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DonBo

Team 4: "Beard Busters"

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hugonian1

WTG DonBo.

Looks a little nicer than last year.

Congrats

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DonBo

rbs, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you got to do some hunting on this special day. Is there cake? I like cake.

deets, sorry your hunt didn't end well.

adndoc Jr, how did your hunt go?

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x1957x

Nice bird Don!

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IlliniWalli

congrats. great pic

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deets22

Nice bird don!!!

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FrontenacPike

Nice bird and great photo!

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DonBo

WTG DonBo.

Looks a little nicer than last year.

Congrats

Yep, we had a lot of wind and rain, but it beat the heck out of the 16" of snow we got last year. shocked

Here's the story:

My good friend Dave and I have hunted this part of Western WS for a long time. We camp in the area and hunt hard, it's a great trip.

We got down there early Tuesday evening in time to set up for our opener on Wednesday morning. We never had a chance to scout so had to rely on our previous years experience. Last year, walking in on this same night we blundered into a large group of birds right where we were going to set up. They flew off in every direction. This year we were much more cautious coming over that last rise in the field, and sure enough there was a strutter right there. We dropped our blind and stools and decoys and decided to return EARLY tomorrow morning to set up.

The first day was really slow. Extremely windy and quite cold. We sat till noon and only saw one hen, though there were at least a few different gobblers that sounded off early. We set up a blind on another farm for tomorrow morning, then returned to our original blind for the rest of the day. Again, pretty slow. Another hen came through about 3:30, then at about 6:30 a tom responded to my calling. He answered every call but would not come any closer than about 150 yards. We could see him out the back of the blind and he was BIG. Finally he wandered off and we called it a day.

Thursday morning dawned clear and warmer. The wind had died down considerably, a beautiful morning. Several toms were sounding off in the hills to the east, then one behind us that seemed to be coming closer. Finally I looked out my window and there he was standing right on the field edge maybe 100 yards away. I grabbed my gun and looked again and he was headed the opposite direction at a pretty good clip. Something must have spooked him. I called and he stopped and looked, strutted and looked and strutted and looked. He would come a bit closer then wander off. He went back into the woods twice only to return to my pleading purrs and yelps. Finally two hens came into the field on the opposite side of us. He SLOWLY came our way stopping often to strut. He was circling around us headed towards the real hens. I don't like to shoot beyond about 35 yards, but am fairly confident in my set up to nearly 50. At what I judged to be just over 40 yards I didn't think he was coming any closer. With just his head and neck above a rise in the field I knew there would be no wounding. My trusty old 870 barked and my hunt was over.

DSC03403_zpsa7862d9e.jpg

He was just shy of 22 lbs, 7/8" spurs, 10 1/4" beard.

We waited quite a while before getting him because the hens were still in the field, but no other toms showed. We took the bird back to camp to clean him up, then Dave bought me breakfast before heading back to our original spot for the remainder of the day.

The clouds rolled in, the wind picked up and rain was threatening. About 3:00 I though I heard a response to my calls, but with the wind it was so hard to know for sure. I called sparingly and thought I may have heard another gobble. Then just like that, there's a tom standing on top of a rise about 80 yards out. Full strut, reddest head I've ever seen. He came in slowly, full strut the whole way. It was just starting rain. The closer he got, the heavier the rain. Finally at about 25 yards, he pulled the trigger and we were filled out.

full-20096-45556-dave.jpg

We packed up all our stuff and headed to the truck, arriving just minutes before the heavens opened up and dumped more rain than I've seen in a long time. Sometimes timing is everything. smile

I just got permission this morning for a spot I've been drooling over for two years, so hopefully I'll be able to tag another with my bow here in MN before the season ends.

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Hoyt4

Congrats Don. Nice work

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Scoot

WTG DonBo! Great work!

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DonBo

Ten minutes in the blind last night, my first sit of the MN archery season, and this nice bird was on top of my decoy:

DSC03410_zps8242734a.jpg

Seconds later, he was down.

full-20096-45623-bowbird.jpg

21 1/4 lbs, 9 1/2" beard. smile That's two in three days. A pretty good week.

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Hoyt4

Congrats on the MN bird. I know that house grin

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Borch

WTG Don!

Saw a lot of turkey activity in NE MN this weekend just driving around. Seems like they are going nuts just before and after heavy rain squalls.

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DonBo

Saw a lot of turkey activity in NE MN this weekend just driving around. Seems like they are going nuts just before and after heavy rain squalls.

Yep, seems everybody I know is putting birds on the ground this week.

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sticknstring

Heckuva week Don - congrats! That's sure some great scenic diversity from the rolling hills of WI to hunting in someone's backyard! smile

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pumper317

Well done Don! Nice birds, great stories.

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DonBo

That's sure some great scenic diversity from the rolling hills of WI to hunting in someone's backyard! smile

That's what hunting the metro is all about. The birds have certainly adapted well to this area. Finding someone here who will actually let you hunt is the true challenge.

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sticknstring

Outside the metro is becoming the same way, I've been turned down more this year than the past 5 years combined. More folks getting introduced to turkey hunting, which is great. The expanded youth opportunities is a large contributor. I enjoy seeing all those kid's smiles in the outdoor news w/ birds that are bigger than them!

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DonBo

Been a hellova week for me. After my last bird on Sunday, I've been taking a young lady out. You may remember her from a couple years ago as she scored a nice bird with her bow on her first hunt of any kind. Well she did it again this morning. We've had some great action the last couple days. Many birds around and responding to calls and decoys amazingly well. She missed one the first day, but redeemed herself big time today.

kat_zpsf746bc08.jpg

aa5450c5-8a04-4e8d-99dc-11bd8eef8430_zps

She made a perfect 23 yard shot on this nice 20 pounder. Now I get to sleep in for a couple days before the Women in the Outdoors mentored hunt this weekend. Maybe after that I'll finally be able to get some fishing in smile

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x1957x

Way to go! You to Don, awesome job. Just out of curiosity, did you use just one decoy now or just a hen and a jake? When you said they were on today and it being later in the season just curious to what you used to get that much attention.

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DonBo

Yep, jake and a hen. It's been working REALLY well for me recently.

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x1957x

Thanks Don..

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Borch

Way to go!

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pumper317

Great job Donbo!

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hugonian1

Well done.

First Dad, then you, now the young lady.

Great job.

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Archerysniper

Awesome job Don and kwood,another great archery bird.

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IlliniWalli

awesome job

great pix, too

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x1957x

Don, 57 here. Can you help me on state record turkey questions. Please pm me and thank you. I do need help on the photo contest thing to.

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monstermoose78

Awesome job Donbo!

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DonBo

rbs, you still with us? Haven't heard from you in a while.

adndoc Jr, haven't heard one work from you since your hunt. What's happened to the "team"?

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rbs

still here and hunting. I will be out in the morning after 3 days off. I had a "Super Jake" come in behind me the other day and all he needed to do is move 1' to the right and I would have released but he went left which gave me no shot. After sitting there sulking I thought to myself...hey, why didn't you shoot for his head...can you say DUMB! he was at 10 yds and standing still. Never even thought about it till later. Hope to see some in the morning...I have had some very close calls the last couple times out.

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