With not as many people in town due to the coronavirus, some of the fishing deckhands are taking this opportunity to hit the woods for some “social distancing.”
Justin Brantley, deckhand on the Phoenix, and Jordon Colson, deckhand on the Twilight, took to the woods on Saturday, opening day of spring turkey season, to get a gobbler.
Brantley said they were hunting on his families property in Ponce de Leon.
Although they didn’t weigh the turkey, like most fisherman do their fish, he said it was an “old bird.”
Spring turkey season is open until April 26.
Here are a few safety tips on turkey hunting from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission:
— Gobblers have sharp eyes, so staying concealed is critical. When turkey hunting, wear camouflage or drab green and brown clothing, including gloves and a face mask. Never wear red, white, blue or black, which are colors associated with a gobbler. So replace those white socks and T-shirts with camo or earth tone base layers.
— Hunters often like to cover some ground in search of a bird. When calling, always set up against a tree taller than your head and wider than your shoulders before you start calling. Doing this will provide you with protection and make you more prepared for a gobbler that shows up more quickly than you expected. Also avoid setting up in thick cover. Instead select more open areas and eliminate movement and rely on your camouflage for concealment.
— When you hear birds, you want to position yourself for success, however, don’t try to sneak up on a gobbler. You might think you’re stalking a turkey, but you could actually be slipping up on another hunter. Always adopt a skeptical attitude when you hear turkey calling because good callers can sound as convincing as actual turkeys. In addition to safety concerns, the odds are against you when it comes to sneaking up on a gobbler. Turkeys have sharp eyesight and hear well, too. You’d be better off setting up and calling a bird to you.
— Even when hunting private land, don’t assume you’re the only hunter in the area. If another hunter approaches your set up, remain still and speak in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence.
— Before you pull the trigger, demand multiple points of identification to be absolutely certain it’s a legal turkey. If you see movement, do you also see the turkey’s beard? Feet and wings? Never shoot at sounds, color or movement.