Title: Opening day
AFarCry - April 17, 2008 12:55 AM (GMT)
Nope, didn't connect, but I had the most fun and excitement on a hunting excursion that I've had since the kids were little and took their first deer. Le and I were set up shortly before sunrise in the shooting house overlooking our foodplot. She's been learning how to call (she doesn't really love it :) but she's doing a great job).
Anyway, it was blowing anywhere from 30 - 40 miles an hour this morning, so I didn't expect much for results. Just wanted to be out there as it's been a long time since we woke up to 47 degrees. Once we were settled, I had her do a few soft yelps like a hen waking up. No response, but again with that wind blowing like a hurricane, it was no great surprise. We sat a little while longer until it was just light enough to see the decoys. She was using a box call for the volume and gave a few louder yelps out the window.
Imagine our excitement when a gobble just thundered back to us from a couple hundred yards across the foodplot! :yahoo: We waited a couple minutes and she hit it again. About half through the series of yelps, that gobbler cut loose and was closer. It got light pretty fast and we could see the rascal moving through the poplars just off the backside of the plot.
Seems like every time she hit the call, he would let loose with a gobble and strut another 10 feet. When he hit the edge of the plot, he didn't hesitate but kept coming like he was on a string.
Now just to back off the story for a minute and give you a little background, I do a ton of hunting but I'm pretty new to this whole turkey calling business. You see, 4 years ago, we didn't have any turkeys in the area, so I haven't hunted them since I shot one well over 20 years ago over in Minnesota. I've harvested birds in the fall, but they're just like hunting deer then so I can stumble through it. :) 2 years ago I had a tag, but because of the rain and the wheelchair combination, I only got out a couple mornings and didn't do any good. Last year we missed the spring turkey season because we were in Atlanta when my tag was good.
Back to the story. That gobbler came all the way across the foodplot with my heart going about 120 beats a minute everytime he cut loose with a gobble. Rascal never even folded his tail up. He was fluffed up and strutting all the way across. I'm not a good judge, but that beard looked like a horsetail coming out of his chest! He was going to come in from the right side of the decoy, and I was totally ready. I really started to think there was something to this turkey calling business. He was almost in range when for some reason he made kind of a big hook so he was approaching the decoy from the left.
Back in my able-bodied days, that wouldn't have been a big deal. However, when you've got a shotgun velcroed to your shoulder with the front in my homemade rest, and a sip-and-puff trigger rig, it gets a tad complicated to move that shotgun to the left. I can actually do right quite aways, but not left. :o
So here's this great big tom strutting at 25 yards, and I can get the gosh-darn shotgun to a point about a foot in front of him and he won't come closer! :HeadBang: Eventually he moved back into the woods off to our left, gobbling all the time, but refusing to come back.
Thought I'd be smart, so I had Le set aside the box call and grab a slate. She cut a couple times on that and he got really fired up! Now to add insult to injury, he's just off to the left of the window so we can't see him, but he's really raising cain. A few minutes of that (seemed like 3 hours give or take) and things got really quiet.
All of a sudden there was a crunch, crunch, crunch, of something walking through the snow VERY close from the left. Here comes that big old tom not even 10 feet in front of the shooting house. Of course I don't have a snow ball's chance of moving the shotgun when he's that close, so we let him walk by with the hope we could get him to circle in from the right.
He never quit gobbling, but he never quit walking away either. What an awesome experience!! And no, we didn't try to take pictures of him coming in as it was just too intense. Can't wait for morning!
Leo - April 17, 2008 01:13 AM (GMT)
Now that was seriously intense!
Good story :)
Leep - April 17, 2008 01:35 AM (GMT)
Wow, great story.. I wish you could have gotten him..
I bet you will soon though..
RLF - April 17, 2008 01:39 AM (GMT)
Sounds like a winner to me, and I'll just bet 'someone" fell just a little deeper into this Turkey thing than they thought before :) :Congrats: to Le on the calling!
Chuckgrmi - April 17, 2008 01:53 AM (GMT)
I was on edge the whole story. I thought for sure you were going to get him in the next paragraph.
Bet you won't sleep much tonight
PS. Must be nice to have a Master turkey caller right in the family.
I can hardly wait for tomorrow's story.
Don't forget the pics after the shot
seaotter - April 17, 2008 03:14 AM (GMT)
Looks like you're off to a good and exciting start. Have a ball!
AFarCry - April 17, 2008 03:19 PM (GMT)
Thanks guys. Here's an update on today's hunt.
This morning did not live up to the expectations the long night developed in me. We were settled when the sun came up, and got 1 to answer the call relatively quick. However, he absolutely refused to come in. He was probably 300 yards away all the time.
By breakfast time we went back to the house. While having a smoke on the porch, wouldn't you know there was a great big gobble from the other direction. Just to see what would happen, I had Le step off the porch and give a few yelps. Immediate response!! :WooHoo: Quick as we could, it was out to my archery stand which happened to be very close to where he was gobbling. We settled in and got a response from him as well as another bird a little further away everytime we called, but they acted like the one this morning and would not come any closer. Back to the drawing board if we have time later this afternoon or in the morning. Any suggestions for me?
Andy1 - April 17, 2008 05:25 PM (GMT)
Wow what excitment you got my blood pressure boiling.
Thats what makes Turkey hunting so much fun :yahoo:
Keep at it Don it will happen :shoot:
Leo - April 17, 2008 06:27 PM (GMT)
Get a Coach's whistle, the kind football coachs blow during practice. Dig the ball out of it.
Blow it! WEE! WEE! WEE! pretty fast. This imitates a Kee-Kee call very well and is very simple to learn. Kee-keeing on a diaphragm is much more difficult. The whistle wins for consistency every time. This little trick can close the deal on obstinate turkeys. Especially if the Gobbler is with hens this tactic can be VERY effective. Kee-kees pull hens in with the Tom in tow.
A kee-kee call is the natural lost response of a young turkey. You are going outside the breeding response when you use this and thats why sometimes it will trigger birds to come in when all else fails.
RLF - April 17, 2008 06:42 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (AFarCry @ Apr 17 2008, 10:19 AM)|
| Any suggestions for me?|
Yes, do what Leo suggested, and go out in the morn or your next outing and go with the attitude that your just not gonna see one in close cause it just ain't a good day, and then they will appear when you least expect it, and stop eating them bean burritos before you go out!!! :) and if they keep sneakin to your left have your caller set out to the left and change them up. or you could just stay on the porch and smoke until one stops by, Black and Mild Sweets work well for me during turkey and deer season, LOL
seaotter - April 17, 2008 07:31 PM (GMT)
Hey Don! I never saw a turkey smoking before. Is that something new?? Didn't your doctor say that will kill you?? :ROFL:
Leo's right, A Kee-kee call can work wonders.
Another way to get a Tom moving if he is hung up is using a number of different calls, not just one. Sometimes, if you make it sound like a bunch of Jakes the Tom will get mad and come in for a fight. Worked for me a few times.
Are you using any locator calls in the morning? Use them before using your turkey calls.
I use one call not many turkey hunters will use. If a turkey starts past me, one way I have found to get him back is by using a squirrel call. Only use it once. It will make the turkey turn to see what the squirrel is barking at. Don't do it more then once because instead of just getting him to turn it will make him head for the hills. Thats because the barking is a sign of danger to the turkey.
Switch back to your other calls after he turns around. It saved a few hunts.
After your permit time is up and if no one else will be hunting turkeys in your area, experiment. Go to your shooting house and try different sounds and combinations. You may hit on a new call or way to use one. I've tried this at the end of the season. It can be productive for use next year.
I think you'll score soon. You are not the type that gives up. Go get em' Don!
AFarCry - April 17, 2008 10:24 PM (GMT)
Great tips guys. We're digging for a whistle, we'll have the crow call with us in the morning for a locator, Riley already got the squirrel call out, and I'm going to play with the tube call tonight so we have 1 more sound to try. Gotta get in the woods for a little while now, but I'll check back in a while if you've got any more words of wisdom.
seaotter - April 17, 2008 11:17 PM (GMT)
Hey Don, One of these days try a pileated woodpecker call for a locator. Another tip: a good cheap locator that works well is a silent dog whistle. Those birds have incredible hearing. You'll have to play around with it to get the right "sound". They hear frequencies we can't, just like dogs. :ThumbsUp:
HunterFisher - April 17, 2008 11:35 PM (GMT)
Seems to me your having the time of your life with those birds Don. Keep at it bud and I'm sure you'll score. I'm getting all excited about turkey hunting just following you're reports. Sounds like Le is becoming quite the caller. :ThumbsUp:
Leo - April 17, 2008 11:47 PM (GMT)
If you know what blind you are going to in the morning. Do not use a locator call!
Shock gobbles help you find where the birds are roosting true but they put the birds on edge. If you know ahead of time where you are going and are confident the birds are in the area. Do not try and get a shock gobble response! In my experience, birds that have shock gobbled are always harder to call in. Not impossible, just always harder. If you can avoid putting them on alert first thing in the morning it's always been better for me. The birds are more relaxed and more responsive.
Don't get in a talking contest with one either. The more he gobbles the more likely a hen or coyote will cut you off. There are other ears in the woods besides yours. If he answers you, just once odds are better he'll seek you out if you don't sound like you're coming his way.
Never answer a gobble with a hen call. Always pretend you can't hear him. Wait a couple minutes after a gobble and call like you're still looking for companionship. Effectively play like his gobbles are completely unheard. This gets them moving your way more than anything else. The hard to get game keeps them talking less and decreases the chances you'll be cut off.
seaotter - April 19, 2008 04:35 PM (GMT)
A short update on Don's hunt. He didn't connect yesterday but has a few "candidates" for his dinner table. He is hunting hard right now, so I'm sure you understand why he isn't around as much as usual. Because he only has a very short "season", he's concentrating on the hunt. He'll fil us all in soon.
I'm sure I speak for all when I say god luck Don!!! And... Have yourself a blast!
AFarCry - April 20, 2008 01:24 AM (GMT)
Thanks, Mark. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with what we have going on. One day left, but no guarantees of another great story. Lots of fun though and lots of new experiences. Today, Le even got a hen to talk to her!
seaotter - April 20, 2008 01:27 AM (GMT)
Don't worry Don, just have fun. If its in the cards you,ll score. If not, you had fun trying, and learned a lot by it. :ThumbsUp:
AFarCry - April 21, 2008 02:42 PM (GMT)
Well, season ended when we watched the sun settle last night. No harvest but I'm afraid I have become hooked on this spring turkey calling business. Quite a bit of response and activities but no more longbeards after the first day. That adventure definitely made my season and I have to color the whole thing a success. A huge thank you definitely goes to my wife for spending all that time in the woods with me and doing a fantastic job of calling!
The birds are definitely growing in population around here but the numbers of older birds are probably just not there yet. It'll come and I will be there! Shucks, I'll be as much of a mess next March as I always am in August waiting for deer season. This turkey hunting in the spring is awesome!
seaotter - April 21, 2008 05:07 PM (GMT)
i'd say you were successful too Don. You learned a lot from the experience. They are very unpredictable and can drive you crazy but thats part of the game. It is twice as hard for you because you were hunting from a stationary blind.
Thats why we sometimes use the locator calls. We get an idea where they are and close the distance before calling. Its not about a trophy, its the fun and excitement of luring a big ol gobbler in. Bagging one is a bonus. You had the one turkey come to you the first day. It didn't strut into a position where you could shoot, but thats how hunting them in the spring goes. In all the years I've hunted them, there have been years I couldn't score.
You now know the excitement of turkey hunting and it sounds like you have the fever. You are lucky since you can hunt them all day. Here, we can only hunt them till noon and must be out of the woods by 1 PM. Now you have a reason to get excited in the springtime. You're hooked Don, without a doubt, you are hooked. Great feeling, isn't it?
Chuckgrmi - April 21, 2008 05:19 PM (GMT)
Just being out in the woods hunting is a success in my book.
A great line we used too often in our deer camp is
"We will get 'em next year" :D
HunterFisher - April 21, 2008 07:56 PM (GMT)
At least no one can say you didn't give it you're all Don. :ThumbsUp:
But then again, like my signature claims,............. It's not the kill, but the hunt, where memories are made.
HunterFisher - April 21, 2008 08:11 PM (GMT)
On a sadder note, I just now heard on CNN that a father in MN. mistook his young son, age unknown, for a turkey and fatally shot him. The father told his son to stay put while he sneaked up on some birds. Supposedly the lad disobeyed and moved into the line of fire. 'The father thought his son was a turkey' ............This is sad, very,very, sad. :dunno:
seaotter - April 21, 2008 09:08 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (HunterFisher @ Apr 21 2008, 04:11 PM)|
| On a sadder note, I just now heard on CNN that a father in MN. mistook his young son, age unknown, for a turkey and fatally shot him. The father told his son to stay put while he sneaked up on some birds. Supposedly the lad disobeyed and moved into the line of fire. 'The father thought his son was a turkey' ............This is sad, very,very, sad. :dunno: |
That is sad Kenny. But one of the cardinal rules of turkey hunting is do not sneak up (stalking) a bird. The reason is obvious, it could be another hunter. In this case it was, it was his son. The son was wrong, but the father worse than the son. Now he'll spend the rest of his life regreting he broke the rules and stalked.
The father also did not wait for a clear shot to see the target. Just because you hear something that sounds like a turkey, doesn't mean you shoot. You are supposed to shoot a turkey in the vital zone, the head and neck. If he followed the rules, there would be no way he could shoot his son.
I also think the father was reckless and should not have been hunting. That could have been another hunter, with similar results. I have been shot at already, I was just lucky I was protected by a large tree. That guy should have both his guns and hunting license taken away for life. He is a menace, and paid a high price, his son.
AFarCry - April 21, 2008 09:28 PM (GMT)
That is terrible! My prayers go out to the family.
RLF - April 21, 2008 11:02 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Chuckgrmi @ Apr 21 2008, 12:19 PM)|
| Just being out in the woods hunting is a success in my book.|
A great line we used too often in our deer camp is
"We will get 'em next year" :D
hunt with a group of CUBS FANS huh? :)
I feel for the Son, sorry I have heard and seen this to much in my young little life. Should Not be allowed to carry any firearm! NO EXCEPTIONS!
HunterFisher - April 21, 2008 11:38 PM (GMT)
My wife pulled up local MN. news and found the story. The little guy was only 8 yrs.old.
How that man can possibly live with himself is beyond me. His sons name was 'Hunter.'
RLF - April 22, 2008 01:16 AM (GMT)
I don't know Kenny, I just can't imagine doing it at all.
seaotter - April 22, 2008 06:58 PM (GMT)
Well, very soon the season starts here in PA. on the 26th a Saturday. I'm getting things ready, have for the last few weeks. I just hope my arms will work better and stop hurting a bit. If you remember, I had problems and was supposed to have an MRI. Well, I didn't have that yet, but I had a CT Scan. They say both of my arms, actually where the shoulder meets, need surgery. I still don't have all the info but my doctor wants me to see an Orthopedic surgon. Right now I can hardly lift my arms up. Lifting and carrying are very hard if I can at all. I'm not giving up, I have a whole month to hunt turkey here. I am trying different idea's like using a collapsable combination Shooting/hiking staff. that will take the weight of the shotgun off me and steady it. I am worried about even a little recoil. It will really hurt with the arms this way and may even cause damage, it don't know.
Being trapped in this body can turn out to be a real inconvenience. I'll keep getting my stuff ready so I can go hunting at a moments notice. I'll try to get out there somehow. :ThumbsUp:
HunterFisher - April 22, 2008 09:07 PM (GMT)
Hope you'll be up to it Mark. Just don't get overly excited and force yourself to hunt if it comes to that. Theres always next year bud. Just get them shoulders nailed togather correctly. :ThumbsUp:
AFarCry - April 23, 2008 12:18 AM (GMT)
Hope you can do it Mark. Best of luck for you out there.
Chuckgrmi - April 23, 2008 04:37 PM (GMT)
Man! I hope you're able to get out there. But taking care of your body is more important than the hunt sometimes.
I saw a program the other day where a turkey hunter was sitting on the ground and was using a short staff to support his gun.
I had to make a short monostaff to support my camera and hold it steady while sitting in the wheel chair.
All this adaptive stuff drives me crazy. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
Man! I hope you get a turkey.
seaotter - April 23, 2008 08:24 PM (GMT)
They have quite a few types of staffs out there. For just about any need. The one I have has a small all cap for hiking, a paded V shaped gun rest and an adapter to use it as a monopod for a camera, spotting scope and some binoculars. It adjustsreal low for tirkey hunting and extends to about 5 feet for hiking. It can be set for any height in between. Would be good for your camera Chuck.
I'll get out there somehow, that I know. besides, I still don't know the reason they say I need surgery. I don't know if I'd let them operate anyway. Unless They say without it I'd lose use of my arms, I may say no.
I'm brushing up on my call's right now, I do mean right now as I type this. I'm practicing with several different mouth call's. I'll be ready.
wheelz99 - May 5, 2008 10:04 PM (GMT)
don't worry don, i didn't get my gobbler either, and i had 8 chances at him. he skirted me every time that rascal. got some great video of him tho. check out the video here: turkey video
i hope he's still around next year b/c i'll be waiting. lol.
AFarCry - May 6, 2008 02:28 AM (GMT)
Great video Chad! Pretty great to remember him by.
Chuckgrmi - May 6, 2008 03:10 AM (GMT)
That was fun video to watch. I kept waiting for the sound of a shotgun blast.
Next year he will be tripping over his beard.
seaotter - May 6, 2008 03:23 AM (GMT)
Nice video, shows how close they can come and still be out of reach. You're probably looking foward to next season.
wheelz99 - May 6, 2008 04:10 AM (GMT)
yeah he was about 70 yds out. i have a good lens on my camera. when i see it i say the same thing. lol.
seaotter - May 20, 2008 09:29 PM (GMT)
Any of you guys know a good witch doctor? I need one to give me a bit of good weather. It was below freezing here last night, then rain on and off. and a lot of rain fr tomorrow. I need a little bit of good weather to try for that old turkey! I only have a few days left :o .
HunterFisher - May 20, 2008 11:33 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (seaotter @ May 20 2008, 03:29 PM)|
| Any of you guys know a good witch doctor? I need one to give me a bit of good weather. It was below freezing here last night, then rain on and off. and a lot of rain fr tomorrow. I need a little bit of good weather to try for that old turkey! I only have a few days left :o .|
You could always ask Randy. :rolleyes: He seems to have a knack for directing the weather flow. :D