Archive for the 'wild turkey' Category

How to Talk Turkey for a Successful Hunt

Thursday, November 15th, 2018
The turkey of your dreams.

The turkey of your dreams.

This is Passport to Texas

Making sounds like a hen turkey can mean the difference between bagging a bird this fall and going home empty handed.

Now you want the call of a hen turkey to try and attract the Tom, or male turkey, over to your position.

Steve Hall, oversees hunter education at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Using a box call, you can make enticing sounds.

One is called the basic cluck [clucks]. Now, a cluck is a call that says: ‘Hi. I’m here.’ And if you put the cluck in a series of calls, it would be a yelp [yelps]. Now a yelp call says: ‘Come over here; I’m having fun.’ Now, a slate call is much the same as a box call and you can make that basic ‘cut’ sound [cut sound]. And, you can also make a purr, which says ‘I’m on my daily rounds.’

Now, I like to use a diaphragm call; it’s a little more complicated call. But it allows me, if I’m hunting, to move my arms and hands with my bow or my gun. It fits in the top of your mouth, and you can do it quite easily [cackle]. That was a cackle or a yelp. If you hear a ‘put’ though, that’ll scare a bird away – and that’s the alarm call [put call]. Put them all together and you can have fun imitating a flock of turkeys. [07-of turkey calls…fade under last script]

Fall turkey season runs through January 6th in the North zone and January 20th in the South Zone. Check your Outdoor Annual for more information.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Talkin’ Turkey via Wildlife Restoration

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Turkey release.

Turkey release.

This is Passport to Texas

In the 1930s, it became evident that certain game animals were in decline due, in part, to unregulated overharvest.

In 1937, the Federal Government passed the Pittman-Robertson Act, thus creating an excise tax on the purchase of ammunition and hunting equipment.

Today, millions of dollars of funds generated by these taxes are used to manage and restore both game and non-game species.

One of Texas’ ongoing restoration projects involves the eastern wild turkey. Historically, the species occupied nearly 30 million acres in eastern Texas, but unregulated overharvest of both turkeys and timber led to their near extinction from that region. In 1942 there were fewer than 100 eastern wild turkeys remaining.

From 1979 to 2003, Texas parks and Wildlife Department translocated an estimated 7,000 wild-captured birds into 58 counties in central and east Texas, eventually seeing the population climb to 10,000–which is slow progress.

In 2014 the agency began a “Super Stocking” initiative, translocating 80 eastern turkey at a time at selected sites. Production and survival of the birds has vastly improved with this method. Thus, creating a brighter future for this big bird in Texas.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and provides support for the translocation and surveying of eastern wild turkey.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

TPW TV –Game of Gobblers

Friday, September 21st, 2018
Turkey release.

TPW biologist Trevor Tanner releases a Rio Grande turkeys on Price 77 Ranch near Blooming Grove, Texas

This is Passport to Texas

When European settlers started coming to East Texas, turkeys were thriving. But those settlers quickly changed the landscape.

Around 1925, a hunter could harvest up to 25 turkeys a year. By the 1940s there were less than 100 eastern wild turkeys throughout East Texas. Over-harvest as well as habitat decline really led to the demise of the population.

Kyle Hand is a Texas Parks and Wildlife Natural Resource Specialist. In the 1970s, the agency started a program of bringing wild trapped turkeys from other states to Texas. The program looked promising. Over the next 20 years, more than 7000 eastern wild turkeys were stocked in East Texas.

Now we’re using a super stocking strategy where we release 80 turkeys onto one area of good habitat in hopes that the population will grow from there.

Thanks to the success of these stockings, hunters like Terrence Jackson of Houston have an opportunity to enjoy spring turkey hunting in parts of East Texas.

When I’m on these turkey hunts, basically I love to get away from the busyness of Houston and work and the crowdedness. The sound of the birds, the quiet in the morning and walking through the woods. It’s something that pulls at you.

Experience an East Texas turkey hunt the week of September 23 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

2018 Spring Turkey

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
Wild turkeys in Texas

Wild turkeys in Texas

This is Passport to Texas

If you were in the field on opening day of spring turkey season, you might have wondered, “Where are the birds?

According to biologists with Texas Parks and Wildlife, field observations prior to the opener suggested hens were playing hard to get and showing little receptivity to Toms and breeding.

Jason Hardin, Upland Game Bird Program specialist, said hens’ interest picked up near opening day of the season, effectively hampering a hunter’s chances of luring love-struck gobblers.

He adds that by now, most hens should be bred and hunting ought to be good from the time the toms leave the roost until they go back up for the night.

Biologists report habitat conditions throughout the state look promising. One region of concern, however, is the Rolling Plains, where the landscape is very dry with limited rain in the last six months.

The regular spring season for Rio Grande turkey continues through April 29 in the South zone. The North Zone general season runs through May 13.

Eastern spring turkey hunting in counties with an open season is April 15-May 14. Hunters must report harvest of eastern turkeys electronically to TPW within 24 hours of harvest. Reports can be made through the TPW My Texas Hunt Harvest App or online from the Texas Parks and Wildlife turkey page

The Wildlife restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Quail and Turkey Outlook for 2017-2018

Friday, December 15th, 2017
Wild turkey in Texas.

Wild turkey in Texas.

This is Passport to Texas

Last quail season, bobwhite were at an all-time high thanks to a few years of great weather in a row.

We saw something we hadn’t seen in over 10 years, and it was quite special. And what comes up, must come down.

Robert Perez is Upland Bird Game Program Leader.

This past winter and spring we had average winter rains. Average spring rains. And so, we did have some quail production over the summer—that wasn’t phenomenal. But what we did have was so many birds that are still alive from last year that they carried over to this year. So, hunters can expect—in the bag—a lot of adult birds.

The season for Bobwhite, Scaled (blue) and Gambel’s Quail runs through February 25, statewide.

Scaled quail were phenomenal as well. Way out west in the Trans Pecos. There will still be great hunting opportunities out west at our WMAs.

If turkey’s more your bag, Perez says Rio Grande Turkey season is looking good.

Rio Grande turkey hunting in Texas is top notch. Populations in our state are at an all-time high. We’ll have two year old, three year old birds. Maybe not so much production this past year—a little bit below average—but, overall, Texas populations of Rio Grande turkeys are just through the roof.

Refer to the Outdoor Annual for seasons and bag limits for all upland game birds.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and funds quail research in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.