osceola's ?

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Joined: March 25th, 2009, 1:10 pm

osceola's ?

Postby swampstalker » April 1st, 2009, 1:19 pm

I'm new to the forum and i've got a dilemma. I'm used to hunting easterns in GA,
( and doing ok) but I recently moved to central FL and now I'm hunting osceolas, question do the same tactics work for osceolas as well as easterns, cuz if they do I'm not seeing it. Seems the osceolas don't gobble near as much, come in alot slower if at all and just generally give me a whole lot more fits!!! They'r still fun, but I'm running out of pepto bismol. Any suggestions
My wife says if I go turkey hunting one more time she's gonna leave. Guess I'm gonna miss her!!!

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RE: osceola's ?

Postby RutnNStrutn » April 1st, 2009, 5:51 pm

Welcome to my world.  I learned how to hunt turkeys by pursuing Osceolas here in central Florida.  To answer your question, NO!!!  Not at all!!!
They are a different bird.  I have hunted Osceolas, Easterns, Rios and Merriams, and I find the Osceolas to be the least cooperative, most wary, and hardest to hunt.  Now I know that some will say Easterns are harder, but in my opinion they gobble a lot more, and that gives you an advantage when hunting them vs. Osceolas. 
Osceolas, by nature, gobble a lot on the roost, and then either shut up or cut way back on their gobbling on the ground.  Usually by 8:30 in the morning you'll be lucky to get a gobble.  Occasionally you'll get a courtesy gobble, and less frequently strike a hot gobbler later, but as a general rule, they get very tight lipped as the day progresses.  More often than not Osceolas show up unannounced.  Eyes are the key, and use your binoculars.
My basic strategy is go to the gobble while he is on the roost.  Push the envelope and get as close as you dare, and hope you can call him in once he hits the ground.  If that doesn't work, I'll head after him, and see if I can catch up and call him back, or outflank him and call him in, or bushwhack him. 
If I am unsuccessful, I head off to known travel paths based on scouting.  Along the way, I will call periodically, kind of like a laid back version of running and gunning.  But, before I call, I step into some cover, just in case.  If I am fortunate enough to get a gobble, I'll get closer if I can, and then set up and call. 
Most of the time though, I don't get a gobble response due to the tight lipped nature of the Osceola.  In that case, I slowly work towards the travel path I want to hunt.  I ease along, glassing ahead of me.  Often times I can spot a gobbler, and either work in close, set up and call, or if I am able to, I'll "bobcat" in on him, and bust his butt!!
If none of the above works, I reach the travel path, set out my dekes, get comfortable, and call every 15 minutes.  If I don't call anything in by an hour, maybe 2, depending on how much confidence I have in that area, I'll pack up and move to another travel route, using the same techniques mentioned above. 
Don't be afraid to go after Osceolas.  They often seem to be "on a mission", headed somewhere.  I have hunted with friends from up north who want to sit tight after Osceolas have skirted us.  They often say, "If I was back home, I'd wait him out."  To which I reply, "Well, you aren't back home, and that turkey is not coming back."  Osceolas seem to pitch down, and head to where they want to be.  If you don't get them right away, you need to head to where they want to be, and wait them out there.
Patience, and knowledge of the land and the birds' habits rules the day in Osceola hunting.  A little bit of luck doesn't hurt either!! [;)]
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RE: osceola's ?

Postby sailfish » April 2nd, 2009, 6:08 am

Great stuff RnS!!!!

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Joined: March 25th, 2009, 1:10 pm

RE: osceola's ?

Postby swampstalker » April 2nd, 2009, 7:49 am

Thanks for the tips, I'll give them a shot. I'll keep y'all posted on my progress.
My wife says if I go turkey hunting one more time she's gonna leave. Guess I'm gonna miss her!!!

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