Mellon Creek Outfitters; Turkey Hunt 2012

Steve Johnson

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  • Prostaff Member Steve Johnson again had the opportunity to visit Mellon Creek Outfitters of South Texas, this time to hunt Texas Rio's Turkey. Mellon Creek Outfitters is located just a short 30 minute ride outside of Corpus Christy, Texas on a 110,000 acre, free range, Oil and Gas Ranch.

Date: March 28th - April 1st 2012
Hunt: Rio Turkeys
Weapon: Shotgun

The Lodge:
Mellon Creek's lodge is still one of the nicest that I have visited in my hunting travels, and I've seen a few at this point. They have a huge Great room filled with taxidermy of the wildlife that roams the ranch. There is plenty of comfortable seating for watching the game on the flat screen, telling stories and eating. They have satellite TV and wireless internet to keep you in touch (if you so desire). The bedrooms offer comfortable queen sized beds and the stone and marble showers really begin to set this place apart, even before you take a ride around the ranch. The Mellon Creek lodge is nothing short of first class and offers the highest level of comfort during your hunt.

The Food:
One of the best parts (in my opinion) of going on a hunt is the home cooking that usually comes with it. Mellon Creek Outfitters has a Chief (Chief Dean) on staff to cook every meal from breakfast to dinner. Each morning we woke to eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, or some combination of those. On the turkey hunts they do sandwiches for lunch, but don't be fooled, every option you can think of is offered along with a grill to toast your custom made sandwich!

Hors' D'oeuvers were waiting upon arrival from a long day afield, everything from bacon wrapped jalapenos with cheese to spicy cheese dip is offered along with the beverage of your choosing (at MCO, Soda, Beer, Wine, Liquor is all included). Dinners varied every day, everything from steaks, to freshly caught trout and shrimp. MCO goes all out on every aspect of the hunt and the meals prepared by Chief Dean are no exception!

The Guides:
As I said at the beginning, I've been on a few hunts now and been around many different kinds of camps and guides. MCO offers 100% success on every species they hunt and here's why, these guys know their stuff, PERIOD! They know that 110,000 acres like they've lived there all their lives, they know where the animals are, where they like to be and most of the time, when they'll get there!

On top of knowing how and where to hunt, they are very personable, likable guys. The kind of people you can enjoy hunting with. Let's be honest, we all book hunts in hopes that we can fill a tag, but enjoying your time at camp and the company of your guide is also a big part of the hunt. I've had the opportunity to hunt a few times at MCO and spent time with most of the guides, and I can honestly say I don't think there is a better team in the business. They work hard to get things done and they work together to ensure the success of their hunters.

The Hunt:
After eating all day at airports, we arrived late Wednesday evening to a hot meal and cold beverages! It wasn't long before we settled in for a good night's sleep before we started the hunt. Thursday morning started off raining. With 3.5 days of potential hunting and no rain gear, I decided to listen for gobbles from the truck! We setup at couple locations throughout the day but with the nasty weather the birds were quiet and although we saw quite a few, we didn't have any opportunities.

Day two brought sunshine and GOBBLES, from every direction it seemed. We snuck in to a roost before sunrise and setup our decoys and waited. It wasn't long before for the first Gobbler sounded off. As daylight broke we watched as a total of 7 Gobblers flew out of the trees and landed within 125 yards of our decoys. Dan did the calling as they strutted back and forth for the hens they had roosted with. They answered nearly every cluck and it wasn't long before they took a serious interest in our 2 hens and the courting Jake we had setup. As four long beards strutted across the field towards our decoys, the heart was starting to race. It wasn't long and they were standing in our spread strutting and gobbling! I let my partner, take the first shot and as you'll see in the video, he was tagged out quickly! After he shot, Dan was able to call the other 3 nearly back into range for my shot but they decided it was best to follow the hens and moved on.

Just as we are about to get up and checkout the first bird of our hunt, we heard a gobble to our left, and close! We quickly settled back into hiding and Dan hit the call once, they answered and just like they were on a string, here they come. Two swing daddy long beards, not with the original flock, came strutting right down the road towards our setup. As you see in the video, they walked right to us! Just as they got to our setup they noticed something wasn't quite right, but I was able to make a single shot and take both of them! So within 40 minutes of sunrise on day 2, the HuntOnly Crew was tagged out on Long beards in South Texas at "The Mellon". The third hunter in our group, hunting with another guide also tagged out about the same time! All the footage in this video was shot while we were there!

After the hunt, I was talking to the head guide Dan, about how they are able to do so well on so many species consistently and I found out one reason is lack of pressure. They have 110,000 acres of huntable ranch, and they only plan to kill 24 turkeys this spring! That's one bird per 4,500 Acres!! With management like that, it's easy to see why they have the level of success they do!




Posted by Steve Johnson under Outfitter Reviews on April 5, 12 10:41 AM | Permalink

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