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.
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.
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.
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.
Good luck to you on your hunt as well, dhaverstick!
World Slam includes Eastern, Osceola, Rio, Merriam's, Gould's, and Ocellated.
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.
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.