I just wanted to give a turkey season update. I have one more hunt in Georgia, but as of now, we have killed 5 gobblers. Tad killed an Osceola, my Dad has killed 2 Easterns, and I killed 2 Easterns. It has been a tough year. We never had any mature gobblers show up on our property in Florida where we hunt Osceolas. Tad shot a jake that was the only bird down there. I then went to Mississippi where we have had really good success. Then I went to Georgia where the weather and coyotes messed up; plus, they were henned up really bad. Finally, I went to Texas with a group and we had unbelievably bad luck. We have killed birds in Texas before, but this year we got skunked due to the weather, high winds, wild fires south of our locations, low number of birds, and adjacent property hunting pressure. I am very grateful for the birds we did get and we do have some video for TurkeyThumpers.com coming soon after the season. So stay tuned for that, and hopefully we get some birds in Georgia.
Archive for April, 2011
Turkey Season Update – Hard Times…Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Reality Hunt Club – Webisode 7: FIRE!Monday, April 25th, 2011
In this episode, I show you video about how 25 acres of our lease land caught fire and burned. Luckily enough, we had a friend who called the community fire departments that contained the fire before all of our land and gear burned down. This is reality at its best.
Side note: The landowner called me and said he was going to burn next February to get rid of the orphan pine trees and as much of the additional undergrowth that might be fuel for future fires. This will stimulate new growth for the wildlife.
Disappointed with the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA)Thursday, April 21st, 2011
I am VERY disappointed in the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) and here is why! I am not going to turn this blog post into whether you are for or against baiting in the state of Georgia BUT instead of something I see as just wrong and misleading and I want to point it out. Full disclaimer, I am for baiting in Georgia and I am a non-resident hunter from Florida that leases land in Georgia.
The problem I have is with the Quality Deer Management Association. I have praised them for years in spreading their programs and the leadership they have taken in educating hunters on how to grow healthier and bigger deer BUT their stance against baiting just upsets me. I have been a member of their association and our hunting lease buys our liability insurance from them. I have been proud to support them with this business. The fact that they use my money and speak against something I feel is a hunter’s right is just wrong. Whether you are for the baiting bill or against, imagine them speaking against you in any case.
Every biologist that works for them can have their opinion but do not use the QDMA pulpit to preach against what I and many consider a hunter’s rights. What if QDMA was against deer hunting with cross bows and voiced their opinion on that under the QDMA banner based on the fact that they think it is unethical? Since they are a non-profit organization, they should remain neutral on topics like this. Especially since there has not been any scientific evidence that baiting deer causes harm to the health of the herd. If they could prove that it does, then they should be the ones standing up and yelling no to baiting based on science. This opinion based situation would be like if the National Rifle Association (NRA) was for citizen’s gun rights but they said it would be okay to take assault rifles. The NRA is against any guns being taken way from citizens just like QDMA should not be against any hunters’ rights.
Brian Murphy, CEO of QDMA, has been all over the newspapers voicing QDMA’s position against baiting in Georgia. QDMA even has included this in their “REACH in Action!” program (http://www.qdma.com/programs/reach-in-action/). From their Website: “Under the Advocacy arm of REACH, QDMA gets involved in numerous whitetail issues annually.” and “From January to November 2010, QDMA engaged in 38 policy or management issues in 15 states (CT, DE, GA, IN, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA, VT) including: * Opposing a bill to change baiting laws in Georgia…”
After researching all of QDMA’s arguments they basically have come up with two; both opinion based. They feel it is unethical and it gives hunters a bad vision to the anti-hunter establishment. I said I was not going to turn this into a baiting debate but I do have to make one comment. I have never heard them lobby against states that have baiting legally, such as Texas. I have never heard them tell people to stop cutting standing corn to attract deer. Does this sound like hypocrisy?
To me, QDMA should be like Switzerland and remain neutral only to step in if science is founded to be truthful. QDMA is an organization that does not have an opinion. If a person who is associated with QDMA wants to voice their opinion then he or she should do so and make it clear that they are not speaking on behalf of QDMA.
Because of their actions, I am going to pull all my money from them including my membership and club lease liability insurance. I hate to do this because I really enjoy their research BUT I am not going to support an organization that is going to campaign against hunter’s rights based on their individual opinions. I would love to know how many QDMA members support their operations that are for baiting in Georgia. I wonder if these members knew how strong a stance they take on this topic, would they still be members? I encourage you to withdraw your support and tell them why you are no longer supporting them. I will be glad to support them in the future if they become a non biased organization and quit taking sides against hunters.
Reality Hunt Club – Webisode 6: Getting Ready for Turkey SeasonMonday, April 18th, 2011
In this episode we are going to talk about how we get ready for turkey season. Georgia turkey season runs from March 26th – May 15th this year with a bag limit of 3 mature gobblers. We talk about how we use trail cameras and scouting to locate gobblers and try to pattern them. We also discuss the other ways we get ready. Watch this video to understand our preparation.
Turkey Thumpers – Webisode 11: The Bearded Osceola LadyThursday, April 14th, 2011
A fellow member of my Osceola Hunt Club, located in Hastings, Florida, informed me that he had seen a bearded hen back during deer season. I personally had only seen one other bearded hen during my 37 years on this planet and it was an Eastern turkey located in middle Georgia. So once I heard this, I filmed her coming into one of our feed stations.
PlotWatcher View: Jakes Breeding a HenMonday, April 11th, 2011
I love my PlotWatchers and am amazed all the time at what I capture on them. In this video, one of my PlotWatchers caught 3 jakes breeding one hen. Amazing video of mother nature at work.
Turkey Thumpers – Webisode 10: Hens Can Play Rough TooThursday, April 7th, 2011
Now my Hazel Creek Jake has taken a beaten this year as normal, but I have been surprised at how hens and gobblers are taking out their frustration on my Hazel Creek Hen decoy. My Dad and I filmed a hen strutting in a dominant pose around my hen. She then slapped her with her wing and started to peck her a few times. Real cool video to watch.
Reality Hunt Club – Webisode 5: A Tale of 2 Bucks OR Is It?Monday, April 4th, 2011
During Webisode 3, I talked about Sway/Mr. Potential and discussed how many photos we had of this buck during the 3 week trail camera survey. There were so many photos of him and at different locations that I decided to put a video together just of him. This video comes to the conclusion of whether he is Mr. Potential, Sway or the same buck. It also shows his antler development during the summer. Then I go over his travel pattern for the 3 weeks during the survey between 5 different camera locations. This was a real interesting study of a buck that I have never done before. I hope you enjoy the video.