In south Florida, the terrain is much more open, and decoys are almost a necessity because we hunt these south Florida turkeys like you hunt field turkeys in other states. However, when I say, “Decoys are almost a necessity,” you can take Osceola turkeys without using decoys, if you hunt with a buddy who’s also a good caller. We hunt Osceolas by using decoys to lure them in to where we are.
On Sunday afternoon after my vet left, Bubba and I spotted some turkeys out in a field about 250 yards away from the woods where Bubba and I had seen them earlier. I knew I couldn’t crawl out in the field and set-up my decoys without the turkeys seeing me. I started calling to get the turkeys’ attention, and Bubba moved to about 50-60 yards behind me and called. Those gobblers could hear a hen (Bubba), but they couldn’t see her. Then I didn’t make a sound, the turkeys came to me, and I took one of those gobblers. So, you don’t always have to use decoys on those cattle ranches, especially if you have a good caller with you. Because we were on private land, and we knew there were no other hunters on the property we were hunting, we could have put out decoys, if we hadn’t been so close to the turkeys. But I’d be leery of hunting with decoys on public lands in south Florida. The turkeys can see so far that if they hear a hen calling to them, and they don’t see a hen, they’ll often shy away from the calling. Where I live in Jacksonville, the woods are really thick, there are more palmettos, gall berry thickets and more dense woodlots than you find in south Florida. We also have some cypress hammocks where we hunt turkeys.