Well, it was a typical morning hunting turkeys.
This season has been a bit different for me than past years. I was hunting "new" property that i didnt know well and I had neglected to apply for my typical A season tag. In turn, I planned on the first 2 seasons were devoted to the kids. I did my usual early morning roost gobble runs and late afternoon field checks. These confirmed we had birds around, but rarely did they use the field. So a "deep" woods hunt would be in order.
To keep this short, the goal of getting the kids out and a bird was met with frustration and missed chances. The boy only wanted to go the first 2 days and the daughter i got out for one morning sit. That was it for 2 weeks, but i continued to get up early and try and then continue my long range scouting.
Wednesday comes and it is the start of "my" season. Took the morning off of work, and to the blind I go. Beautiful icy cold weather greeted the start of the hunt. The birds were quiet on the roost, but made themselves know once on the ground. However, like most 3 seasons, the toms were locked in on the real hens. They would pass by me a couple times but never come to my set.
Work beckoned me Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.
Friday, back out to the blind. Once again no gobbling on the roost? Strange. Then again about 6 birds on onthe ground the SE of me gobbling away. They would repeatedly work to about 70 yds of me back and forth. Again, never leave the real hens. His would go on till 10 am. The things go quiet. I would spend the 3 hrs, walking calling, waiting and repeating. Not one gobble! At 2 pm i make my way back to the blind for the afternoon, took a little nap. As i awake i have a splitting headach. I try and fight through it, planning on moving the blind to where the birds seem to spend time after fly down. The headache is too much, i just pack up a go home at 6. I would sleep the rest of the night.
Saturday morning arrives, feeling refreshed. In the blind i go, the birds actually gobbled on roost this morning! They are some distance away. I keep thinking i needed to go to the SE and sit by a tree and wait. But i fear i may bump hens or quiet birds at that time of morning. So i sit tight and wait. Like clockwork, after flydown the gobbles get closer and closer. Again, stopping about 70 yds away, not wanting to leave the live hens. This morning, i decide to call softer, but more often. Soon i get to talking to a live hen. Lo and behold she works her way closer and the gobblers follow! Now they get closer, but not nearly close enough.
I hear a new gobble directly behind me, it is very close, so I ready myself. Well, it seems this new gobbler has made the hens and original gobblers retreat back over the ridge. I call, but they will not get closer.
Soon i hear some rustling, so i peak out the NE window, i seen 3 turkeys working towards my set about 45 yds out. Sit back down and ready myself. Seconds later i see 3 jakes step out onto the trail. Thier mind is already made up as they work quickly to the decoy. One is in half strut the whole time. I Look them over and decide i will take the half strutter, looks to be the biggest bird. Took some time for them to separate to give me a clean shot. Jake is down.
19.09lbs 5" beard 2/16 & 3/16 spurs.
40 inch pike are pretty common at Zippel Bay this time of the year. The Ice Out Pike Derby at Zippel Bay is well attended again this year.....I talked to Nick Painovich about pike, the opener and other stuff I was wondering about......Here is the short dockside interview