Dad, son bag first-day turkeys

Photo provided by LACEY SWARTZJeff Farrar, left, and son Jameson Farrar shared an opening-weekend,  father-son hunt earlier this monthy and scored a rare double when Jeff tok a 19-pounder with a handsome 13-inch-long beard and 1-inch spurs, and son Jameson bested him on his gobblers weight, 21 pounds, and spurs 1 3/8 inches long, but not the beard, which measured 11 inches long. They took the birds in East Feliciana Parish, but used entirely different approaches that lead to their opening-day successes.
Photo provided by LACEY SWARTZJeff Farrar, left, and son Jameson Farrar shared an opening-weekend, father-son hunt earlier this monthy and scored a rare double when Jeff tok a 19-pounder with a handsome 13-inch-long beard and 1-inch spurs, and son Jameson bested him on his gobblers weight, 21 pounds, and spurs 1 3/8 inches long, but not the beard, which measured 11 inches long. They took the birds in East Feliciana Parish, but used entirely different approaches that lead to their opening-day successes.

Score one for the old guys.

And two for a family, because how rare is it for a father and son to score on the opening day of any hunting season, much less the opening day of the turkey season?

It sounds like it would be easy to get gobblers after 11 months of not having hunters chase after them, but taking a mature bird with the wiles of a wild turkey isn’t common.

And for the record, Jeff Farrar, the dad, went one-up on his son, Jameson, to chalk-up that rare double.

The story started with the usual conversation: The son asked his dad if he was hunting on opening day, and the dad responding that he was, but he wasn’t waking up at the crack of dawn like he’d done for so many turkey-season openers in the past.

Jeff Farrar said he told his son he planned something different, “I would go midmorning, take my time, and hope that I would have better luck than before.

“My midmorning strategy may have also had something to do with the fact that I’m 52 years old, and it’s not as easy for me to get up that early like it is for my 28-year-old son,” Jeff said. “Of course, he told me I was wasting my time and that he was going before daylight, hoping to have a better advantage.”

Both were true to their words: Jameson was out long before the sun, and Jeff admitted his first move, after having breakfast at Johnny B’s in Clinton, was a little after 9 a.m.

“I wasn’t there 30 minutes when I bagged a fine gobbler,” Jeff said.

“He came in full strut; it was the perfect hunt. I could not wait to catch up with my son and brag about my success.

“On my way home, I passed Jameson on Blairstown Road. We pulled off of the side of the road, and before I could gloat about what a great hunt I had, he pulled a 20-pound turkey out of the back of his truck. With a big smile on his face he said, ‘That’s how you do it dad.’

“We shared our stories and decided that, when all was said and done, both strategies were very successful,” Jeff said.

But as family rivalries go, somebody had to have the last word.

Jeff Farrar was more than willing to step to the plate: “By the way, my turkey had a 12-inch beard and my son’s an 11-inch (beard),” he said. “The old man can still put it on him!”

A busy weekend

Wildlife and Fisheries biologists constantly warn hunters about not using bait to lure turkeys and to make sure there’s no bait in their hunting areas.

After opening weekend, it looks like some folks didn’t heed the warning.

Enforcement Division agents issued citations in six cases for allegedly hunting over or near bait in East Feliciana, St. Helena and Livingston parishes.

A word to the wise: It’s not enough to avoid spreading food like corn or other grains, or salt, to lure turkeys. Hunters must make sure there is no baited spots in the areas they’re hunting. That’s because some folks will put bait in an area between a turkey roosting area, then station themselves along the route the turkeys will travel to move from roosts to feeding spots.

Other turkey rules require hunters to have state stamps (holders of lifetime licenses do not need the stamp), to have turkey tags, and use a tag on a downed gobbler before removing the bird from the field.

Before the commission

In addition to public comments on the upcoming hunting-season changes, and with days running out for public comments on the proposed 7-bass/no size limit on Atchafalaya Basin bass, Thursday’s meeting for the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has two agenda items dealing with the state’s regional management plan for fisheries species in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first item is labeled, “To Consider a Notice of Intent Regarding the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Fishing Proposal,” and the second, “To Consider a Notice of Intent Regarding the Reciprocal Agreement with Mississippi for the Regional Management Traversing Agreement.”

The second item comes after the Mississippi Legislature approved a bill that is now state law to extend its state boundary waters out to three marine leagues (10.357 miles) from what was a three-mile limit into the Gulf of Mexico.

Waterfowl meeting

A public forum on possible 2013-2014 dates and other waterfowl hunting issues will be Thursday at the Marriott Courtyard at Pecanland Mall in Monroe.