Gobbling Reports From 2007 Opening Weekend Hunters

Opening weekend of turkey season gobbling reports for April 2007.

GON Staff | April 1, 2007

According to the turkey hunters GON talked to, the opening weekend gobbling ran the scale from dead slow to gobblin’ their heads off. Some hunters reported birds coming straight in off the roost, gobbling all the way in. Others didn’t hear a peep.

Generally, most gobbling occurred early, and once the birds hit the ground, they shut up quick. Here’s a look at gobbling reports from around the state.

Cherokee Co.: Richard Holcomb said he didn’t even hear a bird opening day.

“I know there’s turkeys there, too,” said Richard. “Others I talked to said they heard some gobbling on the roost, but they flew down and shut up.”

Richard did talk with one guy who killed a satellite 2-year-old at 10 a.m.

“I’m starting to see hens with the gobblers around here,” said Richard. “Everything is about average. Usually the first week of April is the best time here.”

Elbert Co.: Brandon Colquitt of Athens said the birds rocked the woods down two days before season.

“I’d hear 150 gobbles in a morning, the most gobbling I’ve heard around here in 10 years,” said Brandon.

However, Brandon reports that Saturday and Sunday gobbling was much slower.

“I’ve always heard they gobble good one day, and then there’s a lull the next,” Brandon said.

Even though the turkeys were quieter, Brandon did kill a bird opening morning.

“He never gobbled on the roost; I had to set up on him three times,” said Brandon.

On his final set-up he watched the bird strut out of range for 20 minutes before he fed toward Brandon’s set-up. Once the tom saw Brandon’s decoy, he started to strut again and eased into gun range.

Brandon heard three different gobblers on both Saturday and Sunday. None of them were hot.

Franklin Co.: Richard Wansley of Martin said the turkeys didn’t say much Saturday, but it sounded like a turkey house on Sunday. Richard called in a big flock of longbeards, hens and jakes, and Dylan Parker, 13, of Toccoa, killed two “super jakes” with one shot. The birds had 6-inch beards and full fans.

Gordon Co.: At Johns Mountain WMA, Tony Silver said most of the people he talked to opening day reported seeing or hearing turkeys. But mostly the gobblers are still with hens, so it was tough to bring a gobbler out of the woods. Tony said he had birds gobbling where he was hunting on the WMA but got cut off by other hunters who spooked the birds.

The first two weeks of hunting on Johns Mountain are quota only, with 75 permits issued. Thirty-five hunters signed in and three turkeys were checked out opening day.

Habersham Co.: Doug Watson said he heard four birds gobbling pretty strong from the roost. Although he didn’t know it at the time, three of those birds were jakes.

“The adult bird flew down with hens, and they went the other way,” said Doug. Doug called all three jakes to the gun, but he didn’t shoot. He said the season is a little ahead of where it usually is in late March.

Paulding Co.: M.L. Tallent of Peach State Calls heard about seven birds opening morning and called in two longbeards to 20 yards, but when he pulled the trigger, the shell wasn’t seated well. “After some choice cuss words, I went after another bird, called him in across the creek, but he had four hens with him and strutted by at 70 yards. All in all, I heard a lot, but think the jakes were doing a lot of the gobbling,” he said.

Walker Co.: The birds were gobbling their heads off early for the 83 hunters who signed in for the opening-day hunt at Crockford Pigeon Mountain WMA. And, while they made a lot of noise from the roost and early after hitting the ground, most of the older gobblers hooked up with hens and the harvest consisted mainly of jakes.

“It was an excellent hunt, they were all over us,” said Adam Chrnalogar, of Ringold who took his first-ever turkey opening day. “There were at least three on us, one of the birds left with hens, but the jake flew down right into our laps.” Adam and his hunting partner Carlton Gann, also of Ringold, were out of the woods by about 8 a.m.

Jake McRae, 19, and Nick McGhee, 18, both of LaFayette, reported hearing their first gobble at about 8:15 a.m., and watched
as a nice tom came in to about 60 yards and then left with hens.


Burke Co.: A total of 102 hunters signed in to hunt Di-Lane Plantation, and by 11 a.m. Saturday, nine birds had been signed out. Six of the first nine birds were jakes. Most hunters coming by the check station reported hearing a good amount of gobbling. Michael McNeal of Gainesville killed an 18-lb. bird with a 10-inch beard and 1-inch spurs. The birds came down off the roost and went the other way, only to return 20 minutes later. Nine gobblers came in, three of them gobbling.

David Lawson of Statesboro and Jon Puckett of Augusta had a drove of turkeys come in on their set-up. They killed three jakes.

“Two gobblers came in and split up,” said David. “One bird went left, the other went right, then the jakes came straight in gobbling like crazy.”

Sam Cox of Easley, S.C. said he set up on a bird that gobbled at 7:05 a.m. At 7:20 he shot the bird — a 16-lb. tom with 9 1/8- inch and 3-inch beards and 1-inch spurs.

Jeremy Miller of Gainesville said he heard at least nine birds gobbling. Twelve or 15 birds he had roosted the night before came straight in. Jeremy said he missed a gobbler at 10 feet, then shot a jake.

Jasper Co.: Chad Norrell of McDonough said the birds did not gobble opening morning, but they did Sunday morning.

“I heard no gobbling Saturday, and none of my turkey-hunting friends did either, but I heard six birds gobbling on Sunday,” he said.

Sunday morning a 23-lb. bird with an 11-inch beard and a 1 5/8-inch spurs came straight in to Chad’s mounted jake decoy.

No birds were killed opening day at the adult/child hunt at Clybel WMA. GON Editor Brad Gill spent opening day with Maggie Thomas, 14, of Clarkesville.

Brad and Maggie only heard one bird gobble from the roost, and that was it. Over the morning they covered several miles trying to strike-up a gobbling bird. They only called in a pair of hens. Two other adult/ child pairs reported hearing no birds in the morning.

At 5 p.m. Brad and Maggie got two birds fired up. The toms began gobbling on their own, and it was looking like Maggie was going to get a chance to score on her first turkey. However, hens got to the two gobbling birds and the show was over.

Houston Co.: It was a slow opener atOaky Woods WMA for Mark Denney and his son. “There was very little gobbling where we were. The ones that did gobble had hens going to them in a hurry. There were four turkeys signed out at Oaky Woods when I left Sunday afternoon, and one of them was a jake,” Mark reports.

McDuffie Co.: Dave Wamer got set up on two longbeards on opening morning. The first gobble was at 7:13.

“There were two of them, and they gobbled a total of seven times,” said Dave. The 2-year-old birds came almost within range, but Dave decided not to take a risky shot. Dave was surprised that the henless 2 year olds didn’t burn the woods down with reckless gobbling.

“I did not even see or hear a hen yesterday,” said Dave. “I don’t know if it’s coyotes or what, but I’m seeing the least amount of sign that I’ve ever seen over there.”

Dave reports that by 2 p.m. on openingday only two jakes had been checked out at Clarks Hill WMA.

Monroe Co.: Chuck Lanford said it was one of the best opening weekends he’s ever seen.

“The birds about knocked the woods down,” said Chuck. “They gobbled on the roost and on the ground.”

On Sunday before church Chuck heard eight different gobblers, and he ended up killing two 2 1/2-year-old toms at 9 a.m.

“I killed them with one shot — unintentionally,” said Chuck. “I think our season is right on time.”

Chuck spoke with another Monroe County hunter, and he, too, said it was one of the more vocal openers he could remember.

Peach Co.: Scott Hodges, a taxidermistin Bryon, said it was pitiful in Peach and Houston counties. “I didn’t hear a bird,” Scott said. “I probably talked to 10 people and between us there was one gobbler heard. I actually think it might have been too hot.”

Troup Co.: It was quiet in the southeast part of the county, according to Lee Floyd of Chamblee. Three hens on the roost cut at Lee after his first call, but after that, it was dead silent all day long. “No gobbles, no yelps, no nothing,” Lee reports. “I covered a lot of ground running and gunning but got no response.” On Sunday morning, Lee called up and passed on jake, but that was all he saw or heard.

Twiggs Co.: QDMA Publications Manager Lindsay Thomas Jr. was one of five hunters on a 2,700-acre tract in Twiggs County opening day.

“We all heard gobbling early, but most birds answered only crows and owls and would not answer calls,” Lindsay said. “Most quit by 7:30. One hunter called in a couple of jakes but did not shoot, another worked a gobbler for close to an hour but could not get him to come in. I finally had a bird answer me twice around 9:00, then he went silent. I moved up and saw a 1/2-acre food plot, and I could see at least one longbeard strutting in the plot but could not tell if there were other turkeys with him. I set up about 40 yards away and called every now and then. After an hour and a half, I could still see a gobbler strutting in the plot, so I spent 30 minutes belly-crawling up to the plot. I could see a jake and two hens in the plot, but no gobbler, but I could not see all of the plot. I tried crawling closer and was now five yards from
the edge when I heard a turkey drumming very close.” He said the gobbler appeared right in front of him, apparently he came from the corner of the plot Linday couldn’t see, and strutted up to within 10 yards. “He apparently heard me crawling in the leaves and thought I was a hen approaching. I shot him at 11 a.m., two hours after he had last gobbled. He had a 9-inch beard and 3/4-inch spurs,” Lindsay said.

Also in Twiggs County, Gene Bramblett of Gainesville reported that they were gobbling very well on opening morning at his hunting club. Gene said he heard four different birds at daylight, and another club member heard two other gobblers. Gene got on a bird at 11:15 a.m. and pulled the trigger at 11:35.


Decatur Co.: “They were gobbling good, son,” said John Cofty of Bainbridge. “They were hot.”

John took a friend, Robbie Stevens, hunting on his property and they used an owl call to locate three birds on the roost. One bird pitched down nearby and came right in for Robbie to take his first bird, which had a 10-inch beard.

Early Co.: John Cofty hunted Sunday of opening weekend in Early County with his buddy Marty Phillips of Damascus. They heard three birds gobbling from the roost, but they shut up soon after hitting the ground.

“They must have gotten with hens because we couldn’t do anything with them,” John said.

Emanuel Co.: Hunter Hooks, 13, of Nunez took his first bird on opening day. The tom came roaring in gobbling his head off the whole way.

“They were killing birds up until 12 o’clock yesterday,” said Benjie Fennell. “We quit hunting at 1:30 because they finally just quit gobbling.

“Right now we’re not really seeing gobblers with hens. I don’t think they’re henned-up yet, but they will be in the next week or so.”

Jeff Davis Co.: Keith Byers of Hazelhurst said he zeroed Saturday, hearing only three birds that were off the property he was hunting. He moved to a different tract that afternoon and got a bird fired up. Within 15 minutes of hearing the bird, Keith shot the gobbler as it strutted in. The bird was Keith’s 100th gobbler.

“They are gobbling good,” said Keith. “It depends on who you talk to, but I’d say the gobbling activity is right on schedule.”

Laurens Co.: Birds were gobbling like crazy opening weekend, according to Billy Mason. Most of the bigger gobblers were henned-up, but they were still willing to gobble at hunter efforts.

Treutlen Co.: It was red hot on the Treutlen County property where Delton Lord and his wife Jamie of Soperton were hunting opening morning. “In all, we probably heard six to seven different birds, and they were still gobbling when we left — double gobbling, triple gobbling. It’s on,” Delton said. And they weren’t just listening to birds. Delton’s wife, Jamie, got her first turkey, and Delton also killed a gobbler.

Turner Co.: Brandon Trussell killed a bird at Little River Plantation on Sunday. The bird gobbled pretty well as he traveled a half mile to a field full of hens.

Word around Ashburn was that the gobbling was pretty slow opening morning but better the next day. Right now lots of birds are with hens.


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