Skip to main content

Preacher Jacob Aranza Bags an Osceola Turkey


I had guided Randy Nader to his gobbler on Saturday (see Day 3), and the next day on Sunday afternoon, a new group of hunters arrived. My hunter for the second Seamark hunt at Dee-Dot was a pastor from Louisiana, Jacob Aranza. He was a great guy to spend time with in the woods, and we went to another food plot and set up for an afternoon hunt. With hardwoods all around us, we set decoys out. When I started calling, a tom answered off to our right, about 200 yards away, and he was gobbling good. But he wouldn’t gobble very time I called. I whispered to Reverend Aranza, “Keep looking all around the food plot, since another gobbler may come slipping in and try to get to what he believes is a hen before the long-distance gobbler arrives." I managed Dee-Dot, and I’d hunted this food plot before. Because our land had so many turkeys, having another gobbler other than the one you were calling to slip in silently to try to breed the hen he’d heard calling was not an uncommon occurrence. 

KKelly_day4Sure enough almost as soon as I had told Pastor Aranza to keep his eyes peeled and look for silent gobblers to come in, we spotted two longbeards sneaking in to the green field not saying a word. As soon as they saw the decoys, those gobblers ran straight to them. They first jumped on the jake decoy and gave him a thorough whipping; next they jumped on the hen decoy and tried to breed her; then they went back to the jake decoy, beat him up some and attempted to breed him. When the two gobblers got far enough apart that Pastor Aranza could shoot one of the birds, he put one gobbler down. We filmed this entire hunt for the 2017 shows for the Mossy Oak Turkey THUGS TV show. On this hunt, I was using a jake decoy and a hen decoy and had set the decoys about 25 yards in front of the hunter. That way if a longbeard came in and shied away from the decoy, the hunter still should be able to take him at 30 to 35 yards. In recent years, I started using only a hen decoy because we had so many jakes on the property. If a big gobbler sees more than one jake, he’ll often back away from the decoy to strut and drum, to make sure there are no other jakes in the vicinity. Three or four jakes in a group will fight together against a mature gobbler and run him out of the field. So, the 2-year-old and older gobblers wanted to make sure they weren’t going to get beat up by a group of jakes if they came in to breed a hen. 

Day 3: Keith Kelly’s Turkey Hunt at Florida’s Seamark Ranch

Tomorrow: Keith Kelly Loves to Go West to Hunt Gobbling Turkeys

Latest Content