Turkey Tuesday: Signs of Spring, Predation and History

I’m fortunate to have a good friend with property who lets me hunt there a few times each season, and after several years I’ve learned a lot about the terrain and turkeys.

In short, I think his Alabama turkeys have lockjaw. They are among the most quiet birds I’ve ever encountered. I know they are not being legally hunted so pressure can’t be an issue. But since my friend’s land is in rural Alabama and not visited regularly, I’m sure some folks have slipped in during the turkey and deer seasons. He’s even caught some of them on game cameras before.

But I still don’t believe the poaching pressure is even that bad. When I go, I don’t see other tracks in the road or evidence of folks. Some poachers are stupid and leave shotgun hulls or little bits of evidence; a tobacco can or cigarette butts, a water bottle, something. And I haven’t found any of those signs.

I just think the turkeys on this property are quiet. I’ve had encounters with some gobblers. Some of the wooded land is thick — too thick for me to push through without sounding like a Velcro-wearing Sasquatch stomping through briars. So I have to work the fringes, work the fields, listen, call, cajole, hope and keep trying.

That’s one reason I love it. Spring is another, because everything’s bursting forth. Here are some photos from my recent hunt. Maybe I’ll have some of a dead gobbler soon.

SEE ALSO: Be sure to check out the Great Gobbler Pack for some cool hunting info!

Buckeye is one of the first plants to bloom in spring in Alabama and one of the prettiest.

Buckeye is one of the first plants to bloom in spring in Alabama and one of the prettiest.

Yucca grows in Alabama, which may seem strange but it's not an uncommon plant in the Southeast. Each one of these tips has a sharp spine, too, and those suckers hurt!

Yucca grows in Alabama, which may seem strange but it’s not an uncommon plant in the Southeast. Each one of these tips has a sharp spine, too, and those suckers hurt!

Fire ants suck. That's just about all I can say about that.

Fire ants suck. That’s just about all I can say about that. This is a small mound probably 10 inches high. Fire ants reportedly came to the Southeast via cargo ships from Central or South America many decades ago. They’re evil little critters.

SEE ALSO: How about a new turkey call and cool tips?

My camo doesn't match and I have way too many turkey calls; boxes, slates and mouth calls. But I like to have a little variety. And I don't care if someone doesn't like my camo or thinks anything about it not matching.

My camo doesn’t match and I have way too many turkey calls; boxes, slates and mouth calls. But I like to have a little variety. And I don’t care if someone doesn’t like my camo or thinks anything about it not matching.

The property where I hunt has an area where I can find these old "oyster" fossils pretty easily. Some are whole, some are broken. The terrain in the area is different; red clay and what we call white clay, although it's chalky. Anyway, these shells are found in the white chalky mess that probably is a layer of old seashells and critters from millions of years ago.

The property where I hunt has an area where I can find these old “oyster” fossils pretty easily. Some are whole, some are broken. The terrain in the area is different; red clay and what we call white clay, although it’s chalky. Anyway, these shells are found in the white chalky mess that probably is a layer of old seashells and critters from millions of years ago.

The underside of one of these fossil oysters. I've never seen a black one like this. I have a couple of these "oysters" from Ray Scott's land over south of Montgomery and they're almost as big as my fist. The amount of calcium in this layer of soil and south to the Gulf of Mexico must be remarkable.

The underside of one of these fossil oysters. I’ve never seen a black one like this. I have a couple of these “oysters” from Ray Scott’s land over south of Montgomery and they’re almost as big as my fist. The amount of calcium in this layer of soil and south to the Gulf of Mexico must be remarkable.

Don't overlook the tiny forest wildflowers. When you're in the woods, enjoy everything. Don't take them for granted.

Don’t overlook the tiny forest wildflowers. When you’re in the woods, enjoy everything. Don’t take them for granted.

SEE ALSO: Great turkey hunting tips and tactics from some of the best callers and hunters!

Hen poo is a good sign because, usually, in early spring when the hens are around then the gobblers won't be too far behind. This roadside poo sign wasn't too far from a set of tracks from a gobbler and hen.

Hen poo is a good sign because, usually, in early spring when the hens are around then the gobblers won’t be too far behind. This roadside poo sign wasn’t too far from a set of tracks from a gobbler and hen.

Spanish moss is a type of air fern that grows in certain coastal climates. In Alabama it grows in trees to about Montgomery or so, but not terribly much farther north. of there. It's kind of creepy and cool. I like it.

Spanish moss is a type of air fern that grows in certain coastal climates. In Alabama it grows in trees to about Montgomery or so, but not terribly much farther north. of there. It’s kind of creepy and cool. I like it.

I'm unsure what killed this turkey. I found it in the woods where I've heard turkeys gobble before but never have really pushed in to see what was there. This time I did, found this and couldn't really determine much. The two white bones are its wing joints and part of the breast bone. There wasn't anything else. I figure a coyote may have torn it apart and then whatever was left, the maggots finished.  Mother Nature isn't always kind.

I’m unsure what killed this turkey. I found it in the woods where I’ve heard turkeys gobble before but never have really pushed in to see what was there. This time I did, found this and couldn’t really determine much. The two white bones are its wing joints and part of the breast bone. There wasn’t anything else. I figure a coyote may have torn it apart and then whatever was left, the maggots finished. Mother Nature isn’t always kind.

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