On Feburary 26th,
Texas Parks and Wildlife put on a Turkey Workshop for it's volunteer
instructors. This class was held in New Caney and hosted by Duke Walton, an
area chief. The class covered turkey habitat, hunting techniques, and calling
just name a few subjects.
Did you know there
are over 6 million wild turkey in the United States? This due in large part to
organizations such as The National Wild Turkey Federation and sportsmen just
like us. Were you aware that 15% of all hens are bearded? Or that there is a
70% loss of the population due to predators?
There are 5
sub-species of turkey in the U.S.; Oceola, Eastern, Rio Grande, Mariems and
Goulds. And there is the Ocelated turkey in South America.
Turkeys have very
poor night vision, but excellent day vision. And their hearing is second only
to their sight. It was mentioned in the workshop that if turkeys could smell as
well as deer do, we would never see them. As far as calling one, not just any
old scatch on a slate or box call works. A turkey can make 28 different sounds
and can do 13 different ones in 10 seconds. In all, this class was a great
lead-up to my turkey hunt.
As with any hunting,
you need to practice. Practice calling. Research hunting area.
Pattern your shotgun!You need to
know what your gun can do at what distance with the ammo you select. If you
don't pattern and learn your shotgun, don't be upset when that turkey isn't
around after you pull the trigger.