Change key for turkey hunters

It’s one of life’s more insulting truths, that redredged Albert Einstein saying, “The
definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”

Apply that to turkey hunting and you get a whole new level of insanity, a level Bobby Greer said he knows all too well.

“It was maybe 10 years ago, and I guess I was into turkey hunting maybe three years,” Greer said. “See, I was hunting this gobbler, a wily son-of-a-gun, and he was beating me up day after day ... couldn’t get him to come in for more than week.

“Then I figured out that it was me not him. I was trying to make him change his ways, instead of me changing mine,” he said. “I realized then something that has helped me be a better hunter, that I, the hunter, had to change, adopt his (the gobbler’s) way, adapt my ways and try to put him in a situation that he was more comfortable than I was.”

For Greer, helping that wise, old gobbler feel right at home, opened the door to 10 straight years of taking the state’s two-gobbler-per-season limit.

Greer mentions things like setting up in a place that might be a little rougher on the hunter. It means you’ll be out of the line of sight the gobbler is likely to take moving from roost and forest into the open area to feed, check out other gobblers invading his territory, and look for potential mates.

At this late date in the season — Area A’s last day is Sunday, and Areas B and C are closed — gobblers are chasing very few unbred hens, which makes taking that bird an even greater challenge.

“If you remember that a gobbler had made it this far into the season, or if you’ve been chasing the same gobbler for a couple of weeks, then it’s time to change something you’ve been doing. If you keep doing what you’ve done the last three weeks and still don’t have a bird, then it’s simple, change what you’re doing,” Greer said.

“Go into the woods in a different place. Go find a different spot to set up, or try to find the bird in a different spot. You know lots of turkeys like to walk the road. Spend a day walking the roads. It’s been wet and the bigger gobblers will leave tracks. Look for feathers, anything that tells you they were there. Then look for a good set-up spot, a place where you’ll see him before he sees you. And be patient,” Greer said.

Greer added that overusing a call at this point in the season is one of the main reasons so few birds are claimed on the final weekend.

“By now, and unless you saved a place, every turkey in an area has heard a call. You can run them off by calling too much, but can’t run them away by calling too little. Use decoys, and let them work for you, too,” he said. “Call, then see how the bird reacts. That determines how much you need to call.”

Remember, too, that you must have state-issued tags before heading afield, and you must use them before removing your trophy gobbler from the field. State Enforcement Division agents are issuing citations for having untagged birds.

Floating islands

Anyone wanting to help in combined private/public efforts on Phase II of the CCA-Louisiana’s Floating Islands Restoration Project can show up at 9:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the Isle de Jean Charles boat launch on Terrebonne Parish Road 73 south of Houma. Lunch for all volunteers will be served at 12:30 p.m.

The planting project is designed to rebuild and restore the Terrebonne Parish coastline.

For more information, call CCA (225) 952-9200.