Okay, I’ll be the first to admit, even though it isn’t Christmas, the weather outside is frightful. But Louisiana’s turkey season opens in about six weeks and if you haven’t been in the woods yet, now’s the time. I got that excellent advice from two of the area’s top turkey hunters, Nathan Pilgreen and Peyton McKinnie. Pilgreen is from Marion and McKinnie from nearby Dean. They have been hunting buddies since they were just old enough to shoot a BB gun and they have stuck together through the years.
“I have always started scouting for turkeys around the first part of February, but the older I get, the more I push it off,” Pilgreen says. “I can tell you one thing, the more time you spend in the woods, the more chance of success you will have. And you have to be flexible. Just because turkeys are in one place now, they may move. You have to be willing to move with them.”
McKinnie is quick to admit that Pilgreen is the best turkey hunter, but he says they make a great team and “I’m the best stalker.”
Turkey hunting may just be the toughest outdoor pursuit in this area. You not only have to master locating turkeys, calling turkeys and recognizing their habits, but you also have to know the terrain. If you are 100 yards away from a turkey, you are the best caller in the world and have the best setup possible, you are still out of luck if you don’t know the terrain. For instance, if there is a pine thicket between you and the bird, he isn’t going to come through that thicket. Turkeys like open areas because even though they can fly, they don’t like to and they are slow to get airborne. In the open, they have a much better chance against predators — unless that predator is toting a 12 gauge shotgun.
Pilgreen and McKinnie are both members of the Cedar Hill Turkey Call pro staff and very active in the local chapter of the Union Long Spurs. You can learn more about that on their Facebook Page. They are also involved in this week’s Union Big Buck Sportsman’s Banquet on Feb. 19 at the Willie Davis Recreation Center. If you haven’t gotten a ticket yet, you should go!
McKinnie also writes outdoor news for the local Farmerville Gazette and helps edit the Union Big Bucks Facebook page.
As for the turkey season, dates in our area, Area 2 of Louisiana, are from March 28 – April 26. For all the information about Louisiana’s upcoming turkey season, check it out on the web. Turkey regulations start on page 44 of the state hunting regulations brochure:
BRETT PREUETT UPDATE
“No practice today, but we went to the nearby community to help with Angel Anglers. It was through a local church and we handed out rods and fishing stuff to a bunch of kids. It was really nice.” Preuett was also featured during the activity on the BASSMasters blog, saying he likes any opportunity to work with kids: “Especially when it’s something that glorifies God,” Preuett said. “It makes a good name for fishermen and shows that we’re here to help and get more kids into the sport.”
The visit kicks off a week of events for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell out of Anderson, S.C., Feb. 20-22.