The coffee shop joke around these parts this week is what a winter we’re having this spring.
If you have been up and about the past couple of mornings – when record cold lows of 34 degrees on Wednesday and 33 degrees on Thursday were set — then you probably understand.
And if you were out spring turkey hunting on either morning, then I’m certain you understand.
Because in most years, we’re flirting with hot weather by late April, not record setting runs at the freezing mark.
Ironically enough, the spring turkey season in Grayson County is a lot like the weather this month — hot some days, cold the next.
Take the action that local outfitter J.J. Kent is finding while guiding clients in Grayson and points west, southwest, and northwest of here.
Some days, he’s had great luck like the hunting he found on opening day.
“The opener on April 15th was awesome!,” said Kent. “Birds were fired up and gobbling all over the place. I was able to call up several different birds. We were able to harvest one bird in the morning and one in the afternoon with two different hunters.”
The next day, it was more of the same as birds gobbled repeatedly to Kent’s seductive yelps on a variety of Zink turkey calls.
“That day, I was able to coax two longbeards into my Avian X decoys at 15 yards,” said Kent, a Mossy Oak pro-staffer. “That’s where Jeff and Aundrea Morley of Tyler, Texas dropped both bird with two shots. One bird had a 10-inch beard and the other had a 10-inch beard.
“What was really cool is that it was their first ever spring turkey hunt and it was Aundrea’s first hunt ever! I think they’re both hooked now.”
Kent also guided Pottsboro High School senior Clay Copeland to a nice Grayson County longbeard a few days ago.
“The hunt was a graduation gift for Clay,” said Kent. “He just got accepted into Texas Tech University where he will be pursuing a degree to eventually become a Game Warden.”
On that hunt, Kent worked a Zink Thunder Ridge Series Power Hen slate call to lure in four Rio Grande longbeards in front of Copeland.
“They came in gobbling and strutting their stuff at 10 yards when Copeland took the shot and dropped the biggest tom.
As the Grayson County season nears its midpoint, Kent has found some tougher hunting conditions.
“We have been able to take several other birds in Love County, Oklahoma and also in Montague County, Texas but we’ve been busted several times in Grayson County too,” said Kent.
Even so, Kent says this season is much better than last season.
“We have seen and heard birds every time we have been in the woods chasing them this year,” he said. “This is different from last year when there were a few times that we never heard or saw a bird.”
While poor hatches the past few drought plagued years may have created fewer two and three year old birds, Kent says he is seeing lots of jakes from last year’s hatch along with a fairly good number of older mature toms in the four-year old class.
“I believe the population is doing a lot better,” said Kent. “There is a great population of jakes this year so that should mean that we’ll have an outstanding year next spring.”
As the local season hits its final fortnight, Kent is hoping that things heat up, both in morning temperatures and the vocal activity of local gobblers.
“The last few days, the birds have not been nearly as vocal as they were the first few days of season,” said Kent.
“But that could have something to do with the cold weather we have experienced. Hopefully things will fire up again as the weather warms up.”