie, so if you haven’t been busy in the waters of the Black Belt now’s the time. Our friends at Great Days Outdoors can always be counted on to share some great insight on fishing and hunting in the Black Belt region – and beyond.
Greg McCain has an excellent article at Great Days, “Spring Crappie on the Beds.” In it, Greg points out that for the “… average fisherman, crappie are easiest to locate and to catch during the spawn. They can be reached from bank or boat in relatively shallow water. The fish typically return to some of the same areas each year to spawn. Most of the crappie are feeding aggressively until the actual process of laying and fertilizing eggs. The males, in particular, remain aggressive for days or even weeks after the spawn as they guard eggs and maturing fry.”
Be sure to read the entire article at the link above and find you a great spot for a mess of crappie.
Eufaula Pilgrimage Marks 54th Year
Alabama’s oldest tour of homes is April 5-7 and features more than 700 structures listed on the National Register. Each spring, the city of Eufaula opens its doors to share this historical wealth – the year, for the 54th time.
Visitors are encouraged to take guided tours of homes and sites. There will also be an art show, concerts, a wax museum and much more. Events run from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Visit EufaulaPilgrimage.com for more information.
Civil War Walking Tour at Old Cahawba
A guided tour of Castle Morgan, the old prisoners of war camp at Old Cahawba, will be Saturday, April 6, from 10 until 11 a.m. The tour guide will share information about the POW camp and the plight of the unfortunate soldiers held there. This walking tour will also explore how the town’s residents dealt with hardships from the war while many of the men from the area were never to return from battle.