Tag Archive: turkey

Talkin’ Toms in Fauquier County (Guest Post)

One has to be careful during the Virgina Spring Gobbler season because if you blink you could literally miss it. The majority of the season only allows for birds to be taken before noon followed by just two weeks of full-day hunting. Unlike last years deer season, I haven’t been able to get in the woods as much as I’d like too. I was fortunate enough to take a trip with Will Jenkins up to Highland County VA to chase some birds and trout fish for a few days. Although we didn’t punch any tags we had a great time in the mountains, you can read more about our trip on Will’s blog in his two part article Hunting Highland.

A few days after our hunt, I received an email from one of our Virginia Huntography readers, Regg Simmons, a turkey hunter that has kept his eyes wide open so far this season. Simmons was happy to tell me that the turkey hunting was “hot and heavy” in northern Virginia. The photos that accompanied his email didn’t lie. With two great gobblers on the ground within a week of opening day, I’d say Simmons having one of the best spring seasons of anyone I know. I asked him if he’d like to recount his season thus far and he kindly obliged. So without further ado here is his story…

On the morning of April 13th I rose at 3:00 AM to make the drive from Manassas to my hunting spot in Fauquier County. It was a long cold, hike up towards the crest of Naked Mountain where I set my single hen decoy and settled in to a pile of cut timber to await the coming of dawn and the start of the 2013 Spring Gobbler Season. Toms were answering owl calls by gobbling on the roost at 5:30 AM so I knew things could interesting once the sun came up. With sunrise the birds got all fired up – 5 Toms gobbling at all points on the compass. I was sitting in Tom central ! By 6:00 AM I had a Tom in sight at 100 yards – strutting and gobbling like crazy answering the yelps and purrs coming from my long box and diaphragm calls. Well that Tom was locked up at about 80 yards when off to my right, just over a rise and out of sight, came thundering gobbles from at least two more Toms. A few soft purrs from the diaphragm was the deal closer – over the rise came three Toms, with the biggest boy leading the pack. When they crested the rise and spotted my hen decoy all three Toms went into full strut, spitting & drumming making a beeline for the fake hen. As they closed the distance I had my Remington 870 locked on the leader of the pack. A round of Hevi-Shot Turkey load sealed the deal with the Tom at 18 yards. One of the surviving Toms flew away while the other ran a short distance then stopped to survey the scene. Just for fun, a few soft purrs called him right back in to gun range but of course he would have to wait for another day….
Tom #1 weighed 23.4 pounds, had a 12″ beard and 1′ spurs.

RBS 300x274 Talkin Toms in Fauquier County (Guest Post)

I got back after them on Saturday, April 20. Once again I hiked up Naked Mountain in the pre-dawn darkness this time hunting near one of my favorite deer stands. As the sun rose I could hear gobbling but it was coming from way down in the creek bottom. Having learned a long time ago to “sit down, be still and be quiet” I decided to stick with my spot rather than go “running and gunning”. The gunning I can handle but the running is getting harder every season…. Other than “tweety birds” the mountain top was quiet, no turkey talk other than my occasional plaintive calls. By 9:00 AM my patience had worn thin so I decided to pull my decoy and slowly walk back down the mountain towards the truck. After picking up the deke and getting my gear stowed I decided to make one more loud series of yelps before leaving the area. I yelped and a Tom thunder gobbled, 75 yards uphill of my location. At break-neck speed I reset the hen decoy, stumbled back into a pile of weeds and tried to regain my composure. Another yelp – another gobble, even closer. Then I spotted that red/white/blue head coming through the brush at 35 yards so up came the Remington and off went the safety. Spotting the decoy the Tom went into full strut at 20 yards and closed the distance to the deke. The Tom circled the decoy several times, strutting and displaying the whole while. A soft putt from my diaphragm got his head up for the kill shot at 15 yards. After recovering from a mild case of hyper-ventilation I recovered my bird and made my way back down the mountain…..Tom #2 weighed 22.25 pounds, had an 11″ beard and 1″ spurs.
2013 Turkey 2 008 crop 224x300 Talkin Toms in Fauquier County (Guest Post)

Spring Gobbler Season

Finally, another great Virginia hunting season is upon us. Opening this Saturday (April 13th) is the 2013 Virginia Spring Gobbler Season. The early part of the season only allows for bearded turkeys to be taken from sunrise until noon each day lasts until May 4th. The all-day season (from sunrise to sunset) lasts from May 6-18. During those down times your best bet to get a hold of me will be on the river or lake with a pole in the water. Smallmouth, largemouth, walleye, trout and catfish will keep me occupied until deer season in October.

To kick off the turkey season we’re doing it right here in Virginia. Managing Editor, Will Jenkins from TheWilltoHunt.com, fellow Field Editor, Chris Mann and myself are heading up to central Virginia to set up turkey camp for a few days. Will and I have been doing some tentative planning the past few months and have decided on embarking into one of Virginia’s largest Wildlife Management areas in Highland County. Since we can chase gobblers until 12pm, it will give us plenty of time to get after some rainbow, brown and brook trout in the nearby streams. I’ve already decided that even if we don’t bag a bird or put any fish in the net, I’ll be just as satisfied by being able to enjoy a new hunting experience in a new patch of woods with new friends.

Fortunately, I have been able to line up three other turkey hunts this year in different areas. So far this year I’ve been seeing many flocks of turkey and hearing the gobblers coming down from the roost right at sunrise. Other hunters I’ve spoken to seem to say the same and that there’s no lack of turkey movement in southwest Virgina. Using a combination of my bow and shotgun, I plan to try something new this year. Late last year a friend of mine introduced me to a new hunting product that I’ve since then fell in love with. The GhostBlind is an excellent hunting product that I intend to use this season, it’s mirror-paneled design makes it virtually impossible to see and will instantly adapt to your immediate surroundings. It’s light weight and versatility makes it usable for hunting with a bow or a gun and can used to hunt many different animals. This blind is slick and the companies motto speaks for itself, Not Seeing is Believing. Be sure to check out there website for a wide range of blinds and accessories.
gb2 Spring Gobbler Season

I wish everyone good and safe spring gobbler season and I’d like to her how the season is going in other parts of the state. Feel free to share your story with us here at Virgina Huntography. We’d be glad to have some great representation of the state and allow other hunters to write a guest blog post .

Get Ready to Gobble

If you didn’t know already, this Saturday the much anticipated Spring Gobbler season will open here in Virginia. Keep in mind from April 14 – May 5, hunters can only hunt from one-half hour before sunrise until 12 noon each day. Then from May 7-19, one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Before you hit the woods, be sure to double check your gear. Another thing to consider when hunting in the warm weather is bugs. Grab a bottle of Permethrin and spray down your gear and clothes to fiend off ticks, mosquitoes and other insects.

Good luck to everyone headed out this weekend and let us know what you think about the 2012 Spring Gobbler season.