Guest Blog: By Jacob Edson
“This is the greenest I’ve ever seen this country,” commented Dustin ‘Shed’ Whitacre as he pulled out of the San Angelo airport and turned the truck toward Eldorado, Texas.
“So I guess the drought is over?” I jokingly queried.
“You could say that,” Whitacre said with a grin.
It would be my first hunt with Whitacre, marketing manager with Mossy Oak, and also my first hunt in the Texas Hill Country. I hadn’t really known what to expect, but the lush green mesquite and live oaks mixed with bursts of spring prairie flowers certainly wasn’t it.
“They’ve had a pile of rain this spring,” Whitacre explained. “In fact, it’s been raining and windy the past couple days and the turkeys have been kind of quiet.”
Yet, Whitacre pointed out that the scars of a drought that gripped most of Texas and parts of Oklahoma were still fresh. Cedar bushes, fried to a crisp by more than a year of unrelenting heat and lack of rain littered the green landscape with dirty brown splotches. And the turkey population showed its own scars in a complete lack of yearling birds. The entire year-class of jakes simply did not exist.
Within hours, Whitacre and I had traded jeans for Mossy Oak Obsession and settled into a grove of live oaks. Whitacre’s boss, marketing director Ben Maki, had scouted the area the day before and knew two gobblers were roosting nearby. Our goal was to intercept them on the way.
It almost worked to perfection …
Tune in tomorrow to see how an evening hunt can go from slam dunk to uh oh in a matter of seconds and how unexpected turns are often what put a gobbler in the truck.