2014 Spring Turkey Season Reports...
Took my wifes cousin out for his first turkey hunt ever. He is in his 30s and just started hunting (never shot anything). Went to check things out friday night before he came up and instantly had gobbling. Not the best set up and they wouldnt come through the brush.
The next morning it was game on. We hunted the outer edges of the woods all day. Around 9 am. I called one to 25 yards but he was on the neighbors property. He stayed for a bit but didnt come closer. We held off and enjoyed the show. We let them be in the woods and maintained position on the wood edges that surrounded the 80 acres of woods.
Around 5 we had 3 come out. My wifes cousin was on them and I waited for him to take the first shot. For a full choke the birds were a bit close. Mine was about 12 feet away and his was close to 20. He missed and I nearly did. Enough bb's connected and we had our first bird.
Many birds/gobbling the next day but he has 3 kids and had to leave at 11. We simply ran out of time. Looking forward to many more hunted on this old but newly found property.
A quick shout out to all the great farmers around. I know quite a few that are the most helpful and giving people. Would give you a shirt off their back in a snowstorm if you needed it. Greatly appreciated and hope I can return many favors to them.
I was able to take Sam out hunting with me late Saturday afternoon and Sunday turkey hunting, and what a hunt it was. Saturday we ended up cutting up wood most of the day so we were only able to hunt about the last 1.5 hours of the day, but it was still very eventful. We saw 5 birds feeding in the field and had a pretty good idea where they would head in to roost. So we went into “the big woods” and plopped down. It did not take long for some wildlife action. Right away we saw deer – and they kept coming. At one point in time, we could count 11 and probably had 20+ go past us – we are going to have a great fall again. Then we saw the turkeys making their way to roost. Unfortunately, the majority of the ones took a tree prior to where we were sitting, and were about 100 yards away. We did have one come it – came right up the path I was planning, and I could have taken it as it was a jake, but I let it walk knowing we would have all day on Sunday. Also had a pair of raccoons come check us out – they were about 15 yards away and Sam was asking if they would come attack us. A few wood ducks flew by and had an owl hooting near us. A very eventful 1.5 hour hunt.
I woke up Sam at 4 AM on Sunday morning and we made our way to the field that has produced all spring. I mentioned we need to get there early and be quiet because the birds have changed their roosting pattern, and now are very near the blind we have left up all season. Sure enough, as I am setting the decoy spread, I can see 3 birds in the trees, and am sure there are more that I am not seeing. Sam was great, quiet and followed my direction. Into the blind we go. No much gobbling on roost, but once down, enough to note there are at least 4 different toms in the area. The birds that were at roost came down, and saw there was one tom about 110 yards away fanning for the two hens. He would not respond to me, but I seemed to get the attention of the hens. I figured if I could pull in the hens, the tom would follow. So with some soft calling and few purrs, the hens came right in – and I mean like 8 yards away. Told Sam he can’t even blink at that range. The tom hung up and would not follow. Another hen starting calling in the other direction and he went to her.
About an hour later, Sam states “Dad – there are some birds coming!”. So I look, not some – there were 8! 2 hens with 6 jakes. The jakes acted as dumb as usually – going in circles, jumping at each other and just not seeming to have a purpose in life. He asked if they were all wounded?. Those stuck around us for about an hour for pure entertainment.
About 2 hours go by and Sam notices birds about 350 yards away. I can pick out 4 toms and 2 hens. There is one particular tom that is missing part of his fan and is chasing all the other toms out of the area. I call, but to no avail. No problem, I stated to Sam we will sit for a bit, then since this is my last day I will probably hunt, we can “run and gun” on this property with no worry about the negative effects for future seasons.
We jumped out of the blind and hit up a tom still gobbling to our SW. Sure enough, I get up over the hill and there he is – about 75 yards out with a few hens. I call, and he answers, but the hens did not like it and went the other direction. The tom followed, so we pursued. Unfortunately, a hen that I did not see busted us and the whole flock moved out quickly. Sam and I pushed on the next spot – where I saw the 4 toms.
Up and down the hills we went and we made it to the place I wanted to call a bit. Sam is hot from the walk and decided he wanted his camo coat off. I mentioned to him – if there are birds, they will see him. Well, if you know Sam………………..
Sure enough, before even calling, Sam states to me, “Dad – a turkey”. Since he had mentioned this a few other times that day and they turned out to be squirrels and chipmunks, I didn’t even look. He says again, and sure enough, I see a red head and it is only 15 yards away. I have a tree to my left and there is no way I can even swing my gun in this direction. Once he was about 8 yards away from Sam, he starts putting and flies off. I then have a little talk with Sam on needed to keep the camo coat on. A few minutes go by and I strike my metal call. All of a sudden I look, and see a tom about 100 yards away and charging towards us. He was stop for a few seconds and strut, then make the charge back up. The bird covered the ground quickly and was in range. He kept coming and at 27 yards, I squeezed the trigger, throwing the #5 heavishot – which then threw the turkey back instantly. I did not realize it, but another tom was right behind the first one and could have shot both.
Sam was jumping up and down, a lot of high fiving and pretty excited. Looked at the fan, and sure enough, it was the dominate tom that I saw earlier with the broken fan. This was by far the most patient he has been on any hunt, and can’t wait until a year from now I can take him out for his first hunt. This is one I will certainly not forget. This field has produced 4 birds for us this past spring and because it is the only non-plowed field in the area, the birds just keep filtering back in. I would pay the farmer next year not to plow until spring if he would go for it?. The first time we scouted this field, we counted 26 birds I believe, with half as toms – and it never slowed down all spring.
well my goal of pulling a hat trick, and getting 3 birds down was fulfilled Friday afternoon 5/16. was an amazing day for both myself and more importantly bird activity had 2 areas to hunt both public, so I decided to hike back through a muddy field to an area that I missed a bird at on Wednesday pm, as it got lighter had several birds cluckin and yelping and of course ol gobblers too. had a hen in a tree 40yds out which was cool to watch her until fly down, had 2 gobbling to the right of me and 1 to the left that was the closest,once on the ground the 2 to the right shut up and moved off the one to the left hung up down below me about 50yds with a very bossy hen I couldn't see them due to thick cover but they wouldn't budge and I played cat n moyse with them for about 45min hen was on fire rap rap rap rap rap bababababbbabb yep yep yep yep!!!! and tom as in tow gobbbbbblalallababbabball! ug! so I tried to cut the distance and they moved off its about 10am now, so I decided ill try spot #2 that I only hunted one night last week and spooked 2 birds out of a field there, so thought id set up there, get down and settled in at new spot call and nada then a train goes by and out in thick swampy woods @ 200yds gobblealalabababble!! game on. pick up run down to wood edge get him going with some aggressive calling didn't budge maybe got to within 100yds at closest worked him for awhile and only had 1 hen come out. so picked up and wanted to walk to other end of property were I know theres a dog legged field on the edge of the thick woods, set up against a pile of field stone between fields start calling nada wait do some aggressive cuts and right my left shoulder gobbbbllababbbblalallaa!! holy@$#%$! get gun up yelp again gobbllle! closer closer waiting for him to pop out and doesn't wth he's right here, yelp again and GOBBBBLLEEEALLA! o crap!! he must have walked right behind me and cam out of my right side now he's standing in the field @30yds,had just 1 hen deke out and he was cautious, couldn't get shot do to brush and him looking at me, he takes a step then looks step then look ug c'mon guy! said screw it gata try um so I do the old half shouldered head cocked barely looking through scope, I see his head in the x and boom! drops in his tracks, goregeous bird just less than 1" spurs 11" beard and prob 20-23lbs I cant be happier with my luck this spring ive been blessed with 3 great show quality hunts with lots of gobbling and spittin drummin struttin all right in my lap. would like to try the last period up in zone 3 but I don't want to jinx myself, but I do have a property that hasn't been hunted yet this year up there. we'll see.
great job all and goodhuntin and be safe to those still out chasin ol Thomas!