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Gordie

Team 4=SPUR COLLECTORS

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sticknstring

Alright, we're officially on the board now. Here's a quick summary of my hunt. A little long-winded, you've been warned. I arrived in Nebraska Thursday night around 9:45 or so. Found a place to pitch my tent but in the midst of my 20 minute spontaneous pack job, I'd forgotten the tent poles. No problem, setup the T2 & Thermarest and hit the hay around 11. Friday morning found me in a place I've hunted in the past but all the gobbling was a good mile to the west of me. Decided to tough it out anyways and called in a hen around 8:00am. I decided a move was in order and I headed for the truck around 10am. Went and checked out some new public land close to where I heard all the gobbling. I saw some birds back in a pasture and decided to try to circle around them and call them in. Wasn't able to get where I wanted due to terrain but setup on a oak flat above the birds and gave it an hour. Heard birds around me but they didn't want to check me out. Saw a coyote cruising unsuspectingly at about 25 yds looking for a hen turkey for lunch. Right as I was about to release, his 6th sense kicked in and he ran off. I decided to break for lunch and come up with a new gameplan for afternoon.

Hen_650.jpg

I drove a few miles east and got permission from a farmer to hunt a 40 acre field where I'd seen plenty of birds in previous years. I was setup by 12:15 and started to see birds around 1:30. Called in some hens close but no toms. Just before 3, I spied 2 red heads about 40 yds away closing in. They came in behind the blind & I couldnt' see anything. All of sudden I hear drag marks & drumming 5 feet from the blind and a strutter pops under the barbwire and struts out to my decoy at 7-8 yds. I rushed and never really picked a spot, Put my pin on the middle of the bird and squeezed the trigger. It happened so fast. Bird ran off and I held tight for nearly 2 hours, unsure of the hit. Got out, looked at my arrow, passthrough but didn't look good. I started looking in the cedars for my bird for about 25 minutes but didn't turn up anything. If any of you have hunted down there, you'll know how thick it is. If you don't hit 'em just right, they run off, and it can be a very difficult recovery. Well, I decided to take one more pass and sure enough, I spied my bird laying under a cedar tree still with his head up. I grabbed an arrow, nocked it, and right as I was about to draw, he gets up and takes off. Insert expletive here! I tried to run after him but nearly got knocked out by a branch. He was gone. It's happened in the past and I'm sure it'll happen again. If you bowhunt turkeys long enough, it'll happen. It's not fun and it kills me to lose a bird but you have to move on.

Scout2_650.jpg

By now, it's approaching 6pm and I'm pretty beat. Decided to go back to that public land I hunted midmorning and scout for Saturday. I left the blind in the truck and just took the decoy, calls, and bow along. I worked the tops of the draws and mainly just listened. By now the wind had subsided and I knew it was going to be a beautiful morning. Ran into a few deer as the sun set and figurd out the plan of attack for morning. When I got back to camp, I could hear birds sounding off across the hills. Tomorrow was going to be a better day.

Setup_650.jpg

I was right. Aside from the 31 degree temps, it was perfect morning. Clear and calm as could be. I got up plenty early as I wanted to get to my spot with plenty of time since it was opening day of shotgun season. I figured there would be some guys around. Grabbed the blind, bow, pack, 2 dekes, left the video camera in the truck and off I went into the darkness. Walked in about a half mile and some birds started sounding off. I had roosts with vocal birds on both sides of me & decided to setup. Popped up the blind, put out the decoys, and smiled as the turkeys woke up all around me. Can it get any better than this? I called in 4 lonely hens right away just yelping away, best decoy there is. I figured it was just a matter of time now. I heard drumming behind me but never saw the bird... he did gobble pretty close and I figured he'd come in but didn't. I'm sure he was henned up. 10 minutes later, a flock of 10 birds with 2 jakes appeared down the valley but the hens lead them off the other way. I don't think I went more than 15 minutes without seeing a bird, it was one of those perfect mornings. I figured it wouldn't be long until some of hens snuck off to their nests and those toms would come back to check me out. At 8:20 I heard a gobble about a 1/4 mile toward the truck. 5 minutes later... 1/8 mile away. He was closing in. Next time I looked out the porthole, there he was, red head periscoped about a 125 yds away. This was it. All alone, no hens to mess this up And no video camera. frown He hit strut and drummed the whole way into the decoys. What a pretty sight. This time, I was calm and took my time. I let him get to about 12-13 yds and settled my pin where I wanted it and touched off the release. He made it 10 yds. Emotions flooded over me. I said a prayer and walked out to claim my prize. He was no trophy beard/spur-wise but it didn't matter. After what happened yesterday and how similar recent hunts in MN have gone, this was my redemption bird. I setup the self-timer and snapped a few photos and made my way back to the truck. As I neared a the truck, I heard a distant gobble. A fitting end to a wonderful hunt. The smile lasted the whole drive home. smile

Bird1_650.jpg

Bird2_650.jpg

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DonBo

And a beautifull Merriam's in the bag! Good job Stick.

And sadly, I do know about bowhunting turkeys. frown

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Gordie

great story and what a bird good job stick

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tweedlap

You It.

tweed

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sticknstring

So who's still left to hunt? Nightcrawler, rundrave, & myself have hunted. That leaves Elwood, mrklean, & dukhnt right? I think we're going to need to go 3-3 or for sure 2-3 to have a shot at this thing. Pressure's on boys - DonBo just missed the the big one this morning so we've got some breathing room! grin

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lindy rig

Great story and pics Stick. I am hoping to say a similar prayer this year. I have turkey hunted 4 years now and have yet to bag a bird. Two years ago I missed a shot. Like a dummby I did not pattern my gun beforehand and I missed high. Been waiting for redemption ever since. Stories like yours keep me going!

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engfish

Lindy Rig, I've down that trail, and wish you the best of luck. Just hope you don't have a wife that has taunted you for the past four years like mine did. smile Got her back, though, when I put that full strut mount in the bedroom this past spring. That scream will keep me alive for at least another twenty seasons of turkey hunting.

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sticknstring

Quote:
Got her back, though, when I put that full strut mount in the bedroom this past spring. That scream will keep me alive for at least another twenty seasons of turkey hunting.

That made my day! lol

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Nightcrawler

Congrats, Stickstring for getting us on the board.

Rundrave ,aaah them hills,them hills cry love them.

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Nightcrawler

PS. stick, still have Minn. left H season.

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Gordie

I'm holding out for record book gobbler ;)well at least one bigger than DonBo's grin

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Sorgy

Stick,

Great story and photos. How come it was a solo hunt this year. Don't you go with a regular group out there every spring?

Awsom photos.

Great bird and a nice drive home

Steve

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sticknstring

Thanks Steve. It was a spontaneous trip. Wasn't planning on going down this year but as you all know, once the season arrives, the turkey bug gets us all. A few of the regulars came down a day later but I had obligations to get back home to so I went early. I'm still hoping to get out for a few days during MN E season too. We'll see.

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dukhnt

I am definetly getting the itch to go. May 4th can't come soon enough.

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Gordie

yep and gotta love that itch I get to take my youngest this weekend for his season then May 15 cant get here soon enough.

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DonBo

I'm holding out for record book gobbler ;)well at least one bigger than DonBo's grin

Aim high my friend. Aim high. grin

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Gordie

but not to high wink

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Nightcrawler

elwood ,had to move us out of the hole. sleep

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rundrave

its killing me that I didnt bag a bird. I thought the season ended a lot sooner but was informed it goes until late May.

I am gonna try my best to make it happen. Unfortunately I am in the process of moving so we will see. I might just drive out and make it a 1 day trip.

I am still holding out for hope, and a bird or 2 smile

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Gordie

elwood ,had to move us out of the hole. sleep

hope to bag a bird but I gotta wait untill may 15th cool

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mrklean

Well im starting to get my stuff ready i leave friday for kansas cant wait to get down there should be a blast

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sticknstring

Good luck - should be a great trip. We're counting on you to put a bird on the ground. I start MN tomorrow... looks to be a nice cool week.

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dukhnt

Stick - Good luck tomorrow. I will be heading out in the morning as well.

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Gordie

Good luck guys and I hope do read BBD soon wink

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Nightcrawler

boy-o-boy I feel good we got two in the woods with guns. go put them turks down.

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