Game & Fish gear editor Dr. Todd Kuhn joined Browning on a recent hunt in Texas for Rio Grande Turkey at the Los Encinos Ranch. Here are some the sights and sounds of the trip:
Texas is arguably the best place in the nation to chase the Rio Grande turkey. A mild southern climate, ample food sources and millions of acres of sprawling habitat offers outstanding turkey hunting.
The overabundance of habitat minimizes hunting pressure, allowing hunters to pursue seemingly unmolested birds. On private ranches, like the Los Encinos where we hunted—aggressive game management practices increase the availability of birds too.
Predator control, supplemental feedings and ample man-made water sources offer optimal conditions for successfully growing turkeys.
Recently, I traveled to the Lone Star state to hunt with the fine folks at Browning who provided the gear, and a fantastic place to put it through its paces across the rough-and-tumble terrain of south Texas.
- I experienced many things on the adventure, not the least of which was my first-ever $12 buck airport turkey sandwich:
- When it comes to top-notch Rio Grande turkey action, “Don’t Mess With Texas” indeed:
- Los Encinos is a 2,800-acre ranch, located approximately 70-miles north of the Mexico-Texas border and near McAllen, Texas. The ranch specializes in exotics and giant whitetail deer. (However, the turkey hunting is fantastic too):
- Longbeards greet us at the gate leading into Los Encinos:
- There were four hunters in our group, all shooting Browning shotguns. Here a hunter patterns their Browning Cynergy over-and-under:
- This Cynergy was equipped with both a spreader and extra-full extended chokes tubes:
- We also hunted with the Browning Maxus:
- Checking our patterns. Tight!
- We used the proven (and deadly) Browning BXD Turkey Extra Distance in 3-inch loaded to bear with 5-shot. A very special wad keeps shot tight at longer distances for more lethality:
- After a fruitless morning session of calling, we took to the ground. After consulting a satellite photo, we planned our stalk:
- Putting on a spot-and-stalk to distant gobblers strutting in a distant field. In the end, after a long belly crawl, I got a shot at a Texas trophy. resulted in a long shot and success (Video courtesy Browning):
- The result of a successful hunt: