COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (TNN) -From hunting, to fishing, to wildlife conservation--Oklahoma has plenty to offer every outdoorsman. And 7 News Anchor Makenzie Burk is taking full advantage. Each month, we’ll get to watch her outdoor adventures. Up first, is turkey hunting.
“It’s exciting,” said Oklahoma Game Warden Jaylen Flynn. “I don’t think anything beats calling a big old gobbler in. It comes in gobbling its head off. It gives you the shakes.”
Carter County Game Warden Jaylen Flynn has hunted turkeys for about 14 years. He says some people only look at it as a sport, but there are other reasons people do it.
“Like all other animals, you need population control,” said Flynn. “If something gets over populated, then diseases and a bunch of other sicknesses start hindering it, and wipe the whole population out.”
Even for an experienced turkey hunter, it isn’t easy to find a bird. I learned that quickly. But there are ways to locate them.
“I use a crow call to locate them,” said Flynn. “It makes them shock gobble, surprises them. They get loud and you locate the bird in the woods. There’s a peacock call. Some people use goose calls.”
Even after you find one. Getting it to come in to you or your decoy can take a while. Jaylen says sometimes it’s because of the age of the bird.
“Sometimes a jake or a group of jakes could just come screaming in, and it’ll surprise you,” said Flynn. “Or you get an old bird do the same thing. But more than likely he’ll have hens and come in slower and you’ll have to work him harder.”
A jake is a younger bird, usually a year to a year and a half years old. The Tom’s are bigger, older birds, with a longer beard. But they all taste the same. Jaylen says his favorite part of turkey hunting, is the challenge.
“It’s pretty hard, birds will make you feel like you’re the smartest hunter ever and come in on a string in a matter of seconds. Or some days you don’t see a bird at all,” said Flynn.
It took miles of walking, and waiting. But after several days of hunting, in two different counties, 7 News Anchor Makenzie Burk finally got one.
Jaylen says there’s a lot of people who’ve had trouble this season though.
“It’s pretty hard. That’s why they call it hunting and not killing,” said Flynn. “Birds are still henned up pretty hard. I mean if you can find them separated, you’re pretty good, or get them off the roost. But other that that, it’s been pretty tough. I know birds don’t like the cold, and they definitely don’t like the heat. We’ve experience both extremes of that this season.”
Jaylen takes hunters new, and old on guided hunts throughout the season. Sharing his passion with others, he says, is a great feeling.
“I love it, getting people into the sport and watching them fall in love with it as much as I do,” said Flynn. “If I can take somebody out and get their attention drawn to the sport and get them that itch to go out and turkey hunt every year, I consider it successful.”