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Newly addicted to Turkey Hunting

 
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  #1  
Old 01-05-2008, 02:55 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Newly addicted to Turkey Hunting

Can't have an empty forum now, can we?

I'm a relatively new turkey hunter, but I am well and truly addicted to it. My first season out set the hook. I sat motionless in the black of pre-dawn, listening for the slightest call from the turkeys I knew were in the trees nearby. With the new day, I got to hear and see the birds fly down from their perch, strutting and feeding. I got to watch a large tom kick the daylights out of a jake decoy about 15 yards in front of me, and almost laughed myself out of my camo! Very cool to watch! Eventually I had the opportunity to take that tom:





If there was any chance at all that my first adventure didn't hook me, I swallowed the line and sinker on the second adventure. On this adventure, I learned that sometimes the hens will try to lead their toms away from the sound of other hens. The trick to bagging this tom was to have another person circle around the other side of the birds (directly opposite from me) and start purring and clucking from there. The hens immediately started leading their toms away from the calling, and directly towards where I was set up!




By this time I am beside myself with how much fun turkey hunting was. So I started yammering at my dad, telling him he JUST HAD to try this stuff! Watching big ol' toms strutting around and thumping the ground, making a hen call and watching a gobbler respond to you, having to sit perfectly motionless until just the right moment, and ... BANG!

I finally convinced him to go with me, but I didn't do a good enough job prepping him for the task. Our first trip out together, I accused him of setting up on an ant pile, because he wiggled and squirmed all morning long. He scared away two turkeys with those antics, getting them to do an alarm "putt" about 60 yards out. Later in the day it got hot, and that's when I discovered he didn't have camo on underneath his rain gear, so we got into a "discussion" about how turkeys might be stupid, but they have excellent hearing and vision. When we managed to scare off the third turkey that day, we decide to call it quits.

Some background on the next picture: Dad used to live in Alaska, and on one of my first fishing trips there I learned about this superstition that skippers had about bananas on the boat. Apparently some believe that bringing a banana on board will bring awful luck, and the sin is worthy of walking the plank.
So I was giving my dad a hard time about the wiggling, and told him that I'd bet I could bag a turkey even if I had a fresh banana with me! All he said when he saw the picture was "You smarta--!" ;) We love each other.





Next season, I got him to go again. This time, dad out-shot me. We had two nice toms coming at us, but we just couldn't seem to get them closer than about 40 yards. We had both put plenty of shells in at various distances, so we knew what our patterns and limitations were. For me, 40 yards is right out at the far end of my comfort zone. Still, we couldn't get them any closer for all our trying. So we waited for the right time, counted down to 3 and both swung. I missed mine completely (although I did get a fair chunk of the fence post I had not accounted for) and he nailed his. Well done, dad! We spent the rest of the day hiking around looking for more birds and as luck would have it we found some. I quickly got set up under a tree, and after some more heroin (I mean, calling, waiting, and hearing the strut) was able to bag a tom myself.




Did I mention these things taste good? Nothing like eating your own wild turkey at Thanksgiving!

-Brian
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2008, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 397
!!!!!!!!!

Great post ! Now, take your addiction to a new level: archery hunting for them without a blind. Humbling, but it rivals crack & meth for sheer addictiveness. I've got two more days next week to try and drill one with the Mathews.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:32 PM
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Another addict here.

I try to tell my friends but many don't believe me.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:36 AM
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Brian,
Great story and pics. I have been addicted for 30+yrs, but refuse to seek help.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: I live in the outdoors, but ihave to stay in the Houston area so I can afford to live outdoors!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo300 View Post
Brian,
Great story and pics. I have been addicted for 30+yrs, but refuse to seek help.
ME TOO!

My dad and I were to addicted we made a VHS tape on hunting the Rio Grande turkeys back in the late 90's. We sold a ton, but never really pushed into the biz like a bunch of the other did...kinda wish we had now.

Anyway I shot my first 2 with a bow this year during the fall bow season...it took a lot of trying over the years, but I finally got one, then another. I cheated on the second one...used a blind.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:16 AM
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I cannot BELIEVE you guys doing this with a bow, and without a blind! That has got to be right high up there on the list of Difficult Things To Do. How in the world do you get to draw and aim before the turkey bails?!

I'm not an archer, but I've always had a great deal of respect and appreciation for the discipline. Still, seems like turkey hunting takes it to a whole 'nother level!

I'm already toying with the idea of going for a "slam" -- May God help me if I somehow get entangled with the whole archery thing!! :eek:

-Brian
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: I live in the outdoors, but ihave to stay in the Houston area so I can afford to live outdoors!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianla View Post
I cannot BELIEVE you guys doing this with a bow, and without a blind! That has got to be right high up there on the list of Difficult Things To Do. How in the world do you get to draw and aim before the turkey bails?!

I'm not an archer, but I've always had a great deal of respect and appreciation for the discipline. Still, seems like turkey hunting takes it to a whole 'nother level!

I'm already toying with the idea of going for a "slam" -- May God help me if I somehow get entangled with the whole archery thing!! :eek:

-Brian
Yeah, the archery thing can be very addicting...the adrinalin rush...HUGE...

The second gobbler I shot this year was from a blind and it was the first time I had tried from a blind. I will say it was much easier. My first bow gobbler was from a grove of giant Live Oaks, so it was pretty easy to hide behind the tree trunks. I actually drew the bow when he went behind one of the trees. All the misses before that (3) were from ground locations in heavy brush.
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