Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'Unit 1'.
Found 3 results
First shotgun turkey hunt - my archery turkey hunt last year was too embarrassingly fruitless to document. I was worried because I'd heard reports that all of the toms already had hens and were going quiet after flydown. We arrived to high winds and snow flurries Wednesday night, set up tents, then I drove around 2 tracks until 9:30pm trying to elicit a shock gobble to no avail. Thursday morning was the complete opposite: everything I tried between 4:30-5:25am drew a shock gobble - hen yelp, coyote howl, owl hoots, even slamming my door - many times from 4 or 5 different toms. All of the calling stopped from every place I tried by 5:30am. I checked areas until 10 then I settled on a good looking spot (at least to my newb eyes) - a nice 2 track with tracks all over - for opening morning and spent the day goofing off with my oldest son, B-I-L and step-dad at camp. Got to meet a fellow coueswhitetail forum member as well, to compare notes and share what we both don't know about turkeys. lol Friday morning was completely quiet. I couldn't buy a shock gobble anywhere, including the 2 track I'd already traveled down a mile. I panicked and hauled my Tundra all over heck (rookie mistake #1) trying to hear one bird as light was coming on. I finally drove to one spot I'd seen the day before with a good seep, silent like everywhere else, but I jumped out and grabbed my shotgun, 3 shells and slate call. I left my pack, bladder, decoys, extra shells and everything else in the truck (rookie mistake #2). Blind luck smiled on me after walking for about 5 minutes - nine birds with 2 nice toms feeding off the side of the road. The vegetation is really dry up there already and they busted me when I tried to cut them off and trotted off, down into a draw. I followed for a half hour, hearing an occasional gobble and the lead hen yelping. I decided to head over the top of the ridges they seemed to be circling to try to cut them off. Once I reached the flats on top, I walked a fenceline I thought they might follow but left it (rookie mistake #3) when I heard a gobble nearby. I spotted what I think was the same flock from earlier, plus 4 jakes that were now dogging the flock, from a respectful distance to keep from getting their tails whipped. I crawled on hands and knees to within 50 yards. The gobbler was a really nice tom, but he had hens bunched all around him. I pulled out my slate call and yelped - gobbles erupted first from the flock toms, then from the 4 jakes in unison. I kept calling softly and the jakes turned my direction - then the lead hen would yelp and they'd turn back. This went on for a few minutes. The jakes came to investigate my call - 20 yards so I could see their beards plainly but they were too tightly bunched to risk a shot, so I just kept still kneeling in the tall grass, shotgun aimed. The flock was leaving down the fence line I left several minutes before and I guess the draw of a hen the young guys could hear AND see was too much to ignore. They circled some trees to follow the flock over a down spot in the fence but my calling held them up long enough for me to get into shooting position. I waited on the last jake, who was distant enough from the others so I could drop the hammer at 45 yards. He popped up over a log just as I squeezed the trigger, so my hit was low but it dropped him anyway. He was flapping but stopped pretty quickly and I lost sight of him when my gun jammed trying to eject the shell. Took me a couple frantic minutes to find him when I reached the fence - he blended in with the burned out logs and stumps. Tagged out at 6:20am Friday, just under .75 miles from my truck. A G&F officer was coming down the main road when I was on my way back to camp. He checked my bird and sent me on my way - probably couldn't wait to tell people how some goofy old dude was happier than a pig in slop with a jake! I was back in camp by 7:30 showing off my "trophy" to my family. Would love to shoot a big, fat longbeard someday (next year? Need another tag G&F!) but happy as could be with my jake! Gotta start somewhere, I guess.