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Finally booked an Ocellated turkey hunt
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
dhaverstick 27-Feb-19
'Ike' (Phone) 27-Feb-19
Zebrakiller 27-Feb-19
trkyslr 27-Feb-19
T Mac 27-Feb-19
Timbrhuntr 27-Feb-19
Boreal 27-Feb-19
Fauntleroy 27-Feb-19
Elite 1 27-Feb-19
The Kid 27-Feb-19
jsgold 28-Feb-19
Brotsky 28-Feb-19
njbuck 28-Feb-19
Cazador 28-Feb-19
CJE 28-Feb-19
Rockbass 01-Mar-19
Rockbass 01-Mar-19
dhaverstick 01-Mar-19
Salagi 01-Mar-19
INbowdude 01-Mar-19
Rockbass 02-Mar-19
Rockbass 02-Mar-19
t-roy 02-Mar-19
dhaverstick 02-Mar-19
Rockbass 04-Mar-19
2 Points 04-Mar-19
Medicinemann 04-Mar-19
Huntcell 04-Mar-19
PAstringking 05-Mar-19
From: dhaverstick
27-Feb-19

dhaverstick's embedded Photo
dhaverstick's embedded Photo
dhaverstick's embedded Photo
dhaverstick's embedded Photo
I am super excited about this hunt! I booked a 2020 adventure to bow hunt ocellated turkeys in the Yucatan Peninsula. I don't know what it is about this critter but I've had a hankering to stick one with an arrow for almost 20 years. I finally got motivated enough to get the ball rolling. I went with Snook Inn Hunting in Campeche, Mexico. Their US booking agent in Tall Tine Outfitters in Ocala, FL.

I'm even having a new bow built to celebrate the occasion. Mike Dunnaway, of Wild Horse Creek Bows, is making me a sweet little 54" recurve that will be perfect for hunting out of blinds.

Darren

27-Feb-19
The Peacock of the Turkey world...Good for you, be fun to follow along on!

From: Zebrakiller
27-Feb-19
awesome

From: trkyslr
27-Feb-19
Very cool

From: T Mac
27-Feb-19
Beautiful bird good luck

From: Timbrhuntr
27-Feb-19
That should be fun !

From: Boreal
27-Feb-19
Cool bird! Good luck DH!

From: Fauntleroy
27-Feb-19
I'm green with envy. Congratulations!

From: Elite 1
27-Feb-19

Elite 1's embedded Photo
Elite 1's embedded Photo
Buddy of mine just shot one in Mexico not sure if he wanted his face plastered on here so blacked it out

From: The Kid
27-Feb-19
Good Luck!! Mike Dunnaway makes beautiful bows. Excited to see how it all turns out!

From: jsgold
28-Feb-19
That's awesome! What time of the year is your hunt? Jeff

From: Brotsky
28-Feb-19
Very cool bird! I love adventures like this! Good luck!

From: njbuck
28-Feb-19
Very nice, good luck

From: Cazador
28-Feb-19
A little school lesson on the Spanish language that surely applies to this bird for the literal translation.

Turkey = Pavo

Peacock = Pavo Real

I think they need to invent another word for Peacock. Those Oscellated turkeys sure look like the "Real Turkey" to me. They make the "Pavo" look, and sound, so bland.

From: CJE
28-Feb-19
Good luck, I have one of Mike's 54" recurves and it's a handy little bow, you will like your's I'm sure!

From: Rockbass
01-Mar-19
Just finished my archery World slam on January 29 with an Ocellated. You should have opportunity to stick one with that outfitter. I had a really good hunt other than my bow never arrived in Merida for two days! Good Luck...it is a fun easy laid back hunt. .

From: Rockbass
01-Mar-19
I should mention for anyone that is thinking of booking an Ocellated hunt and taking a crossbow (I guess that is a bad word on this site!) One of the hunters in camp was planning on getting his Mexican Slam x 2 with a crossbow for 2019 but his bow scope was seized by customs in Merida. They were going to take the crossbow as well but he found an allan key and removed the scope. They said it was considered "Military Issue" and not allowed. The outfitter attempted to negotiate to get the scope back when the hunter was exiting Mexico but authorities did not budge!

From: dhaverstick
01-Mar-19
Rockbass, I asked about the possibility of bringing one of my flintlock smoothbores to hunt with and learned quickly that it would probably be easier to get a nuclear warhead across the border.

I am headed there the 3rd week of February. Jorge Sansores, the owner of Snook Inn Hunting, said that would be an ideal time to bowhunt as the birds will still be flocked up.

Darren

From: Salagi
01-Mar-19
That is one bird I would really like to hunt! It is also one I would love to raise but I don't think anyone outside of maybe a zoo has them in the US. Think you could sneak a few eggs back? ;)

From: INbowdude
01-Mar-19
Do we have an update on the hunt?

From: Rockbass
02-Mar-19

Rockbass's embedded Photo
Rockbass's embedded Photo
Darren, I talked to the booking agent and with Jorge as they had a cancellation for February 2019 but it was at the exact same time I was driving down to Texas for hogs with a couple of friends and that is why I did not book with Snook Inn. I had done the Jungle hunt in April 2018 but did not get my turkey with bow. I had one opportunity and that was at very last light (pushing the envelope) at a bird way up in a tree through foliage and branches. Just not a bow shot....maybe some guys could have threaded the needle but I was not one of them. I shot my 12 pound 2" spurs jungle bird with a 12-gauge using #6 load. The jungle hunt was interesting in the fact you see different species (Howler Monkeys, Coatimundi, Agouti, Peccary, Greater Curassow, Crested Guan, numerous exotic birds, etc. There were five of us in camp and three of the five seen Grey Brocket Deer. The food was excellent and even though the guides know very little English they work real hard and seem to really enjoy what they are doing. The camp manager (Ramon) had spent a few years in Canada and his English is excellent and is an all-round really nice guy. I met up with him and took him fishing for a day when I was down there this January. He now owns the one camp and manages the jungle camps.

I hunted at Yukkutz Hunting Lodge. They have the numbers of birds. There was a cancellation for the first hunt of the year so I jumped on it as I really wanted to complete my bow World Slam. They have a 2,000 acre bow only area as it is close to some of the farm houses. They lease all of their land from Mennonite farmers and the hunt (with bow) is out of pop-up blinds. The camp is more like a small oasis in the middle of a very small town.

I think if someone is dead-set at taking their Ocellated with bow the field hunt is the way to go. My shot was close at 12 yards as they are much smaller than any of the other five sub-species. You want to anchor your bird in the field as the jungle is extremely thick on the edge of the fields with multiple piles of branches, trees,etc. and the guide told me they will bury themselves in this mess and hide if wounded. The birds in the early season seem to be on average a little smaller but are in large groups. Later in the season the birds are in small groups and you will see less birds but should have the opportunity to see them in their mating ritual with the toms strutting around and calling.

The only complaint I had was they use the metal card-table type chairs in the blinds with the thin legs that sink down into the ground. If you are hunting with Snook Inn or Yukkutz and have the room I would include a blind chair as you spend about 6-8 hours in the blind each day.

On both trips I never at all felt not safe as to some of the problems Mexico has. I am now going back in December on a Whitetail hunt but in the northern part of Mexico.

If I can be of any help to anyone thinking about either hunt please do not hesitate to email me.

From: Rockbass
02-Mar-19

Rockbass's embedded Photo
Rockbass's embedded Photo
My guide showing the hooks on my Ocellated.

From: t-roy
02-Mar-19
Congrats to you on your archery World Slam, Rockbass! What are all of the different subspecies that make up the world slam?

Good luck to you on your hunt as well, dhaverstick!

From: dhaverstick
02-Mar-19
Thanks for all the info, Rockbass! Yeah, I figured that my odds would greatly improve by hunting field edges as opposed to jungles. I usually hunt turkeys with a string tracker. Would you recommend that for there? Good to know about the chairs. I'll see if I can work something out.

World Slam includes Eastern, Osceola, Rio, Merriam's, Gould's, and Ocellated.

Darren

From: Rockbass
04-Mar-19
Darren, If you are used to the set-up I would not change a thing. I would practice out to 20-25 yards but as on all the species pin-point accuracy is a must and even more so on these little birds. Before my hunt I practiced different angles sitting and shooting out of a small front window of one of my blinds with my face mask and gloves on. I tried to duplicate what the hunt would be like but I was sitting in the snow in my back yard and the blind in Mexico was about 100 degrees in the early afternoons! Morning hunts I brought a light jacket for the hour sit before sun up. You should have a great hunt and if the food is similar than my two hunts you are not going to lose any weight!

From: 2 Points
04-Mar-19
I really am interested in this hunt for next year. Do the hunts book up fast?

From: Medicinemann
04-Mar-19
A very interesting thread. I have been interested in this type of hunt for years. I have a few questions......1.) If interested in mounting one of these birds, the broadheads can really mess them up....would it be possible to get two tags? So you could take one with a bow, and if the feathers are really messed up, you could tag a second bird with a shotgun.... 2.) Is it particularly difficult to bring the skin/meat back into the US? I had small brief challenges with a Mule Deer hide once, and was wondering. These birds require some type of CITES paperwork....don't they? 3.) If a second bird CAN be taken, I know that trying to bring your own firearm for the hunt is NOT worth the time, expense, and paperwork required....so they must have guns in camp, as well as the ammo. I was wondering if you happened to get a look at the condition of any camp guns? 4.) Since an Oscellated turkey "sings" more than they gobble (to me, they sound more like a grouse drumming, than a turkey gobbling), is it still possible to call them in at all, perhaps with clucks, etc?

From: Huntcell
04-Mar-19

Huntcell 's embedded Photo
Range of
Huntcell 's embedded Photo
Range of
From the internet:

The body feathers of both sexes are a mixture of bronze and green iridescent color. Although females can be duller with more green, the breast feathers do not generally differ and cannot be used to determine sex. Neither sex possesses the beard typically found in wild turkeys. Tail feathers of both sexes are bluish-grey with an eye-shaped, blue-bronze spot near the end with a bright gold tip. The spots, or ocelli (located on the tail), for which the ocellated turkey is named, have been likened to the patterning typically found on peafowl. The upper, major secondary wing coverts are rich iridescent copper. The primary and secondary wing feathers have similar barring to that of North American turkeys, but the secondaries have more white, especially around the edges.

Both sexes have blue heads with some orange or red nodules, which are more pronounced on males. The males also have a fleshy blue crown covered with nodules, similar to those on the neck, behind the snood. During breeding season this crown swells up and becomes brighter and more pronounced in its yellow-orange color. The eye is surrounded by a ring of bright red skin, which is most visible on males during breeding season. The legs are deep red and are shorter and thinner than on North American turkeys. Males over one year old have spurs on the legs that average 1.6 in, with lengths of over 2.4 in being recorded. These spurs are much longer and thinner than on North American turkeys.

Ocellated turkeys are much smaller than any of the subspecies of North American wild turkey, with adult hens weighing about 8.8 lb before laying eggs and 6–7 pounds the rest of the year, and adult males weighing about 11–13 lb during breeding season.

The breeding season for the ocellated turkey begins in early February when the first gobbles are heard. The breeding season peaks in March and comes to an end by the end of April. Male ocellated turkeys engage in an elaborate, spirited display to attract females .

Ocellated turkeys use their tail fans just like North American subspecies of turkeys do, however there are several distinct differences between the display of the ocellated and their North American cousins. Male turkeys begin the mating dance by tapping their feet against the ground in rapid succession. Next, the male birds move their tail feathers from side to side while quickly vibrating their wings and dragging the tips of them against the ground. As the male does this dance, he moves around the female making sure the dorsal surface of the tail feathers are constantly in view of the female.

Ocellated turkey poults hatch in May through July after a 28-day incubation period. Female ocellated turkeys lay 8–15 eggs.

Vocalizations of the hen ocellated turkeys are similar to that of their northern relatives, however the male vocalization known as a “gobble” is quite different in comparison.The gobble begins with several low frequency "thumps", much like the sound of a small gasoline motor starting. As the tempo of thumps increases, the typical gobble is produced." the male ocellated turkey does not gobble per se like the wild turkey. Rather, his song is distinct and includes some six to seven bongo-like bass tones which quicken in both cadence and volume until a crescendo is reached whereupon the bird’s head is fully erect while he issues forth a rather high-pitched but melodious series of chops. The ocellated turkey will typically begin his singing 20 to 25 minutes before sunrise—similar to the wild turkey.

From: PAstringking
05-Mar-19
Medicineman... see below for some answers.....

1.) If interested in mounting one of these birds, the broadheads can really mess them up....would it be possible to get two tags? So you could take one with a bow, and if the feathers are really messed up, you could tag a second bird with a shotgun.... Short answer is Yes. Typically the outfitter will want to know up front if you plan to hunt two birds.

2.) Is it particularly difficult to bring the skin/meat back into the US? I had small brief challenges with a Mule Deer hide once, and was wondering. These birds require some type of CITES paperwork....don't they? Yes they require paperwork and require going to a USFW approved tannery/taxidermist to be prepped. Many of the good outfitters down there have "a guy" that takes care of this state side for you. But you can have it done locally if there is an approved location that you trust.

3.) If a second bird CAN be taken, I know that trying to bring your own firearm for the hunt is NOT worth the time, expense, and paperwork required....so they must have guns in camp, as well as the ammo. I was wondering if you happened to get a look at the condition of any camp guns? This depends on the outfitter....but most of the good outfitters are going to have nice shotguns to use.

4.) Since an Oscellated turkey "sings" more than they gobble (to me, they sound more like a grouse drumming, than a turkey gobbling), is it still possible to call them in at all, perhaps with clucks, etc? Not really. Usually you are set up in a feeding area and the birds just work into range.

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