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dukhnt

My season A bird

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dukhnt

My alarm went off at 4:15am last Saturday and I quickly checked the radar on my iphone. The rain was still out west so I knew I could get a couple hours of dry hunting in, and then I would have to decide if I wanted to stay and hunt in the rain. It was about a ¾ mile walk to my hunting spot. Once there, the decoys were placed, and I settled in and listened to all the gobblers waking up in the river valley. I heard at least a half dozen different ones gobbling all around me. The early morning was pretty uneventful except for a squirrel trying to figure out what I was. The squirrel got to within 4 feet of me before I lost the stare down. After checking my phone again around 8am, I knew the rain would come soon. The rain gear then came on and I put everything away that I didn’t want to get wet. Within five minutes of doing this I had a doe and her two yearlings come in between the decoys and I. When they got even with the decoys, all three started to stomp their feet and snort at the decoys. I was on the ground less the 10 yards away with this happening and thought that this was worth the price of admission. They tried to figure out what the decoys were for another 10 minutes before they gave up and took off across the field. After catching a little nap against the tree in the rain I looked behind me. It was a little after 9:30 and I saw a long beard walking away in a different field. I gave a few soft yelps from my box call and he kept walking in the wrong direction. At this point I figured I needed to try something else, either I would make him run away or get him to turn around. So I grabbed my box call and gave some quick, loud clucks. He immediately fanned out and his head turned pure white. I gave a few more loud clucks and he gobbled. Now I know I had his attention. This continued for another fifteen minutes. I would cluck and he would fan out and gobble, always making his way closer to me. There were times I couldn’t see him with all of the foliage but I knew he was getting closer. I picked an open spot in the shrubbery where I thought he might pop out off to my side and raised the gun to my shoulder. He came right to the spot and appeared to be peeking in my direction looking for the hen. I put the bead just below his head and pulled the trigger. My 2012 Minnesota turkey hunt was over with my best bird to date. He weighed 23 lbs 12 ounces. Had a 10.5” beard and the spurs measured at 7/8” and 1”. The ¾ mile walk back to the vehicle in the rain with that tom over my shoulder was probably one of my happiest walks in the rain.

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IlliniWalli

thats a nice bird and cool story

big congrats!!!!!!!!

you should change your screen name to "turkhnt" grin

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goblueM

nice, great story and bird!

I hear you on the seeing some cool wildlife being worth the "price of admission". Always see something neat while turkey hunting

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Archerysniper

They might be heavy and awkward to carry but the smile on your face and reliving the event makes the walks go by fast.

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paceman

Congratulation!

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Wallydog

Good work Duk!

WD

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sticknstring

Nice bird - congrats!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      My recollection of Sylvia is it being a nice, clean looking lake that would have nice views.  Bass were plentiful when I last fished it but ran pretty small on the weedlines.  You had to fish the slop to get better sized bass.  Couldn’t tell you a thing about walleyes there. I agree with Tom, Clearwater is a more dynamic fishery.
    • Wanderer
      We had to cut the hooks on one of my fish this year.  Caught on a Cisco Kid, 2 of 3 sets of trebles in the fish.  Just by how they were twisted, the leverage made removal by pulling very difficult and the fish would thrash when I attempted to work them out.  Made the decision pretty easy to cut the hooks. I’m honestly considering going barbless on everything.  Half the time the lure shakes free in the net anyway so the pressure is what keeps them buttoned until netted.  The plus is if one of us gets one in the hand when working on a netted fish, it won’t hurt so bad getting it out!
    • Wanderer
      Thanks for the feedback.   We have the time from hookset to release pretty short I think.  I read earlier this spring the average fight these days lasts 90 seconds or less.  I’ll admit I was amazed to hear that but after a half dozen muskies that have come to net this year, that’s no bull.  We usually have em netted on the first pass by the boat.  My 48 inch net allows one to do all the handling in the water while the other gets the bump board laid out and phone ready for a pic. A quick measure and quick pics and back in the water they go. Thats about as much as we can do.  70 degrees is lower than I expected to hear.  We were seeing those temps on opening weekend in Ontario.  We didn’t like seeing 80 last Friday on Leech.
    • delcecchi
      What do you think of the "cut the hooks" method of dealing with Muskies?   Small bolt cutters to make the process fast.   Just wondering.  
    • guideman
      Typically temps over 70 degrees are considered dangerous for handling Muskies. The length of the fight and the time you take handling the fish will make a difference. That is one of the reasons we use heavy line and big rods, you don't want to battle the fish to the death. Skip photos on smaller fish and remove the hooks with the fish in the net, in the water, not on the bottom of the boat. "Ace"   "It's just fishing man"  
    • Tom Sawyer
      Sylvia would have been my 1st choice, until it recently was discovered to have Stary Stonewart. Pretty devastating invasive. I'd bet Clearwater holds a state record large mouth bass. It also has strong walleye year classes.
    • Wanderer
      I was able to get back out on Leech last Friday the 13th.  Had to take a day off work to get some fishin’ in! This time was strictly for muskies but bass and pike showed themselves anyway. 🙂  The morning waves were still rolling from either the night or Thursday and the lake was rougher  than expected at 6 am.  The forecast said 0-5 and eventually the wind did calm from the northwest, switch, and then proceed from the southwest.  The effect for us was basically almost a 180 degree switch while we were out there and we didn’t see any fish of any size after that.  I think the switch was complete by roughly 1 pm. The other thing that raised our eyebrows was the surface water temps.  We started seeing high 76’s right away on the main lake but climbed pretty quickly to 78-79 mid day and was topping out at 81 by the afternoon/evening.  This made us really want to focus on deeper weeds but weren’t having much luck locating them.  We just weren’t in the right part of the lake.  But that’s how you learn - by doing. Total muskie count for the day = 2; 1 follow (mid 40 class) and one boated (41.5).  The day went SUPER fast for 10 hours of fishing.  Black bucktails raised the two for us.  I had the follow, my partner caught the fish. The temps had us concerned about the fish but my monster 48 inch net enables us to keep the fish completely in the water until it’s time for a quick measure and pic. Still trying to come to grips on what’s too warm for fishing muskies.  This one was on the line for no more than 2 minutes, including the net time before the hooks were out.  Maybe another minute to get the phone and board out and glove on for grabbing it up.  Less than 1 minute to measure and photo, then back in the drink for an easy resuscitation.  
    • Jeff Thill
      Looking for walleye  and bass fishing mostly.   I did hear good things about Clearwater Lake.   My wife has been looking at houses and her focus landed on West Sylvia.  She could care less about the fishing. Have any of you heard good or bad things about Sylvia Lake?    
    • FishinCT
      I looked up the Mille lacs hooking mortality study on walleyes and it started to dramatically increase around 65 degrees. About 5% mortality at 65 degrees but about 25% at 75 degrees. I have to imagine the numbers are higher for muskies given an extended fight with a large fish, having to take more care to not get cut up or hooked yourself while unhooking the fish, temptation to take lots of pictures, etc.  Here's the study if you're interested http://mnmuskie.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Reeves-and-Bruesewitz-2007_factors-influencing-hooking-mortality-of-walleyes-Mille-Lacs.pdf
    • DLD24
      Went out the last couple days on Mille lacs, we had no problem finding fish, but the big fish eluded us... We got all sorts of year classes from 11" eyes on up to 24", which is a good sign... That big storm they got must have dirtied the water up, all the fish we found were on the top edge of the flats no matter how bright it was... Rigging leeches and crawlers were the best until we got some waves then the jigging rap was taking all the fish. The fish were stacked up on points of flats and narrow ridges on the flats... We tried pulling lead for a little while, but I've never done it so I had zero confidence in it haha.