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Season H - Don't give up yet!

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Memorial day for me marked a great opportunity to head into the woods with an old friend. He's the best turkey hunter I know, and chases these birds only with a bow nowadays. He's guided in the Black Hills and several other locales. With well over a hundred birds to his credit, and quite a few more than that to the folks he's guided over the years, you could say that a great learning opportunity was at hand.

So when we went turkey hunting on some land that I'd secured, with my blind and my dekes, you could only kind of say that I was taking HIM hunting.

Still, I'd hunted these birds and this property many times before; which would hopefully give us the upper hand on a sharp spurred gobbler that liked to roost on a nearly-horizontal basswood which hung off the shoulder of a big, pointed ridge. He was there again the previous night, gobbling for all the world to hear. I knew where he was, down to the limb, but could we get him?

3:30AM came early, it was a big climb with good distance to cover, quietly, as his launch and landing zone was an open one. We managed to get nearly setup before he let out his first gobble. Then another, and three more from different directions. Just as I'd hoped, there were about 5 gobblers roosted on the ridge just out in front of us, and we were between where they fly-down, and like to head out to a large corn-field.

Again, as hoped, they gobbled at everything.....incessantly....almost to the point of being annoying. The trickery came at fly-down.

All birds converged and followed the contour of the ridge just below us around and eventually behind us before working their way in. Our roosted bird flew down first, and led the charge every step of the way. When he was about 30 yards behind us....we heard the alarm putting but didn't know why? Dekes? Something else? We still haven't figured this one out. The only other thing he could've spooked from was the carry-bag for my Double Bull was sitting in the leaves near the blind. It's a very drab color, and I'm still thinking he freaked from the dekes.

7:30AM, ditching the blind and going out on foot; which is funny, because we know better smile.gif We follow them out to the field, and it's 3 toms and 3 jakes with a hen. Make the hen mad by imitating her calls, and eventually she starts at us with the boys in-tow. She hangs up, the toms stay with her, but the jakes keep coming. And coming. Until they're 7 feet on the other side of the big tree my friend would use to draw his bow. His draw was noticed, and a fleeting shot was his best excuse to lose an arrow.

Worry not, now two more, different toms are gobbling and working their way right towards us. Eventually to 25 yards. Raise bow-arm to draw, which they didn't see. But turkeys are naturally and completely paranoid. They didn't need to see him move. They only needed to feel funny about the situation, and moved off. No-shot.

Off to another property. I had a feeling birds would be loafing mid-day near a ridge-top logging road which connected several major ravines. These ravines are cool and protected by the ever-increasing winds. If you can put yourself on the ridge-top where several intersect, you increase your odds greatly on warm days especially.

And so it was, within 5 minutes came 4 jakes running. Again the decoys were something they didn't like to see, and a 15 yard shot that seemed to be good, was hampered by our excitement.

When at full-draw, it's hard to tell the exact path your arrow will take because you're looking at the sights, and if you're not careful, you can clip the blind.

I'm personally proud of the new battle-wound. Most-definitely not the first time out of this blind.

We had 3 more toms come in, and a group of 3 hens and 2 jakes. They never committed to our opening, and were always obscured by thick brush.

I didn't care, it was one of the most fun days I've had turkey hunting in a long time. 2 archery shots in 1/2 a day is a success. Especially considering that we called 9 jakes and 6 toms into easy gun range. The 2 that came in together after the jake-miss, were real bruisers as well. Great beards on both of those birds!

If you have a tag left for the H-season, gun or bow, get out there! Don't let conventional wisdom and your head get the best of you. There's some great hunting to be had these last weeks of the season, keep at it!


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Sounds like a great day!!! Didn't sound like a late season hunt other than the decoy shy birds.

The toms are still strutting here with some gobbling as well.

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Wow that is a good day. Especially this late. I had a cousin who lives two houses up from me supposedly hunting this last season. He was going around the Houston area (349) to a WMA where he had never been to before. He had never even been to this part of the state before. Saturday morning I see his car in the driveway and figured he chickened out and was going fishing instead. Wrong. Talked to my wife later that day and she had ran into him and he had shot a 19 lb.gobbler the first afternoon he was there (Friday).I haven't talked to him yet so I don't have the full details but I couldn't believe it. Last season, public land, totally unknown land layout equals success. He has been hunting all his life but turkeys only for three years besides. He has shot a bird each year. Can't wait to hear his story.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • phishslayer
    • eyeguy 54
      True dat!  Ducer slides right next to the ice. I did fish in a couple 8 inch holes yesturday for a couple minutes after some guys left. Almost felt like i needed a life jacket on!! Lol
    • Alex wilhelmi
      I'm so jealous of you guys, I put my ice fishing gear away couple nights ago. It took 3 Busch lights and and one Keystone light tall boy to muster up the courage to pack it away till next winter. Sad day.
    • pikeandchester
      Spent some time on on Francis today. Ice on the main part of the lake looks to be in great shape but the west access is pretty bad. Got the ATV out, Probably not getting a vehicle out though. Saw one car out, don’t know where they got on the ice. Shore isn’t pulling away yet (other than the access).
    • IceHawk
      You hole hop like me or the guys I fish with you just added another 50 holes or better to your day doubleing them up for transducers. Rarely do we plop down in one spot unless its lights out! 
    • Mike89
      just don't eat the smart pills the bunny leaves behind!!!!
    • Mike89
      easy to cut the 6" and eye guy, like me is getting older!!!     besides a 2nd hole beside the first is where the transducer goes!!!
    • smurfy
      i'm trying to finagle a weekend up there one last ice fishing hurrah, how the lakes lookin? not interested in truck travel, just ATV.  rumor has it gunners headed back south soon so it should be safe for me to head that way.  lookin at he weekend after da easter bunny comes!!!!!!!
    • IceHawk
      Agree 6 inch is defiantely the way to go for panfish especially when running gunning. But I'm a 8 inch guy like that little extra room as I rarely pull the transducer when iceing panfish.  I'm also a big walleye guy so that really helps landing fish! The one thing bad about you  6 inch guys is that I cant crack the top of your old holes very easy with my 8 Lol!
    • IceHawk
      Fortunately I am set Boat is rigged to max. Maxed out thrust wise on front and the back trolling motors. Elite 7, Hook 7, vexilar fl18 in back. Front X 15. Definitely a Lowrance man. If that doesn't find me fish then  I might as well hang it up lol!  Maybe  get rid of my butt seat buy a new pro pole seat with the flip seat to lean on a little more. As far as gear Have my eyes on a Engel Bait cooler probably pull the trigger on one of those as they look good and have heard good things about them . Oh was down at the NW Sportshow today and added a new Okuma. Definitely didn't need a new one but  u know how it goes   Very tempted to break out the wallet a few times but resisted temptation. LOL ! Odds and ends here there but major purchases are done for a bit.