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textbook turkey...sort of

dante322

*Supporting Member*
5,332
121
Crawford county
killed my first longbeard this morning. as far as the hunt went, it was as I said...textbook. The "sort of" part is due to the fact that the way my morning went, it almost didnt happen.


The morning...

I woke up at 4:30 to, of course, rain and wind.
"crap!" it was supposed to be nice today. I picked up my phone, brought up weather bug, and the only rain in the whole state was right over crawford county (I almost considered that a bad omen). the temp was 39 degrees. "do I really want to do this again?" I kinda blew off work today to hunt so I figured that I probably should or I'd be kicking myself for not going in.
I got dressed and rounded up my stuff. I was out scouting yesterday and put a piece of metal through the bottom of my rubber boot yesterday so I had to wear my other boots that leak almost as bad, but they are a little warmer. before I left i gave the missus a peck on the cheek and she asked me if I had any money. I didnt but she needed gas to get to work and her bank card is deactivated due to a little identity theft issue. So I had to go to the store, get myself some coffee, smokes and a monster for later, and then turn around and go back to the house to give her my card. now on top of the rain, leaky boots, andcold weather, I'm also running late. again a bad omen. I was having a smoke on the way to my spot and went to pitch the butt out the window and it blew back in and landed on my lap. The great morning continues.
I got to my spot about 6:20. the sky was already starting to lighten up and I had a ways to go to get to where I planned on setting up. I got my gear and moved in.

The set up...

last week when huck came up we tried to get a big bird to come in to us from the other side of a winter wheat field. since then I've come to realize that he is on a pattern. This propery backs up to the city dump. I use the word "dump" lighly because they dont drop trash there, just yard waste and tree limbs. the bird has been roosting on the south edge of the dump next to a little grassy flat on top of a ridge. after flydown he makes his wayeast around the backside of the dump and into a small creekbottom. from there he moves up into the winter wheatfield, and then further up into a cut corn field on a neighboring property. then he continues north, through the hardwoods and eventually into another cornfield where he turns west and works his way back around the front side of the dump back to roost. my plan was to set up in the bottom in an open area and cut him off brfore he slips into the wheat.
I got to the bottom just about sunrise and got my decoys set up. i figured I had some time before he came through so I had a few minutes to find a good tree to sit by, once I finally got setteled in it started to rain agan, "beautiful". a few minutes in a hen came through my setup headed south, right to where the tom has been gobbling in the morning. I figured he must still be henned up.
An hour or so passed and I still hadnt heard any roost gobbling, which was unusual. So I climbed the hillside that went up to the dump to see if he was still in the pasture. nope, just a hen and a groundhog. I went back down the hill and debated about moving to a different spot. I decided to break down the setup and slip up alongside the wheat field to a hilltop to see if he had worked up the far side of the field and into the wheat from further up where i couldnt see him. nope, not there either. and sure enough it started to rain again.
So there i stood, soaking feet, wet, and absolutely convinced this bird had changed his pattern. I was ready to go back to the truck, finish my coffe and try another spot. Thats when I remebered a box call a friend of mine had given me last week that was in a pocket on the side of my vest. I knew it wasnt a good idea to let them get wet and took it as another bump in the road that this day had become. I took it out, looked it over and tried it once to make sure it was ok. He gobbled.

its on now...

The gobble came from about a hundred yards away, at the southwest side of the wheatfield. he had responded to that wetass box call! holy chit! now what do I do?!!?
I wasnt sure if I had time to get my decoys back out, but I knew I was going to try. I husstled ass and got the dekes out. as I was heading back to the tree line he gobbled again, this time from straight back from the wheatfield. he was getting closer! I remembered the line about "dont call to make him gobble, let him gobble to make you call" it occured to me that he was trying to find the mystery hen. I got out a slate call and shot him a few clucks. double gobble. He was right at the corner of the wheat field to mty right. Ironically, he was in the exact place I set uip this morning (go figure). I sat down by the tree, and pulled down my face mask, he gobbled again, I gave him a quiet little "yelp,yelp, cluck, cluck, yelp" and sat down the call and picked up the gun.
The field edge is real brushy but I did have one good clear lane right in front of me. I needed him to pass in front of the opening in order for me to get a shot. After the last gobble it was only about 10 seconds yill i saw a black shape on the other side of the brush, on a rope, straight to my decoys. clicked the safety off, put my cheek to the stock, and put the bead at about the spot I needed him to step out...



KABOOOOOMM.... the 870 barked just as he stepped into the opening.

the follow up...

I knew it was a good hit, he flopped over flapping wings and kicking spurs. I hopped up, jacked another shell and ran over to make a follow up shot. as soon as I got to the field edge I spotted the three other birds that were with him! one was another tom, the second a jake and the third was already disappearing into the brush, but I believe it was another jake.
My bird was still flopping around but there was no need for another shot, he was dead, his body just hadnt figured that out yet.

so as I said "textbook" the bird responded to the calls just like the guys on the site said, just like in the videos and the magazines. he flopped around just like I've seen on the hunting shows. But the hunting shows dont tell us about those "sort of" mornings where you might miss an opportunity if you dont stick with it.

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Hoytmania

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
11,506
131
Gods Country
Congrats on your first!!! Glad it worked out for you and way to stick it out. That looks like a big bird TOO. Did you get any weight and measurements?
 

dante322

*Supporting Member*
5,332
121
Crawford county


here is a pic taken at home with a better camera.

holdren mentioned in another thread how red his head is. did I mention he was only about 15 yards from me when i fired? talk about a face full of #6 shot!!

Did you get any weight and measurements?

21.2 pounds
10 1/2 inch beard
both spurs 1 inch

and redcloud says there arent any birds round here. I told him all he needs is a tag, he can use my gun, decoys and I'll call.
could use the first time hunter and or bonus bird points anyway.:smiley_crocodile:

and the grass is gutting cut TODAY! LOL!!
 

Huckleberry Finn

Senior Member
15,973
114
Hell yea! I was so pumped to get your text yesterday morning and that was a great writeup. I could see it in my mind, hell prolly cause I saw that same bird in that field last week. I am so glad that you killed him because I had been kicking myself over him all week. Glad that a week's difference made him respond to the calls and that you were able to call him down that field when I couldn't! Congrats man! I am so happy for ya!

Though, I'm seeing a freaking pattern here buddy and I don't like. I missed that doe hunting out of your stand and a week later you killed it. I come up to turkey hunt with you and can't get that bird in range..and a week later you kill it. WTH!
 

RedCloud

Super Moderator
Super Mod
16,823
142
Somewhere OHIO
Hell yea! I was so pumped to get your text yesterday morning and that was a great writeup. I could see it in my mind, hell prolly cause I saw that same bird in that field last week. I am so glad that you killed him because I had been kicking myself over him all week. Glad that a week's difference made him respond to the calls and that you were able to call him down that field when I couldn't! Congrats man! I am so happy for ya!

Though, I'm seeing a freaking pattern here buddy and I don't like. I missed that doe hunting out of your stand and a week later you killed it. I come up to turkey hunt with you and can't get that bird in range..and a week later you kill it. WTH!

Dante wants you to miss a BIG buck this fall out there....Just sayin lmao
 

Curran

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,505
115
Central Ohio
Congrats!! Great read on your hunt Dante. Felt like I was tagging along out there.

Can't kill 'em on the couch! Just shows you gotta get out there and get after 'em.