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Q: Recently I have been scouting out turkey's for this years season and I have noticed that I am calling in bobcats also. Is this a normal behavior and will these bobcats mess up my turkey season?

A: #1 Shannen: It's very common to see bobcats come in when calling turkeys in the spring. Unfortunately, bobcat season closes March 1 annually and precludes us from being able to harvest them during that time. From time to time, you will encounter them and they will mess up a hunt. It's all part of the hunting experience. My suggestion is to scout as much as you can, call sparingly, and hunt the gobble. By hunt the gobble, I mean stay mobile and work towards birds you actually hear. In taking a pro-active approach to hunting turkeys, you will reduce the probability of predators interrupting your hunt while increasing your chances at being successful. Good luck, God bless & safe hunting.

Chuck Echenique

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A: #2 I am guessing from your comments that you are actually using turkey calls of some kind while you are "scouting"? This is a risky venture and one that many "experts" strongly advise against, calling in the pre-season that is. You run the risk of actually calling in a gobbler only to have him see you or in some other fashion "booger" him which in turn might make him less receptive to working in to your calls during hunting season.

My suggestion is to scout for sign in likely areas or areas you have encountered turkeys in the past. You can also look for the actual birds in pastures or food plots. I like to go out in the pre-season and locate roosting areas. I use an owl hooter or crow call to try to illicit a response if I don't otherwise hear a gobbler. From there I just try to pattern the turkey's movements and formulate a game plan for opening day.

Just my two cents, your mileage may vary.

Regards,

Paul A. Kish

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A: #3 It is nothing unusual for Bobcats and even Coyotes to show up when someone is calling for turkeys, on occasion. If it happened every single time you called, that would be a different story. There are a couple of reasons that they may be coming in. These predators are creatures of opertunity, in that they are always looking for an easy meal. When they hear turkey calling done in certain ways, they seem to show up more.

The two instances that I have seen this happen the most are when a hunter: call a LOT from one spot without a decent pause between sequences, and when the hunter sounds more like a dying rabbit than a turkey, and needs to tune their calls. I'm not saying that you do any of these, I'm just suggesting that you check all the factors so that you are square for the season.

Chad Hodge

Quaker Boy Pro-Staff

Florida

Cell (352) 418 2033

www.myspace.com/quakerboyprostaff

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A: #4 You will mess up your turkey season more by calling up turkeys before the season than by calling up bobcats. I never call turkeys until I hunt them. There will be enough reasons for the birds to become call shy once the season opens.

If you are calling up bobcats, coyotes and other varmints, you can bet you are also calling up turkeys that you might not see, but will see you. Most gobblers that come to a call do not gobble. Many people do not know this, because if they aren't hearing gobbling, they are moving, thus scaring off the birds.

As for calling bob cats, that will sometimes happen during a hunt, and yes, that is one of Murphy's laws of turkey hunting. Bobcats, other predators, and other hunters who think you are a turkey will certainly scare your bird, but there is really nothing you can do about it.

My advice is always don't call too often, because real turkeys don't really call too often.

The reason?

They fear bobcats!

Kenny Gasaway

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A: #5 Shannon,

It's not unusual, but if it's happening with any degree of regularity, you must really have an overabundance of bobcats in your woods this year. I've called in a couple in past years and even know a fellow up in Opp, Alabama that got his right hand scratched up from a cat that bounded on him from behind (I think the cat was more scared than my friend once he'd realized his mistake).

I don't know a tried and true way to prevent bobcats from coming to your calling; but you must sound pretty good to keep there interest, lol. But, since bobcats have a very good sense of smell and turkey have no sense of smell, you might utilize that in your favor. Saturate your area with a scent deterrent, like chunks of Dial soap or maybe wear your favorite calogne extra heavy. No doubt you'll raise some eyes in hunt camp, but it'll definitely tip the bobcats off to your presence before they get too close.

Toby Benoit,

www.Heirloomturkeycalls.com

www.dkflatwoods.com