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HateHumminbird

Unlucky Bird

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HateHumminbird    0
HateHumminbird

bird_rs.JPG

Tom

Weight - 21lbs, 4oz.

Beard - 9 1/8"

Spurs - 1 1/16", 1 1/8"

The beginning of my "B" season fell on what started as a windy, overcast day. I had been scouting fairly intensely the past week, and my pre-hunting had been telling me this wouldn't be an easy go of things. Gobbling had been on the roost only, if at all, and hens were actively breeding and spending most of the day with their toms. My chances, it seemed, would be right off of the roost, and/or later in the day in strut zones that the hens might be taking their toms to. What better chance to take a bird then to set up in an area with both.

I set up the blind in a landing zone that birds frequently pitch into. It was a secluded bean field just below a high ridge with some nice oaks, that couldn't be seen from any road or path, and was a good hike in. Morning greeted me briskly, with not a gobble to be heard. I tried putting them to bed, and heard nothing save a few wing flaps, so I wasn't too surprised. I scratched a few yelps here and there, hoping to get some silent traffic.

At about 6:30, a gobble in the woods off of the field corner brought me to attention. This was about 10 minutes after my last call, so I clucked a few times to coax. Two beardless jakes entered the field, and no sooner than they entered, they stepped back into the wood's-edge. They saw the jake decoy I had with my hen, and spooked. They proceeded to skirt around me, and then dissappeared.

15 minutes later, another gobble from the same direction....the jakes again? It was a good tom, that again spooked from my setup.....he again stayed just inside the wood-line and paced back and forth. Too far for a shot. He moved off and met with some other unseen gobblers later and went to another property. So would I.

I elected to run and gun a bit more, all the while trying to simply strike up a conversation with some birds. 3 jakes across the field were willing to talk, but I was looking for an adult bird. So I proceeded off in the other direction, and heard nothing in a few miles, save an owl fight at high noon. Odd.

I was on my way back to the truck, and decided to make a few calls on a likely alfalfa field edge. Birds I roosted previous nights were across the road, and perhaps....just perhaps I could draw one across the road from a few hundred yards away.

Nothing in 20 minutes. It was time to recharge the batteries and change directions/strategies. I crossed the alfalfa field, and ducked under the fence to complete the rest of my 75 yard journey through the winding creek bottom turned cattle pasture to my truck.

Just then, movement at 10 yards to my right, and an alarm putt! Swaying beard and red head walking up the creek bank. Luckily there was a monster cottonwood just between us and I stepped right to obstruct his view. Shouldered the gun, flipped off the safety, leaned around the tree and fired. That was it.

The photo above has the pasture that I shot him in the background.

I stumbled upon a bird that was silently working his way towards my calling location, and luckily enough, shot him at 15 paces. My pattern at that range is about the size of a softball, so I was lucky on several accounts. That said, I was still "hunting." Still keeping my head low, sneaking, walking silently, and keeping my guard up. Too many times have I been simply "walking" or lolligagging while hunting and stumbled upon birds that saw me well before I saw them.

So, there you have it. Not the most elegant hunt. Not elegant at all. I talked to Borch about it on the phone, and like he said, "For all the lucky birds out there, the ones that get past you for no seemingly good reason, maybe it was time for an unlucky one?" I'll take it every time.

Morale was low, and I was thinking about what I should've done different that day on the way back to the truck, and just like that.....my luck changed. Keep it in the back of your mind at all times that your odds out there can turn on a dime, and it only takes one!

Joel

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ChuckN    0
ChuckN

Great story Joel, and congrats on a nice bird!

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Borch    318
Borch

Congrats Joel!

Makes up for some of those "Lucky" birds.

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delzz7    0
delzz7

Congrats Joel

I hope your scouting reports don't stop!

I still have a few weeks to go Season E

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HateHumminbird    0
HateHumminbird

Delz:

Was just through Webster the other day, what a great little town. It's no Veseli, but... smile.gif

I'll be taking out quite a few other folks for the rest of the year, and hunting once more myself in WI. Season "E" is one of those seasons I'll be scouting heavily for. "E" is a personal favorite of mine, as the hens are hanging with the gobblers for an hour or two, then heading off to nest. There's quite a few 9-10AM and beyond birds to be had season "E".

Joel

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Cooter    0
Cooter

Congrats JN! Nice lookin bird you got there - another great day in the spring woods! Those MN birds haven't figured out that you're trouble for them, eh? wink.gif

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HateHumminbird    0
HateHumminbird

I'm hoping the WI birds don't figure anything out either! <Insert MN/WI joke here>

Joel

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marbleeye2    0
marbleeye2

Nicely done! I've always said I'd rather be lucky than good. Looks to me like you are both. Nice bird.

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Wallydog    2
Wallydog

Joel,

Great story. Every time we hit the turkey woods, we either make a mistake and learn something or reinforce something we've learned from a prior mistake!

He WAS coming to your calling!

WD

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harvey lee    13
harvey lee

Nice bird Joel. cool.gif

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Greybeard53    0
Greybeard53

Nice bird team mate. grin.gif

Great picture too.

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Nate McVey    0
Nate McVey

Great bird Joel! The story telling is great as well.......I could almost picture myself with you. Thanks for sharing

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huntmup    0
huntmup

Nice bird Joel. Congratulations smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

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123fish    0
123fish

Congrats on the nice bird and enjoyed the story. As my hunting buddy always says " Turkey hunting... you can turn from a zero to a hero in two seconds."

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Gordie    0
Gordie

Again great bird and story that goes with it

thanks because moral was a bit low after this morning.

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Shwangman    0
Shwangman

Very nice bird Joel!!!!!! Good Job!!!!!!!!!!

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