2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Stories of your favorite gobbler hunts.
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Swampstalk
Posts: 140
Joined: November 16th, 2018, 3:48 pm
Location: Palmetto Bay, Florida

2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by Swampstalk » March 16th, 2020, 9:05 am

After earlier in the week success by my son Nick taking an awesome gobbler, he, his wife, and I had quota permits for a WMA next door to the earlier one. We arrived late this pass Friday to do some last minute scouting in an area I had seen birds the previous week. Saturday morning, about 5:45 we arrived at our parking spot and walk in nearly a mile to a spot we had taken birds from a couple years prior and knew held a good number of birds. We set up under a large oak tree, but didn't hear a single gobble for hours on end. We bumped a couple hens on the roost in the dark coming in, which didn't make us happy. During the morning while calling tree different hens came in to within 15 yards to calls. Because it was a warm day around 88 degrees we decided to just sit all day hoping activity would pick later in the afternoon. Around 4 pm we hear a couple gobbles off to the south a good ways off. Then we begin to hear a hen responding, though kind of raspy, to our hen calls. It was getting closer. Then I saw movement, it was a hunter and a kid about 30 yards away through the brush and undergrowth. We whistle and the guy finally sees us and waves and turns back to where he had come from.

Four hunts, four busted hunts by people walking into where we were this season, and it was the second weekend of the season! This latest one is hard to understand. The parking spot is limited and the access is on the edge of the WMA with limited access to huntable spots. They had to have come the same way we did. If we see a vehicle we move on. Last week we did the very thing, finding folks already where we were going, we wished them luck, and moved on. We thank them for it as we wound up having an awesome hunt with a great gobbler! Sometimes it works out.

So though we had not scouted another spot on Sunday morning, we decided to try an area near a recent prescribed burn and walked in from an access gate on firebreak trails. A few large pines were along trails and just when getting light we see turkeys roosted and back out and set up off the trails under a couple oaks a couple hundred yards away and soft call. About 20 minutes later a large hen comes within 30 yards on the trail but turns and heads back when she didn't see the hen calling. About 20 minutes later a big tom and the hen comes back and hangs up about 50 yards on the trail behind some brush then turns and leaves, never gobbling. Another 20 feet and he would have been in the clear, but not to be. After, we followed the trail and tried to locate the birds in old farm fields. Had some does walk within 20 yards just looking at us, but no birds.

Though we had a busted play, we feel it was great being in the woods together. Just wished people would use common sense when in the woods.
Don

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hoobilly
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Joined: August 15th, 2011, 10:15 pm
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Re: 2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by hoobilly » March 16th, 2020, 9:57 am

All to often others who try and over achieve ruin hunts for others. It’s happened to me on public land. That’s why I hate hunting public

WAGinVA
Posts: 68
Joined: April 3rd, 2017, 6:22 pm

Re: 2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by WAGinVA » March 16th, 2020, 10:09 am

Common sense is not that common............
Last edited by WAGinVA on March 16th, 2020, 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Swampstalk
Posts: 140
Joined: November 16th, 2018, 3:48 pm
Location: Palmetto Bay, Florida

Re: 2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by Swampstalk » March 16th, 2020, 1:35 pm

Totally agree! Well sometimes things circle around and bite one in the backside. Check station guy yesterday when we checked out after I mentioned the guy and kid busting our hunt, that the same guy and kid had been in earlier and said they had birds responding and coming when two panthers busted the hunt and scattered the turkeys! Amazing how things work out. There have been occurrences panthers and coyotes attacking birds responding to calls, attacks on decoys, etc. It happens.
Don

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soiltester
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Joined: March 31st, 2015, 8:04 am
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Re: 2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by soiltester » March 16th, 2020, 2:41 pm

Hey, ya' had fun and gave it yer' gusto :thumbup: :thumbup: :cheers:
ever wonder where the white goes when the snow melts??

swampchicken
Posts: 479
Joined: March 17th, 2014, 7:12 pm
Location: Central Missouri

Re: 2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by swampchicken » March 16th, 2020, 3:44 pm

Public land can be a pain! But very rewarding when it goes right.

Swampstalk
Posts: 140
Joined: November 16th, 2018, 3:48 pm
Location: Palmetto Bay, Florida

Re: 2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by Swampstalk » March 18th, 2020, 8:44 pm

Yep! My earlier in the week post is evidence of that. Great quick hunt and awesome bird after being bumped from our original spot.
Don

Dtrkyman
Posts: 157
Joined: April 12th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Re: 2020 South FL Public Land Woes Redo

Post by Dtrkyman » March 18th, 2020, 9:11 pm

From some of the stories I hear about FL. public you can all have at it. Not interested in dealing with that bs. just because a bird has some different colored wing feathers!

To each his own but I can hunt the midwest in April and May, hitting 5 or 6 states and covering less miles, and I rarely run into others on public.

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