POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

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BigHunt
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby BigHunt » Sun May 13, 2012 12:55 pm

well my season is rolling ,i was able to kill a 27 pounder for the fouth season and paitenly waiting for the opener of the 5 th sesaon...me and jodi had the day off sence we both tagged out, we were just relaxing in the cabin and all of a sudden a loud gobble rang out up on the ridge right behind the cabin :shock: i was a little shocked how easy this would turn out to be, it dont get no better then this......my grandpa was up the week before me and said he had heard a turkey gobbling up there in the mouring :think: well he was right ! i just walked up the trail about 50 yards and hooted at him to make sure he was were i thought he was ,and he was ......i woke up about 3:45 am and made my way up on top. i walked as slow as possible trying not to spook the bird out of the tree... i was able to sneek by him and set up about 45 yards away from his tree. it was perfect, he started gobbling right on cue and put on a great show! unforunitly when he flew down he was just out of range ...65 yards to far for in the woods, even for heavy-shot.....he just strutted back and forth. it was so green in there he didnt see my decoy and just walked off...i new right were he was heading so i quickly grabed my gear and ran down to the feild were i waited for him in my blind. it wasnt 10 minutes, i let a series of cuts and yelp and i heard a gooble and there he was coming right for me!!!!! he was strutting and gobbling the whole way in. as the adreniline pumped throught my vains, anything and everything went wrong ....i couldnt get the camera in the holder on the camera stand.....the camera wouldnt focus in .....ugh!! then i was so shacken up that i could barely call :lol: it was a mess , then when i did get the camera in the stand i couldnt manage to get it on the bird. but forunitly i was able to turn on my gun cam and get the kill on film.....i ranged him at 53 yards put it on him and sqeezed the trigger. BOOOM !!! down he went, i threw a 3.5 inch heavy-shot 6 shot load at him....he had no chance. my 5th season opening day jellyhead is down and im am pumped......


25 POUNDS
11 in. BEARD
1.0 in. SPURRS
3.0 y/o

[bbvideo=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfyGrTQNs-I[/bbvideo]


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BigHunt
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby BigHunt » Sun May 13, 2012 1:23 pm

it was an awesome turkey seaosn this year, i started out by killing this monster 27 pound jellyhead!!!! what a hunt it started quick and ended quick.....well the day before me and jodi were sitting the blind, and was hearing a tom gobble all afternoon into the eveing....based on those gobbles alone i was able to pull out the map and figure where he was roosting.....the next mouring came and boy was i excited. just about were i estimated him to be, there he was.... right on cue his gobble rang out across the valley giving me goose pumps all over my body. he was right there , i mean he was 30 yards up in the tree just shaking that limb....thank god for the green cover, he never saw us .....i waited for more light before i called to him.....i made a suddle soft tree yelp, and he cut me off instintly!! he was probly suprized that a hen roosted with him and he didnt even know it...lol hehehe. i made a cople soft puts and that was about it...it seemed like every gooble he was getting more and more excited to see me...lol i pulled a hat trick out of my sleeve literally.....i use this tatic alot when im on birds real close to the roost..i took my hat off and flapped it like a turkey flying down ......and let me tell you it wasnt 5-7 seconds after i did that , he picth right down and ran right up the hill at me ...struuting the whole way!!!!i waited till he was about 20 yards and let him have it.........it was all over

one thing that works for me in late season is getting as close to the roost as possible ;) mostly with pressured birds

27 POUNDS
10.5 in BEARD
1.0 SPURRS
3.0 y/o

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addisonlee
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby addisonlee » Wed May 16, 2012 8:55 am

Surprise Gobbler Stalk

As the 2012 spring turkey season was fast approaching, I found myself obsessed with turkey scouting once or twice a week on the public grounds close to home. Knowing I had applied for and drawn the second week for the first time ever, my hopes for harvesting a bird were high. I had also purchased a tag for peroid 5 in zone 2 as well the day it was open online.

Week 2 come around and I had taken Wednesday through Friday off, thinking I would harvest my bird early and use the rest of the days to go fishing. As luck would have it I hunted hard from 4am - 7pm Wednesday through Monday with very little sleep and way too many encounters. Through all the rain, wind, cold and mud I toughed it out. I had yet to take a shot and even had birds within 10yds of me (on the wrong side of me as I was on my stomach).

The last day of week 2 came and I gave up all hope of harvesting a turkey, so I slept in for some much needed sleep. Later only to find out a friend had harvested one of the turkeys I was after all week on that last morning in the spot I told him to sit (where I was going to sit). :roll: Congrats to him on his first turkey tho.

Anyways, first my first week of hard hunting I had nothing to show for it but a empty tank of gas in the truck, sore muscles and lack of sleep. Knowing I still had week 5 I once again did some scouting the weekend before in the same area with the same turkeys. They were all still there, even with some pressure.

Once week 5 came around I took off work Friday to hunt the same spot as I knew there were still three toms working the hens in the area and were receptive to calls. I hunted that spot in the morning with no success. With my hopes and confidence at an all time low in harvesting a tom I decided to just wing it and cruise by one of my deer hunting fields. As I got there I immediately saw a big tom following a hen 500+ yds away on a field edge.

Finally a perfect oppotunity to pull a stalk, but as i approached them I miss judged their pace of movement and got busted. They took off running as i watched in dis-belief of my season so far. I figured that was it and was gonna call it a day, but decided to take a different route home passing a small (2 acre) corn field.

Driving by I saw what I thought were three hens in the distance, but to my surprise were three big toms as I slowed down to watch they slowly worked their way up a hill. I thought to myself, it's now or never, time to pull a surprise stalk on these birds. I quickly parked my truck a hundred yards down and began to do my surprise stalk.

I knew the area well since I bow hunt the area, the hill they were walking up would lead them right back to me. I quickly got to the opposite side of the hill on the down hill side and waited. About 10mins pasted and I was beginning to think they had already passed me, I slowly walked to the top of the hill. As I was almost to the top my surprise stalked ended up surprising myself staring eye to directly with three big toms at a mere 10yds. Surprised the toms took flight right over me and I quickly took aim at the biggest one's head and squeezed the trigger.

Big turkey down! I was in disbelief and over-whelmed with emotion I stood there for a moment staring at this beautiful animal I had just killed. A proud moment in my hunting career on my first successful stalk on a turkey.

To top it all off, my parents have never had wild turkey before, so I was glad to bring it over to show them and help prepare a meal with them.

Taken Friday, May 18, 2012 (20lbs, 10.5in beard, 1in spurs)

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Stuart
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby Stuart » Thu May 17, 2012 10:25 am

I shot this bird on Mothers Day which was last Sunday. The night before I drove around the piece of the land I wanted hunt and saw 3 toms and a hen about 300 yards from the road with the binoculars.

The next morning I set up to the left of the property in the woods about 40 yards in. As the sun started to rise I heard a really loud gobble to my right. I knew they were in the spot I setup for opening day :twisted:

So i quietly walked out of the woods not to break any branches. They were in between the large woods and a very small piece of woods (70 yards between the 2 woods). Now on my hands and knees I could see 3 TOMS STRUTTING through the edge of the woods as I carefully looked around the corner of the big woods I was in. The birds were off to my left about 80 yards away. I called real light to theses birds and they all started to gobble like crazy. Before I knew it they were closing the distance to 40 after a few more calls.

2 of the toms started to go out of sight and the 3 one's head lined up perfect in between a V of a tree. BANG!!!

I ran up to the bird and couldn't have been happier :lol: I had to ditch the camera in the woods when I went mobile...
I got him tagged and drove home to wake my mom up at 6:30 to show her, her mothers day present :D

19 pounds
1 inch spurs
2 beards 1st 10inch 2nd 4.5inch

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BigHunt
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby BigHunt » Sun May 20, 2012 12:08 pm

Tagged out!!!!!! 8-)

woooo just got my third bird today at 4:00pm....was hunting a private farm with a buddy and was able to put the smack down on this south eastern Wisconsin jelly head!when we got the our spot, i looked out in the field and there was two toms in full strut :shock: we quickly came up with a plan.... we backed up until they were out of view and snuck down the tree line to were we though they were. we belly crawled about 150 yards to an opening and there they were in full strut, coming right for us!!!! i waited until they were in range, whistled at him and let him have it at 35 yards :L: he was a flopper :lol: my friend tried to get on the other one but was to far out to make a good kill shot.....but that's ok ,we got some jelly heads lined up in a spot we just got permission for this mourning 8-) should be another good mourning!!!! oo ya a little bonus...as we were walking to the truck i looked down and found a shed 8-)

20 pounds

10.25 in beard

1.25 spurs

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Mountain Man
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby Mountain Man » Wed May 23, 2012 10:00 am

I shot 3 turkeys (2 with a bow and 1 with a shotgun) this spring in Wisconsin. The first two stories are a bit long and I could have shortened them considerably but I think the length of the stories shows the frustration, patience, and persistence that seems to go along with bowhunting turkeys. Many times I had mature toms in easy shotgun range, but with a bow they were out of range, or borderline out of range, or if in range, sometimes a good shot just never materialized. Even when I had to let a gobbler go because he wasn’t in bow range or didn’t present a good shot, there was something satisfying about knowing that if I was using a gun, I could have easily shot that gobbler. With the first and third birds I was also dealing with a smaller property where the landowner only allows bowhunting and the birds routinely roosted off of the property. After flydown sometimes they could be called onto the property I could hunt.


Turkey #1 - Mountain Man’s Wisconsin Archery Turkey Hunt – April 25-29, 2012
Based on my scouting, I knew where the birds were roosting and I knew their preferred travel routes and strut zones. I couldn't hunt the roost area because it was on a neighboring property but many times right after fly down or within about 1 hour after fly down, the birds would make their way onto the property I could hunt.

4-25-2012
I was set up about 150 yards from a roosting site along a preferred travel route. The roost was on a neighboring property that I can’t hunt. I was using three hen decoys and Killer B with a mature tom tail. Right at first light three toms appeared in the corner of a cut corn field right where I expected them to come out of the woods. As I watched the toms, two hens flew down directly into the field. The toms strutted and gobbled for the hens. The hens yelped back. I tried calling with some yelps to no avail. Eventually three jakes joined the toms and hens. At about 6:15 am, one of the toms left the group and eventually walked behind my setup. He was about 25 yards away but there was some brush in the way and I didn’t have a good shot at him so I passed. He had about an 11” beard. That tom eventually ended up in a known strut zone about 100 yards away where he strutted and gobbled and paced back and forth. The route he took from where he entered the cut corn field to the strut zone is a preferred route that is used by hens and toms quite regularly. The other two toms and the three jakes continued to strut and follow the hens. Eventually the hens led the toms along the same route as the other tom did earlier. They passed by behind my setup at about 30 yards. I didn’t have a shot opportunity at them. At the same time the jakes went their own way and walked by my setup at about 15 yards. It was only the first day of the 3rd time period in WI and I was hoping for a tom so I decided to pass on the jakes.

In the video below, for the first 1:40 I had the camera on my decoys and the birds didn’t come in but there is some good gobbling in the background. Then there is a tom in a strut zone. Then there are two toms and three jakes following two hens. The last part of the video has three jakes walk by at about 15 yards. I passed on the jakes as the two toms were walking behind me. I was hoping to shoot a tom, and they were in range, but they didn’t offer a good shot.

[bbvideo=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8_pV5MHfKs&feature=youtu.be[/bbvideo]

4-26-2012
I was set up almost in the same spot as the previous day. I had two feeding hen decoys on the south side of me and two jake decoys on the north side of me. At about 5:20 am I could hear gobbling in the roost area. I didn’t see any turkeys come out of the woods until about 6:30 am. One tom appeared in the corner of the cut corn field but would not move. That is where I expected turkeys to come from. About the same time, the tom with the 11” beard appeared in the strut zone about 100 yards away that he was using the previous day. I tried some calling and both toms would gobble but neither tom showed any interest in leaving their preferred areas. The tom in the cut corn was closer and my attention was focused on him. When I looked back to the strut zone there were suddenly 7 jakes by the strutting tom. I yelped and the jakes came into my setup at about 15 yards. I still wanted to hold out for a mature tom, and I knew there were at least 2 or 3 in the area, so I let the jakes walk.

4-27-2012
After seeing the tom with the 11” beard in a strut zone by 6:30 am the two previous mornings, I decided to set up in the strut zone. At dawn I could hear at least 2 different toms gobbling in the woods. I put out two feeding hen decoys and one jake. Throughout the early morning I could hear some occasional gobbling to the east (which was where the birds were roosted and apparently stayed near the roost once they were on the ground). It sounded like one of the toms made it to the corner of the cut corn field just like the previous day. I could tell from the gobbling the toms were not coming my way. Eventually a lone hen appeared and walked by me at about 5 yards. She had a short beard and was a legal bird to shoot but I passed as I have no interest in shooting a bearded hen. She walked past the decoys and at about 30 yards I yelped to try and keep her in the area. She responded back and we had a short conversation. I was hoping she would help attract a gobbler but it did not happen. Several minutes later she walked over a hill and out of sight. I packed up and left.

I went back out around 9:30 am to the same general area to see if I could call in a lonely tom. As I was setting up I heard a tom gobbling in the woods and I could tell he was less than 100 yds away. I didn’t call, but continued to set up. I put two feeding hens and a full strut tom with a real tail (this was a mistake as I soon found out). I started yelping and the tom gobbled. I shut up and several minutes later he would gobble. Then he gobbled again. I yelped again and put the call down. Several minutes later he stepped out of the woods and started strutting. Then he headed toward my setup. He walked straight toward me but then started to angle off to the east. I believe this is when he saw the strutter decoy. He kept walking (but did not strut anymore) toward me at an angle until he was about 20 yards away. I was getting ready to draw my bow hoping for a closer shot when he turned around and headed back the way he came. I decided not to shoot. I made a mistake here by using the strutting tom decoy. This turkey was intimidated by the strutting tom. I should have used only one hen decoy and the tom would have thought he had a lady all to himself. I believe this was the same tom that likes to hang out near the corner of the cut corn field.

4-28-2012
I was not able to hunt that day. There were heavy rains overnight and into the morning. I had a soccer game to coach and then attend a wedding and then the wedding reception. I knew I wouldn’t get a lot of sleep that night but I was determined to be out turkey hunting again the next day before dawn.

4-29-2012
I set up along the travel route in approximately the same spot as on 4-25-2012 and 4-26-2012. I had three hen decoys out. Two feeding and one alert. I could hear gobbling in the roost area. After the turkeys flew down I heard more gobbling but the toms did not come my way because the toms were with hens (I occasionally heard the hens calling to the toms). About 6:15 am a lone hen entered the corner of the cut corn field where I expected turkeys to come from. She slowly worked her way toward me but ended up walking about 30 yards behind my set up to a wheat field. She took the same route the hens and toms took on 4-25-2012. While watching the hen behind me, I turned around to scan the edge of the woods and cut corn field and there were 7 jakes all in the cut corn about 50 yards away. They came out of the woods while I was watching the lone hen. I yelped a few times and they started making their way toward me. At first they walked along the edge of the woods and then did an almost 90 degree turn and walked past the decoys and me at about 20 yards. I drew my bow and waited several seconds until some of the jakes stopped. I picked one out that was broadside, put my 20-yard pin on it and released an arrow. The shot was good and the jakes scattered temporarily. The target bird went about 15-20 yards and collapsed. The 6 remaining jakes immediately converged on the dead jake and started pecking at him. I unzipped the blind and was ready to run out and get the jake I shot when I realized the jake was dead and the other jakes weren’t going to leave. I didn’t want to spook the jakes so I sat back and videoed the jakes for about 15 minutes. After several minutes I grabbed by gobble call to see if I could get them to gobble. The gobble call worked and I was able to get all 6 jakes to gobble together a couple of times. After hanging around for about 15 minutes the jakes all made their way back into the woods. I walked over to the dead jake and it appeared that my shot was a pass through. Then I started looking for my arrow. I found the fletching end of the arrow but the broadhead and first 3” of arrow were missing. It looked like the broadhead went through the turkey but then the arrow became stuck in the turkey and as the turkey tried to fly or run off the arrow broke. I was using an expandable 100 grain Rocket Hammerhead with a 2” cutting diameter. While cleaning the turkey I discovered the arrow destroyed both lungs and one blade had sliced the top of the heart. The bird weighed 16 lbs., had a 5” beard, and ½” spurs.

Below is some video of the hunt. I didn’t get the kill shot on film, but I got the jakes coming in and then right after the shot the dead turkey and the other jakes end up right in the middle of the screen. I had about 15 minutes of video that I condensed into just a few minutes for this segment. After the shot, the jakes stayed in the area for a while. Then I used the gobble call on them. You might have to turn up the volume a bit to hear the jakes gobble better. Then there is some more footage of the jakes and then they leave. As they leave you can hear the jakes already in the woods calling back to the jakes in the field.

[bbvideo=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOdc2Rg5ZIY[/bbvideo]

I had legal birds in range every day of the hunt but my shot opportunities for a mature tom just didn’t work out. With a gun it would have been easy to kill any one of the mature toms since they were all between 20-30 yards away. With time running short (I couldn’t hunt Monday and Tuesday), I decided to take a jake. It was a good hunt and I’m happy with the results.

Here are a few other field photos:

This is the turkey as I walked up to him.
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A close up of the head and beard.
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A view back to the blind with the arrow as I found it in the foreground.
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A few hero pictures.
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Turkey #2 - Mountain Man’s Wisconsin Archery then Shotgun Turkey Hunt – May 9-13, 2012

The first four days of this hunt took place on the same property as the story above where the landowner only allows bowhunting.

On the previous hunt in April, I set up along a travel route about 100 yards from the property boundary. I did this on purpose because I didn’t want to hunt too close to the neighboring property and there is a house close to where the birds roost. After flydown the birds typically walk fairly close to the house before entering the corner of a cut corn field on the property I can hunt. While I had birds within 30 yards of my setup in April, I decided it was time to get more aggressive and try to set up closer to the roost which also meant getting closer to the property boundary.

5-9-2012
I set up near the property line and put out two hen decoys. I only put out hen decoys because it was getting later in the season and during the April hunt I had noticed that the gobbler I was after was a bit decoy shy when I had a jake or tom decoy out. Right on cue he started gobbling at about 5:00 am. I let out a few yelps to let him know where I was. He gobbled again. He kept gobbling every few minutes but I kept silent and waited. After he flew down he continued to gobble and I could tell he was getting closer. Soon he entered the corner of the field about 30 yards away. He had the three jakes with him. I know they saw the hen decoys but for some reason they walked the edge of the field away from me. They made their way down into the cut corn field along the same route they took two weeks before on the first day of my April hunt. I could see them about 100-150 yards out, with the gobbler strutting and gobbling. Eventually the gobbler left the jakes and walked back across the cut corn toward me but stayed about 50 yards out. He gobbled for a while and then walked off out of sight. The three jakes were still in the field but I had to leave and while I don’t like to spook birds I had to do it to get out of there. The jakes saw me and headed for the hills across the cut corn field.

5-10-2012
After seeing the route the gobbler and three jakes took the previous day, I moved over to where they walked along the edge of the cut corn field. I was thinking that if they did it again I would have a 5-10 yard chip shot at the gobbler. This time I didn’t use any decoys since the tom seemed decoy shy during past encounters. Right on time again the tom started gobbling on the roost. After flying down the jakes joined him and they proceeded toward me but stopped on the neighboring property before entering the cut corn field where I could hunt. He strutted and gobbled on the neighboring property but would not step in the corner of the field. Eventually he wandered off to the east with the jakes. With the birds out of sight I quickly got out of there.

5-11-2012
I set up in the same spot as yesterday and put out one hen decoy. As dawn approached I waited for the first gobble. The gobble never happened. About 1.5 hours after first light I heard a gobble off to the east. Then a few more gobbles. For some reason he was not roosted where he normally would be. He either roosted a couple hundred yards farther east than his normal roosting site or he got spooked during the night and moved to the east. On that morning he never made it over by me. From what I could tell by his gobbling he was in a strut zone on a neighboring property and he wasn’t going to move. I packed up and left.

5-12-2012
I set up in the same spot as the previous two days. This time I put one hen decoy out about 10 yards past my setup along the edge of the cut corn field. I thought this way if he came into the field he would walk right past me to get to the hen and if he hung up I would still have a 20 yard or less shot. Right on time he gobbled from the roost he was supposed to be in. After flying down he steadily made his way toward me. His thundering gobbles shook the still air that morning until he was at the corner of the cut corn field. I was ready for him to walk right past me for a nice close shot. When he entered the field he hugged the edge of the woods where I was set up 3 days ago and did that fast walk/half run that gobblers do and kept on trucking along the edge of the woods for about 100 yards until he rounded the corner of the woods and went out of sight. I quickly packed up and followed him. I set up close to where he went out of sight. I yelped and he responded with a couple of gobbles but he was now well east of me and he wasn’t coming back. I decided to sit there for a while. Eventually a lone hen walked by about 75 yards out. After sitting a bit longer I decided to call it a day. Walking back past the cut corn field I saw the three jakes again and they scurried for cover into the woods.

That afternoon I traveled to my in-laws for a family gathering. Luckily they live in the same turkey zone that my permit was good for. I decided to leave the bow at home for that trip and take out the Remington 1100 12 gauge. The family gathering was at my in-laws farm. While I haven’t hunted turkeys there for 4 years I knew based on past experience where the turkeys preferred to roost and I knew their general travel patterns in that area. I had one area in mind to set up first thing in the morning and if that didn’t pan out I knew of another spot to try. I would only be able to hunt for a couple of hours the next morning.

5-13-2012
Before first light I headed to my first spot. It was along a woods near a high spot in a field where the turkeys roost in the woods and then strut on the high spot in the field and sometimes travel the high spot between wood lots. It’s kind of a strut zone. Since I didn’t have a gobbler located I just stood along the edge of the woods and waited. I was hoping to hear one gobble and then try to close in. About 15 minutes before fist light a tom sounded off about 100-200 yards south of me but he was in a neighboring woods that I can’t hunt. Right then I decided to set up along the edge of the field I was in within 30 yards of the strut zone. I put one hen decoy out. I let out a few yelps to let him know where I was and he gobbled back. I shut up. He gobbled some more and then I heard another tom gobble about 100 yards east of where the first tom was roosted. I thought this is good. I have two toms and I like the chances of being able to call one of them in. Then the real hens started talking and my optimistic outlook quickly faded to a more pessimistic outlook. I could tell the hens and the toms were on the ground. When the hens yelped I yelped back. This went on for a little while until I could tell the hens were leading the toms away from me. Since they were on the property I can’t hunt there wasn’t much I could do. Just then I looked across the field in front of me and I saw three turkeys angling toward me from about 500 yards away. I yelped a little then shut up. I had binoculars out and after looking at the turkeys I knew it was a group of three jakes. They closed the distance and eventually ended up about 30 yards straight out from me. At that point I still didn’t have a clear shot. I needed them to move more to the right or left. I think they finally realized the decoy was a hen and decided to change course. They went left, and luckily I had trimmed a small opening in that direction while getting set up that morning. With time running out I decided to shoot one of the jakes. When the first jake entered the opening at about 30 yards I shot. He went down and started flopping around. The other two jakes didn’t know what happened. I ran out to get him and the remaining two jakes ran off into the adjacent woods. While flopping around, the jake I shot lost a lot of feathers for some reason. The back of his neck and part of his breast were bare skin. I wasn’t able to weigh him but I estimated he weighed about 16-18 lbs. with a 4.5” beard.

Here is the tree I was set up against.
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Here is my view out into the field with my hen decoy.
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This is how I found him in an alfalfa field.
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Notice all the missing feathers
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Hero shot.
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Turkey #3 - Mountain Man’s Wisconsin Archery Turkey Hunt – No Blind! - May 17, 2012

The 6th time period in Wisconsin was from May 16-22. I wanted to hunt on May 16th but I wasn’t able to due to some family obligations. On May 17th I headed to the corner of the cut corn field where I knew a gobbler and three jakes roosted nearby but on the neighboring property. Soon after fly down, the gobbler and jakes would either enter the field or hang up on the neighboring property and head east. Since I knew this gobbler was a bit decoy shy I thought I would try a different tactic. I set up along the edge of the woods that he ran along last week but I also put a half strutting jake/tom decoy along the other edge of the cut corn field that he sometimes would go to. I was hoping that if he saw the jake/tom decoy he would skirt the other edge of the field/woods where I was set up and I’d get a nice close shot at him with the bow. As usual he gobbled from the roost on the neighboring property just before shooting time arrived. I yelped a little to let him know I was there. He flew down and started making his way to the corner of the field with the three jakes in tow. I watched him walk past the corner of the field at about 35 yards (and on the neighboring property). He wasn’t going to enter the field. He strutted and gobbled for a while and then moved off to the east with the jakes. About ½ hour later I saw a gobbler (I’m not sure if it was the same one or not) hurry across the cut corn field about 150 yards out. He disappeared into some tall grass and even with binoculars I couldn’t follow or find him in the tall grass. A little while later a lone hen came to the corner of the field and then flew off – I assume right after she saw the jake/tom decoy since she was close to the decoy when she took off flying. I waited a little longer but then decided to pack up and head out.

I was almost back to the farmhouse where I park when I looked off to the right and something didn’t look right. There was a turkey sitting on a log with it’s back to me. I was thinking how could it have not seen or heard me walking? I froze and looked it over for a few seconds. I couldn’t see it’s head but I could tell by it’s size and wing and tail feathers that it was a gobbler. At that time I had my blind on my back and a decoy bag with my backpack and a decoy in it over my shoulder. The turkey didn’t know I was there and I thought about shooting my bow with all of that stuff on but then I decided not to. I quietly removed the decoy bag and blind. With bow in hand and arrow nocked, I quietly moved a few steps to the left and then I crept up to about 15 yards. I settled my top pin in the middle of his back and released an arrow. He fell forward and flopped a couple times and that was it. He was 20 lbs. with a 10.5” beard and ¾” spurs.

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It was a good turkey season and overall I was happy with the results. I had some close calls with mature gobblers each of the three 1-week seasons I had tags for. Using a bow was a bit of a handicap in that it limited my range more than a gun and at times it did get frustrating. But bowhunting turkeys is still fun to do, and even when I have to let a gobbler go because he’s not in bow range or doesn’t present a good shot, there is something satisfying about knowing that if I was using a gun, I could have easily shot that gobbler. Instead, I just have to tell myself that with the bow maybe I’ll get him next time.
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby solocam88 » Thu May 24, 2012 2:20 pm

My season started in Nebraska for the early archery season. After locating some public areas, we printed maps of locations we felt would be our best bet. We arrived at our first choice spot early in the morning after a long drive from WI and made the hike through the dark to begin our first hunt.

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We had some jakes come in early, and around 11 am we pulled a tom away from a group of birds. He came in gobbling hard 40 yards from me, but never gave me a chance to draw my bow. The tom circled around behind us and behind a dirt bank. When he got to 5 yards he started puttin' and slowly made his way back down the bank, Just when I thought it was all over, I look a little farther to my right and see my buddy go into stealth mode over the top of the bank and plug him at 10 yards with the Xbow. We were on the board :D

22 pounds 10" beard

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We hunted hard that afternoon in the 85 degree weather and saw some beautiful scenery, including a river where we had to strip down to our skivvys to get to a bird gobbling on the other side.

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After getting dressed and setup... It didnt take long and I had a tom strutting in with 6 hens. When he got to 25 yards I let him have a spitfire.

Bird #1 Nebraska
23 pounds 10" beard 1" spurs

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Tagged Out in Nebraska Archery Season
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Bird #2 4th period WI
After a long morning sit and a weekend of hunting hard, I put the move on with hopes to check a field where I thought a tom would be strutting. He ended up right where I thought he would be... except he was at 35 yards and on a dead run angling away from. A quick shot ended with a roll and he was done.

22 pounds 12" beard 1" spurs

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Bird #3 5 period WI

21 pounds 10" beard 1-1/8" spurs

I finished off my season with this tom. The spitfire delivered another see-through hole at ten yards. A great way to end the year.

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It was a great season... I cant wait for next year.
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby Boo » Sun May 27, 2012 3:40 am

The DNR decided to make the archery season the last four seasons (24 days) this year so it was a no brainer for me to buy an over the counter archery license. I had permission to hunt two properties and I had a few public pieces as back up. I started hunting at the farm where I knew there were at least 3 toms running around because of the trail cameras I had been monitoring. I went out opening evening and sat in a blind that was positioned where the birds would come by on their way to roost. Around 6pm I heard a tom gobbling. I called very softly to him a couple of times and he would gobble back and he was getting closer. Soon I could see him strutting at the top of the hill about 50 yards away. He would look down in my direction but he didn’t see any birds so he wouldn’t come any closer and he eventually moved on into the woods to roost. I woke up early the next morning and went out to the same blind. He gobbled off the roost and a few times after he flew down answering my calls. He came in to investigate the decoys I set out but he was very skittish and the closest he got was 40 yards. That evening I went out again to the same blind. I had a couple of hens and a jake come past the blind at 3 yards and they didn’t have a care in the world. Around 6pm again I heard the tom gobbling down in a different field. I called a couple of times and then stopped to see if he would come in again. Sure enough here he comes down the road gobbling and strutting. He got to 50 yards again and turned and went into the woods towards his roost area. For some reason the toms didn’t like the blind so after it was dark I moved the blind into a deadfall and brushed it in hoping this would help to hide the blind and get the toms to come in closer. I tried a different spot the next evening to see if I could intercept a tom by a different roosting area but I only saw one hen that evening.
After all of the commotion at the farm I decided to try the other property for Saturday mornings hunt. I drive past this piece on my way to and from work so I had a pretty good idea that there were turkeys in the area and using the property. I set up along a small ditch next to a tree in the middle of a sod field where I have seen turkeys in previous mornings. Right at day break they started gobbling. It sounded like two different toms so I was optimistic about the morning! I called very little to try to pique their curiosity and get them to come my way. Around 6am one was gobbling within 100 yards in another field I could not see entirely. Eventually, I caught a glimpse of a turkey and called lightly. The tom looked my direction and gobbled. He saw my decoy. Slowly he came my direction and another tom appeared and followed. They worked their way into 40 yards but they would not come any closer. Then the sod farmer started spraying in the adjacent field and they took off into the woods. After the tractor left the toms came back out into the field. They would come in towards the decoy and turn facing away and just stand there like they were snubbing the hen. They did this until they were back to within 40 yards. I hadn’t practiced enough this spring to feel comfortable shooting that far so I waited. Eventually they started working away from me but they stayed in the field so I could see them. They made it out to 133 yards. One tom went into the tall grass on the edge of the field and laid down while the other fed around. It was now 11am and I was supposed to be at a birthday/mothers day lunch for with my girlfriends family. I texted her and told he the situation. She told me to stalk up to them and shoot one! With that the real hunt started. I had two toms 133 yards away out in a sod field and all I had was my blind and a slight depression in the field. After planning I made my move. I closed up the blind windows and slowly lifted it up so I could get behind it. After I was out I got on my belly and proceeded to belly crawl with my bow for 80 yards to the tree line behind me. Once I got to the tree line I was able to look back and much to my surprise the turkeys were still there. Then I walked around the entire perimeter of the property to avoid being seen. At one location I stopped and was able to see that they were still there doing their thing. I continued on until I got to the ditch that they were next to. There were some trees to provide cover for me to walk most of the way down (100 yards). Once I got closer I got down on my hands and knees and began crawling. When I got to the edge of the field I was in and the woods I slowly rose and looked for the turkeys because that is where they had been, but they were gone. I looked all over but I didn’t see anything. I decided to go into the woods and cross the ditch and then come back up the ditch to see if they were in the grass hiding. I came into the field and ranged my blind, 150 yards, so I knew if they were still there they were only 20 yards away. As I slowly worked my way up the edge of the field I saw one in the grass. I was about 10 yards away; I drew, aimed and shot. They turkey exploded out of hiding and flew across the ditch. It landed right away and started running. I could see the arrow sticking out of it and it looked like a good hit so I marked the spot and went back to my ground blind to take it down and get a drink of water. I was still dressed in all of my warm clothes from the chilly morning start. After rehydrating and organizing I went back to the spot I last saw him. There were a few feathers and a little blood but it was none existent after that so I started searching every brush pile. I searched and searched and searched with no sign of anything. I had never been in these woods before and it was thick. I continued to search and finally jumped the bird about 50 yards from the spot I had last seen him. He was slow and getting caught in the brush. I tried keeping up but lost him. I did find some blood where I jumped him from but lost it again. I continued to search some more. I got turned around and would up in a different area. I had to sit down and take a break and access the situation. After a few minutes of rest I went back to the spot I had last seen him and looked again. I found a deer trail and followed it. Then I noticed a spec of blood on a leaf, then another so now I was finally on a blood trail. I followed this faint blood trail for about 15 yards and there was my turkey lying dead. It was a beautiful sight after searching for 4.5 hours!

20 pounds
10 inch beard
7/8 inch spurs

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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby jlh42581 » Sun May 27, 2012 5:12 am

Well boys, I think I am going to have to call this one for the year. With three days remaining and temps predicted to be 90+ I think I am done. This morning was my last hunt, I didnt hear a gobble. I spent the first hour of daylight helping a young lady who fell asleep at the wheel. First on scene. She apologized for ruining my turkey hunt. Told her, theres always another day to hunt turkeys, not a big deal. Didnt hear a single gobble after I made it out, not even a cluck.

Im ending the season with both tags. The only shot opportunity all year was the first day when I worked a giant gobbler into my setup that me and a buddy shared. I told him to hold on, not to shoot. He got excited and shot, missed. I called in a total of 8 hens all season long. I hunted a grand total of 6 days. All but one hunt was before noon.

Next year I will take any time I can the first few days. Hunting public around here is becoming a circus during the weekend.

Additionally, I think unless I have some windfall and come onto a piece of private that I will only purchase one tag from here on out. Purchasing two and punching both is no easy task without time to do so. As the boy gets older that might change, hes only 10 months old and its a lot for one person to do in a morning before work. Besides, I enjoy seeing him in the morning and making him breakfast.

Im going to go out on a limb here and say whoever wins the hunt that you should opt to come the first saturday of the season followed by the first monday making a total trip of at least 3 days. I seem to do my best in the first week.
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby Ack » Tue May 29, 2012 9:17 pm

I'll start this by saying how jealous I am of all you guys who get to shoot multiple birds every year in your home state. Being the turkey hunting nut I am, I would love to be able to take a couple birds every year. But living in the great state of Michigan, we are limited to only one bird in the spring which does help preserve the quality of the turkey hunting we have, and this spring season was quality hunting at it's finest, even though things were a little more difficult all around. Come along with me on the story of my 2012 spring season.........

Let's rewind back to early April.....As usual I was getting excited for the upcoming season and began my preparations by shooting the bow a little and driving the backroads, checking out the birds that were already showing signs of early breeding. Didn't think too much of it then, but little did I know how that early spring weather was going to impact my mid to late May hunt. Driving the same roads day after day revealed less birds observed than in previous years, but yet I knew that on the properties I hunt the birds would still be there come May......or would they? The first season arrived with outstanding conditions, yet I was forced to wait it out as usual because of my tag selection. Still out "road scouting" I was noticing a lot more hunting pressure than what I have seen in past years. Once again, didn't think much of it, but as that first season progressed the pressure was not letting up, probably due to the lack of birds that I had noticed before. I saw blinds left out near my property, and even guys sitting against that one lone tree in the fencerow, day, after day, after day........these birds were getting hammered.

As my season drew near I was seeing what birds were there less and less, and didn't really have any solid birds to start out on come the opener of my season. The large double beard that I had been keeping an eye on last year had somehow lost about 7" of both beards, so I wasn't real keen on shooting him. Two other decent birds were roaming the property, but one lone tom must have been taken out because he simply disappeared.....not good for me. My other properties were just as void of birds as this one, so I was going into my season without a clean cut plan......no big deal, but not what I'm used to come turkey season.

Fast forward to my opening day......After starting out on a dud property at first light, my hunting partner and I were later able to get 4 mature birds into the decoys at a new spot we were trying for the first time. The four birds charged into the decoys, and two of them flogged both my strutter and DSD jake decoys. As one was standing on top of my fallen strutter I let an arrow fly, only to take the feathers off his back right behind his hunched up neck....miss! I quickly told my buddy to take that bird and, after first sending the bolt through my Double Bull, was able to take his first bird with the crossbow. I really beat myself up after such a close miss, but was happier than heck to see him tag a great bird.

Shoulda been me holding up this cool looking fan!
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So with that my solo hunting began. I was actually able to get out almost every day of the first week of my hunt, but with only a couple hours at a time to work with it was tough to get on birds without having to bail on the setup for some reason or another. A couple times I had birds on the way, very slowly that is, but I simply ran out of time and had to get back home. As if time wasn't my only limitation, the lack of GOOD birds didn't help my mission either. I was seeing lots of jakes and smaller toms around, but not many that really made me say "WOW."

Here I am a week into my hunt with virtually no action, but I'm still trying to keep my head up and stay on my game....until another low blow that is. While out shooting in the back yard one day I noticed that some of the serving on my string had completely separated inside my cable guard, yielding the bow pretty much useless until I could get a new string/cable. So with that I pulled out the old faithful Mathews and was able to get things fine tuned without too much trouble, so I was back in business. Before season I had secured permission on a small 11 acre property that I had never hunted before, and after hearing the stories of the birds this guy was always seeing around, I had to get out there and give it a go.

So I loaded up and headed out there, but upon arrival did not see, or hear a bird around the place at all.....ugh, another long drive for nothing. Well, with the layout of the property I decided to just grab the shotgun and my DSD hen and sit my but up against a tree for a little while to see what would happen. I wasn't even there 20 minutes when I heard a gobble a ways off, so I got on the calls and sure enough, here they come....two hot birds on a string. It didn't take them long to cross the alfalfa field and get into gun range, and with my 1300 resting on a large downed tree it was as good as over for one of these birds........or so I thought. As the lead bird cleared some bushes at about 30 yards or so I settled the red dot on his mellon and squeezed the trigger.....................wait...........he's still on his feet..............and now he's flying away???!!! I literally stood there dumbfounded for about 15 minutes trying to figure out what had just happened and what actually didn't happen. Still don't know how I had missed ANOTHER bird.....WITH THE GUN......but nonetheless it was strike two for me, and I was pretty much at the lowest of lows. I kept telling myself up to this point that everything had happened for a reason, but it was tough to stay focused after watching two birds walk away from my misplaced shots.

Turns out I did not have to go in to work that night, so the plan was to get back out to the woods once again for several hours the next day. After contemplating my options, I decided that I was going to go back out to that same property and give it a go one more time.....it just looked too good out there to give up on it after what had happened the day before. Upon arrival to the property I decided to take the bow and sit it out on the edge of the field again, this time with my full decoy spread that had worked so well on opening day. After setting up and sitting for only about 15 minutes, I heard a gobbler sounding off over and over to some crows that were making all kinds of racket. Even though he was a ways off I decided to let him have it with my Nature's Echo #32 copper pot call. Even with some loud calling he kept gobbling to the crows, but not so much to my calling.....but even so I could tell that he was getting a little closer every time he sounded off.

All I needed was for him to get though a small patch of woods and lock on to my decoys spread and it would be game on, and that is exactly what he did. As soon as I saw him leave the trees and come into the field I quickly turned on the camera and readied myself for a shot. It only took him seconds to lock onto the strutter and come charging in, ready to put a whoopin on the stranger that was is his territory. As he sized up my strutter I came to full draw and that's when he made his move, knocking my defenseless decoy to the ground and stomping it into the grass. As he stood over the fallen stranger he was still enough for me to settle my pin and let the string go, sending the Bullhead on course to his outstretched neck. And with that, it was done.........over........no more worries. All of the preparation, anticipation, and execution had finally come together. After almost striking out I had hit the homerun, and walking out to get that bird was like heading to home plate. I had won the game, and what a bittersweet game it was. And to put the cherry on top, I had finally taken my first limbhanger.....an accomplishment that had eluded me for many, many years. I've taken longbeards, multiple beards, heavy birds and so on, but the long hooks had never found there way on my wall until now......mission accomplished!

Stats
Beard...............10.1875"
Spurs(both)...........1.25"
Weight................20 lbs.



[bbvideo=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShGD-HEBXCY[/bbvideo]

The setup and result........
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The call that brought him running.........
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The BEST turkey broadheads you can use and the damage they inflict........
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My first limbhanger in 18 years of turkey hunting.........
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He added a little color to my strutter decoy...........
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So with my tag filled I still had an itch to get back out and do some hunting. The following week I was able to get out with my mom and be a part of an awesome stalk that ended up with her making an outstanding shot on a nice 2 year old. That makes two years in a row now I have been able to get out with her and help to punch her tag. I'm now a little sad that it's all done, but overall the 2012 spring turkey season turned out to be a challenging, yet successful one for family, friends, and myself. Next season cannot get here soon enough!

Mom, me, and a dandy Michigan tom.........
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby QDMAMAN » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:00 am

Every turkey season seems to present new challenges and adventures; I suppose that’s why I keep coming back for more.
I have always purchased hunt 234 (month of May in Michigan) for as long as I can remember. Because of the longer time frame allotted and because of an annual commitment I have the last full weekend of April.
The weather this spring had me considering the ZZ season (last 2 weeks of April in Michigan) when it was finally time to pull the trigger and actually buy my license, I considered all of my options and stuck with 234.
A buddy was chomping at the bit to return the favor of calling in a long beard for me so I waited until he could take the time away from work to join me and that was the first Friday, May 11th. After deciding where we would start we flipped a coin to decide who would be the first “shooter” for the day and we’d rotate with each property we would hunt.
The first spot we hit is the farm I’ve killed my last 2 birds on. A week earlier I scouted from the road and heard 5 gobblers rockin the woods at dawn, 2 days later I actually went in to the roost and watched a double beard fly down 40 yards away and walk to a farm field gobbling the entire time. Our anticipation was high for this spot to say the least.
As dawn broke it was pretty quiet as we waited for the birds to sound off. The first was more than likely the double beard however, he was quite a bit north of where he was a few days earlier and on property we didn’t have permission to hunt. As we rethought our game plan a thunderous gobble came from over our right shoulders from the exact same location my 2011 bird had roosted the morning I killed him. We double timed it toward where he was at only to stumble into 2 satellite gobblers that were roosted tight lipped. The jig was up as those 2 boys went up and out and there vocal buddy went lock jawed.
The original bird we heard was still an option if we could get his attention so we headed back in his direction set up and called only to have a hen followed by a bashful jake appear and then disappear nearly as quick. This isn’t what I was anticipating for the day and I was a bit disappointed in my rookie mistake. We made for the car and headed to another farm. That day, as well as the next two, would provide much of the same frustrations, gobbles on the roost in spots unexpected and then silence the rest of the day.
I left the following Tuesday to fish in Canada for a week and my buddy teamed up with another friend to fill his tag, I was now on my own to hunt without the restraints of another person to consider when game planning. While I truly enjoy the camaraderie of hunting with a partner I’m much more proficient at killing when I’m solo.
I wouldn’t get a chance to hunt again until Friday May 25th and I planned to hunt 4 straight days if necessary to fill my tag. I wasn’t seeing many birds around home in my travels and gobbling at dawn was rather subdued compared to past years. I knew birds were around I just couldn’t nail down their exact location with the limited time I had committed.
I headed out the door at 4:30 a.m. to one of my ol trusty spots where I had seen and worked 4 long beards unsuccessfully 2 weeks earlier. I planned to sit quietly and let the birds dictate my next move. As dark turned to grey, and grey to dawn, I heard a hen fly down about 70 yards to my right. She proceeded to walk straight out in to the field I was set up on and away from me. As I watched her feed as she went, 2 more hens appeared and joined her as they crested a hill and disappeared. About then is when I heard a gobble. This dude was already on the ground and from the sounds of things closing the distance. I took out my black walnut slate and gave him a little dirty talk, he’d answer robustly each time but I could tell he was on a mission to rendezvous with the girls so I got up to cut the distance and try to persuade him that I was worthy of his attention. He hit the field with the hens and my best efforts fell on deaf ears. He’d gobble every time I’d talk but he was content to stay with his harem. This late in the season I wasn’t surprised and I was convinced by now that killing him would require unconventional tactics.
As I watched the group feed out across the freshly planted soy beans and across a grass water way into the west half of the field I suspected that because of the solitude of this location that they’d be there for a while or until someone, or something, changed their plans. I made my way back in the direction of where I started. With the aid of the terrain and heavy foliage, I moved undetected 400 yards north then 500 yards west, and then another 200 yards back south so that I was now at the north end of the grass waterway with the birds south of me and on the opposite side. The gobbler continued to strut for his girls as they dusted and scratched at the fresh soy bean seed. There were some thick young willows at this end of the grass waterway that I crawled through to get a bearing on where the birds were exactly. Now I could formulate my next move. Once I determined that they were content where they were, I hit the dirt on my hands and knees as I closed the distance. The occasional muddy spot required some fancy duck walking but over the next 30 minutes or so I eventually positioned myself within 82 yards of the focus of my attention. I had the advantage of some thick grass and small willows to conceal my location so I decided to give him a couple of soft purrs and clucks, hoping, that at this distance, he’d believe I was another girl late to the party and just on the other side of his line of site. Nothin doin! He’d gobble thunderously but other than closing the distance to about 72 yards (ranged) he wasn’t about to commit. This was all I needed to know now as I was committed to stalking him and blowing his beak off.
Over the next 30 minutes the hens started to make their way south (toward my property). As they would go I would go, hands and knees when possible and belly crawling when necessary. As I approached the south end of the grass water way the grass was getting considerably shorter and my options were narrowing, I dropped my vest to reduce my profile. I knew that because my woods was so thick with hinge cuts that they would likely hit the wood line and go left or right, if they went right they’d continue away from me but if they turned left they’d cross back over the grass water way.
There was a low spot that the farmer was using to access the east side of this field where I was certain they’d cross at approximately 50+ yards. As they dropped down in to that depression I belly crawled as fast and as far as I could, when I peered up out of the grass the first hen had crossed and the strutter was following up behind her. I was out of adequate cover to move any closer and I estimated that he was at 50+ yards.
I wasn’t keen on shooting from the prone position and I knew I’d need a sold rest at that distance to execute a clean kill so I decided then that if I could get to my knees for a shot without alerting the group, I would have earned the right to shoot. At that distance I wasn’t going to attempt a desperate shot at fleeing birds. As luck would have it I was able to rise to one knee, steady my gun, and as the ol boy craned his neck to investigate the strange blob in the tall grass, I let the 12 ga. roar. He stumbled and went down and attempted to run, boom! I hit him again as he atempted to take flight, boom! Down he went in a pile of feathers.
As I approached him I was reaching for my phone so that I could send out the BGD to all my homies. Low and behold…my phone was missing. I had just crawled through over a ¼ mile of mud, grass, willows, and farm field for the last hour plus, now “the hunt” was on, of course I had turned the ringer off so locating it that way was out of the question. I left my vest and gun with the bird and back tracked but to no avail. I returned home with my prize so that I could have my wife take a couple pics before she had to leave home for the day.
After the hero shots I grabbed a broom handle out of the garage and returned to look for my phone. Amazingly it laid on the ground where I had rose to my knees for the shot.
Since starting turkey hunting in 1996, I’ve never gone without killing a bird but this season was beginning to test my resolve. I guess the uncertainty and the need to adapt to the different situations is what the appeal is for me anymore. It sure is fun trying to match wits with such a “stupid” bird.


I can't find the instructions to post pics. Can someone help a brotha out?

T
"Education is important, but goin' huntin' is importanter." - Earl Dibble Jr.
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby Ack » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:14 pm

Here you go Tony.....not sure if you had other pics or not. 8-) This is QDMAMAN's bird btw.

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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby muddy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:34 am

This is my official entry.

2012 saw less scouting than usual, mainly because family comes first. I did manage to find several longbeards and had high hopes. To make matters more fun I invited a buddy to join me opening day, little did we know that the 40+ winds would really screw us up. Also found out there were 3 youth hunters on the farm again, and they really screwed things up. Here are some pics from scouting.
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Opening day brought stupid winds, and we didn't have much luck in the morning. We went out and found a place out of the wind and almost immediately had a bird rush in to be BigBoi's buddy. I'll let the video speak for itself.
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All I know is that when a shotgun goes off inside a blind it is louder than Hiroshima. My buddy never did tag a bird but we had a lot of fun that day. Even managed to call 3 other birds within range, but brush kept them safe.

I didn't get back out for a few days but had a hot spot to try out. I set up thinking the birds were in one location only to end up packing everything up and moving 1/4 mile to where they actually were. I got set up again with about 4 minutes to spare. I clucked a few times and almost immediately heard 2 birds fly down. A few minutes later a strutter and a subordinate bird came into the decoys and I shot the dominate bird, who was a very nice bird when I recovered him. Funny thing on this hunt was that I was carrying my 45 for fun and as I bailed out of the blind the got got hunt up on my chair, which dragged and got hunt up on the blind, which stopped me in my tracks so I fell flat on my face. All this while the bird was flopping/flying away. After a short spring in which I strained my hamstring I finally finished off the bird with a large stick.
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The bird was quite wet and my one daughter would not go near it because it stunk so bad. She would also not eat breakfast until I left the house because the smell made her gag. Most amusing.

I had a pretty long run of average to below average luck with some buddies over the next few weeks. I called in a really nice bird to 6 yards only to look over and see my buddy in a panic as he forgot to put his release on. The bird finally flip flopped and left before he could get it done. I laughed, my buddy did not.

I then took a trip to western IOwa to hunt with the same guy who came over on opening day. It was blasted hot but we were into birds. On a 3 hour spot and stalk mission we had been set up on 2 long beards 3 times, only to not quite have it work out. We humped around a bit and were doing some glassing when I saw 2 birds 100 yards away in some shade of a couple pine trees. We got situated on open ground because there was nothing else we could do. I spun my sturtter decoy a couple times and the birds charged. Hindsight being 20/20 we should have moved back a little when the birds went thru a dip, but we did not. The birds crested the hill 3 yards from me (i stepped it off) and I did my best to scare the lead bird to death with loud sounds. I missed. I laughed. It as awesome.

The next morning I passed a shot at 50 yards and that was the end of my trip to Western Iowa. I returned home and 2 days later was set up where I had been seeing 2 birds strut many times over the spring. As it got light they were no where near by so when they gobbled, I moved. I ended up on the exact same field where I shot my bird with the bow, only this time there was only 1 bird roosted instead of 2. I got set up and ready and called a few times quietly. I sat for what seemed ever before I heard a putt behind me. The bird somehow pitched down and worked in behind me and saw me sitting there. Fortunately he was retarded and stared at me while I swung completely around, got into a kneeling position, and took aim. 25 yard pattern is much better, he got dumped.

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This was a very fun, yet very difficult spring in my house. My grandma died right as season started and then we buried grandpa yesterday almost 2 months to the day from his wife of 72 years. Lots of roller coaster emotions. Thanks for reading.
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UPbowhunter
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby UPbowhunter » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:38 am

Guys I wish I could edit this into my og post on page 1, but this is the you tube link to the opening day double beard..Thanks again for looking my best archery bird by far....[bbvideo=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxe5YEeiuiI[/bbvideo]
You can take a Yooper out of the U.P., but you cant take the U.P. out of the Yooper. www.droptineproductions.net
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Haus86
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Re: POST HERE ~ Turkey Contest Stories and Pictures 2012

Unread postby Haus86 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:06 am

I started off the season hunting some public land with no luck. I decided to change it up and started hunting a new farm that I deer hunt. My dad drew a turkey tag, so he drove down from Wisconsin and we spent the first weekend trying to get him a bird. The hunting was tough. The birds weren't responding to calls or decoys, and gobbling seemed non existent. My dad's one opportunity was when he was able to stalk within shotgun range of a nice tom, but the tom was just on the other side of the fence. My dad had to head home just as we started to figure out their routine. Since the turkeys weren't cooperating, I set up close to their roost, and my wife set up in the direction they would head to strut. As it got light out, I started to get really discouraged as it was very quiet. I let out a few tree yelps and within 10 seconds I had a tom pitch down right in front of me. He sat still for 15 minutes before taking a few steps and offering me a shot. His beak ended up being really unique and hooked. He is also my largest spurred turkey to date.

20.5#
1.5" spurs
10.5" beard

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