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ChuckN

"Jakeville"

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ChuckN

Jakeville is what we called the area my cousin, Steve, and I hunted. The numbers of Jakes simply impressed us, and their eagerness to respond was even more impressive. grin.gif

Saturday morning rolled around, and for the intial three hours of the morning it was gobble city. Gobbles to the left, to the right...in front...all over. We counted 16 birds that morning, about 12 confirmed Jakes that came to the decoys, and the rest were spotted in the distance as unknown. We held off the trigger waiting for a Tom to make an appearance, but we pulled out the camera for some fun.

Turkey2007001.jpg

There was a group of three Jakes we got to know very well. They absolutely wanted a hen decoy in a bad way and proceeded to half-strut their way around the decoy, and after the decoy did not respond to his liking he stomped it good breaking the stake and clawing the heck out of the decoy. blush.gif A little video showing the decoy laying dead, but I missed the attack.

th_Turkey2007017.jpg

A lonely Jake came in for a looky.

th_Turkey2007019.jpg

Two birds traveled a long ways across fields to pay us a visit. I did not have my binocs that morning by accident, and I regret it. At the end of the day one bird had a larger beard than we thought. Oh well.

Turkey2007005.jpg

Saturday evening we tried a new piece of land, and when we attempted to set-up we found a couple turkeys in a revine. We quick set-up and when the birds didn't appear, I found another hunter had been in the area, and at that point the hunter walked in surprised all of us. Birds fled. Not knowing there would be others in the area our evening hunt didn't pan out well.

Sunday morning we returned to Jakeville, and found the birds opposite of Saturday. No gobbling at all, but we managed to see our friendly Jakes once again. This time a 4th Jake joined the group.

Sunday evening we saw our first hen, and 6 other Jakes. One dandy Tom stood in the distance on adjacent property and gave us a look, but continued on. Pretty slow evening. We moved the blind to another area of the property where more activity was taking place.

Monday morning found the group of 4 Jakes eager to respond to our calling and decoys once again. No activity from other birds in the area besides these birds. One hen in the distance. Since this was Steve's last day, he pulled the trigger on one Jake. 3" beard and the bird just short of 18 lbs. I was impressed at the weight, and the longest bearded Jake in the group still roams.

Turkey2007020.jpg

Turkey2007021.jpg

Turkey2007024.jpg

Monday evening was dead. No response from birds at all, and none in sight.

Tuesday morning I briefly hunted my property with neighbors talking about turkeys in the area. Nothing. Wind was really howling out of the NW.

Tuesday evening I spoke to nearby landowner who consented to a one day hunt with turkeys filling his property adjacent to my friend's land. This is the area I saw the big Tom and it was my goal to give it my best to hunt him down. It was rugged hills in a valley I noticed the turkeys travel in the evenings going back to their roost, and I did the best I could to set up against a tree on the edge of the field. Shortly after I set-up, I placed a short call out and waited 15 minutes. Somehow I fell asleep, and I woke to the sounds of peeps that sounded like turkey. smirk.gif I lift my head so slowly to find the 3 jakes wondering around my solo decoy. The same group Steve shot his Jake from. I almost ended the hunt, but I couldn't get a clean shot on the one bird that had the obvious beard, although short, but the most noticeable.

As I'm trying to decide a shot, I hear loud cracking in the background. The stiff NW winds continued throughout the day, and it sure sounded like a tree was about to fall nearby. Sure enough, in the woods about 40 yards a big, dead, popple tree is going to fall in my direction. Not really wanting to move my head 90 degrees quickly, I was forced to. The tree was not a huge threat, but landed 15 yards short of my position. shocked.gif I turned around, and the Jakes are still there, but not a good shot as they are tightly grouped. They eventually wonder away, and that's ok as it's my first attempt at this Tom in a new spot.

I continue to sit, and around 7:30pm a Fisher decides to pay me a visit. Now, the fisher takes my attention because I have never seen one before and this girl really is interested in me. grin.gif She proceeds to run half-circles around my spot and getting closer and closer with each pass. She climbed limbs, trees, anything to not make much sound in the dry, crunchy leaves on the ground. She got within 10 feet of me (enough for me to determine it was a female), and I didn't have a camera handy since it's not the wisest decision sitting in the open turkey hunting... All of a sudden I happen to turn around to make sure of my surroundings and 3 more Jakes were passing through. This was a seperate group of Jakes that were on the way to the roost. The Jakes were tightly grouped, and regardless, they saw me or the fisher at that point and B-lined it out of there. Oh well.

Tuesday rolls around and I only had a short morning hunt before work. I arrive at the land and coyotes, geese and Sand Hill Cranes are making all sorts of rukus at 5am. Sounds of gobbles from the roost filled the skies in the calm morning. This is going to be a good day I thought, as I haven't heard a response from any turkeys in 3 days, on and off the roost.

The morning was dead after the last gobble at 6am from the roost. No response to calls or anything. I would return for the evening hunt.

I returned for the evening hunt and it was a spittin image of the morning. No birds were active and nothing moving around in the haunts around the roost.

I must say, I have never seen so many turkeys during this hunt, and be up close and personal with these Jakes. I can only imagine the Toms were henned up and putting a smack down on the Jakes. After Saturday's hunt we didn't dare put a Jake decoy out because all Jakes saw that decoy and fled. It was crazy to try new things and watch these birds over the course of the hunt. Learned a lot from this hunt, and I don't know if after Saturday's action educated all the birds in the area, but their activity levels definitely changed. Regardless of shooting a bird, it was an intense hunt. The future looks great with a major hatch from last spring!!

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123fish

Nice pics. There ought to be a bunch of hot two year old gobblers around next spring. Lucky you!

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HateHumminbird

Chuck:

Excellent, excellent hunt. Very easily you could've taken a jake from the sounds of it. As 123 mentioned, you'll have an area chock-full of eager 2-year olds next season, which should make for an exciting hunt again. Between a falling tree and a run-in with a fisher, I'm not sure if you'll have as many extra-curriculars though!

I know what you mean about being grouped together so tightly and not getting a shot off. Also have to watch out for the vintage cars in the background smile.gif

I loved the video with the bird gobbling, awesome stuff. Congrats on a great hunt, and thanks for the video and photos.

Joel

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ChuckN

Thanks for your help Joel in this puzzling hunt. I learned a lot for the future!

I could have easily shot a Jake as they were so close so many times, but I really enjoyed hunting and the challenge at a Tom. Even though the ticks were absolutely unbelieveable, the weather was beautiful.

On my list of things to do is buy a larger memory card for the camera. I ran out of memory during the hunt, and the videos were very short because of this. It was more fun to shoot pics than shoot the Jakes. grin.gif

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