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HateHumminbird

Stories From the Hunt - '05

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SnagQueensHubby

Ha! That's my ol' man! Great story Strat! You gave me something to chuckle about when you called this morning and told me Dad had given you guff about the "nearing 80" comment. Good to see the old guy still has a steady hand on the gun. Can't wait for next year when we will all (hopefully!!!) get a tag and be able to hunt the big birds together. Can't wait for SoDak!!!

-SQH

PS. Remind Marveen that I still think he shoots like a girly-man. Too much time sitting in the Depot! Heh heh wink.gif

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SnagQueensHubby

Yo Duck!

My bro and I (and 5 others) are heading out to SoDak next wednesday and REALLY looking forward to the hunt. This will be my first year out there, but the others were out last year and loved it.

It was great reading your story. Hopefully the weather will be a bit better while we're out there, but I am sure however things pan out, it will be a darn good time. I'll be sure and post our story (with pictures) as soon as we get back. Hopefully, we'll get some color commentary from Strato-caster (my baby brother).

Anyway, Gratz on the successful hunt! You've got me foaming at the mouth to get out there and try my new gun.

SnagQueen's Hubby

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Jackpine Rob

At the end of two 15-hour days of chasing turkeys, Jr. and I were still having fun, but exhausted and running short on time. We had seen deer, coyotes, wild dogs, turkeys, all manner of waterfowl and tweety birds, but had yet to fire a round.

Friday we had two gobblers just out of gun range, strutting and gobbling - and Jr. reported later that he "nearly peed his pants." That night we put 3 gobblers to bed, planning to come back in the morning and finish the job.

Saturday we returned, but alas, two pickup trucks were parked nearby, so we went to "Plan B". Plan B was pretty much made up as we went, approaching an area we had heard a gobbler in the day before, but which I hadn't been through in over 15 years. The alternate plan found us nearly scoring, but again - as is often the case - 3 hens drew our gobbler away before he came into range. The remainder of Saturday found us trying to avoid the weekend crowd of hunters, then playing cat and mouse with 3 gobblers. As darkness fell we sat listening to them go on roost, hopeful, yet tired and just a little discouraged....

Our sleep time on Saturday night amounted to a 5 hour nap, and then we were up and back at it in the pre-dawn darkness of Sunday. The fog was heavy on the prairie at the base of the Hills, and we slipped quietly into position as the sky lightened, trees became more distinct, and the turkeys we had followed the previous night woke up in their roosts and started gobbling.

From a mile away, I called and called and called. Then called some more as the turkeys gobbled excitedly, and finally the sound of their wings beating as they left the roost trees drifted through the fog. One went away from us, but one landed several hundreds out in the tall grass, where he gobbled once - I answered back - and then quiet descended, broken only by the cackle of rooster pheasants and the songs of the robins, doves, and the occasional squeal of a wood duck.

Behind me, I heard another turkey fly down, and saw him materialize out of the fog like a jumbo-jet, landing in the field behind me and then running into the tree line we were hiding in, about 100 yards away from my position. We were surrounded when a 3rd turkey landed in the field to my left, several hundred yards out.

From the tall grass came a faint "cluck", I answered softly, and a large gobbler materialized out of the fog about 60 yards from Jr., angling past him directly towards me. As the gobbler passed Jr., I prayed silently..... "take the shot, take the shot, take the shot, take the shot", realizing that the turkey was right at the edge of Jr.'s range. I clucked softly on the mouth call - the gobbler's blue and red head stuck straight up as he stopped and looked at me - a thunderous shot split the silence, and the gobbler crumpled in a heap as his head smacked into the dirt.

It was 6:45 am on our 3rd day, and Jr. had gotten his first turkey. A very nice adult gobbler with 1 inch spurs, a 7 inch beard, and weighing a tad over 20 lbs. Pictures were taken, we headed back to my buddy's house, loaded up our stuff, and headed back to Minnesota.

Jr. slept most of the way....

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Captain B.R.K

Great stories everyone--hope to continue to read more and be able to add one this coming weekend. I've got all the gear ready, just need Saturday morning to come around AND that can't seem to come soon enough.

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Borch

Sounded like a great hunt. Glad to hear Jr. scored. That's what it's aboput anyways. laugh.gif

Cpt. Good Luck when you get out.

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IceHawk

Well my 2005 B season started and ended Monday with sucess!!! I managed to shoot a nice gobbler.

Statistics

23-lbs

11- inch beard

1- inch spurs

My hunt went like this. Me and my brother scouted a area Sunday afternoon that we new held birds. We found alot of sign scratchings,roosting trees,dusting areas etc and it looked good. I picked a area off of a known roosting area for the next morning and figured out a good spot for my first set-up. That night, sunday evening I glasssed a big tom and 4 hens in the area so I was pumped. The next morning I got set-up early and procedded to call with a few clucks and yelps. I heard a gobble in the distance and assumed it was the gobbler from the night before. 15 minutes after I called I noticed a bird about 70 yds into the woods, assumeing it was the gobbler I gave him a few purrs and clucks and here he comes. I was focusing on him at about 50 yds when I looked to my right to be surprised to see a gobbler strutting at 40 yds. The big tom to my right kept strutting and finally moved to within 30 yds and I took the shot and my season was over 6.25 a.m. I credit alot of my success to gaining permisssion on prime land, scouting, and my brother for helping with prime bird locations. Good luck to all in your future hunts!!! I wish you success. This weekend it's my Dad's turn at a crack at a tom in the area.

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HateHumminbird

Great job Icehawk and others!

I dare say the success rate for FM Turkey Forum folk is higher than that of the general turkey hunting population?

Thanks to everyone for sharing their tips and stories. Let's see some pictures, and make sure to enter in the turkey hunting photo contest (see the Photo Sharing forum).

Joel

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Borch

Way to go Chris!

That's a dandy birds as well.

I figured you'd be into them as I saw 5 gobblers harrassing a lone hen on your place again Saturday.

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TomBow

Here's a long tale of a not-so-long beard, my first ever bow gobbler, taken April 9th in Nebraska. Wanna hear a story? Well, hyago! It's LONG!

First and Most Important of all, THANK YOU to Herb (Scott Herbolsheimer) for hosting us last weekend at his home in NE. He went out of his way to get us into the birds, give us comfy lodgings, delicious food, camraderie ( ya know...fellow ship with yer other huntin' types) and it was big fun to be his guests! In the Pic, you'll see my ugly mug on the left, Herb in the middle with the major bird of the weekend and Glen on the right. Glen and I got our first ever bow birds, both Jakes but we are proud as heck of 'em and Glen said that his hunt was the most exciting hunt he's ever been on. Now that's saying something!

Here I go: We got down on Thursday night, 'bout 7 hr. drive from home and hit Herbs at about the 400 mile mark on the ol' odometer. A quick how-do-you-do with Herbs family and my buddy Glen Blair and I and we were off to roost birds. Saw 'em, roosted 'em, had elk steaks for dinner and hit the hay for an early morning session of bow-turkey chasing. Friday morning was quiet, Glen and I were on top of a ridge/pasture and the birds were gobbling down the hill on both sides of the ridge. None bothered to saunter on by the dekes, in spite of our all too irresistable calling technique. We threw yelps, clucks, cuts and purrs out and the pheasants LOVED 'em! Of course, the turkeys weren't excited enough to actual come in to view. So we went "runnin' and gunnin", the ultimate challenge for the bow-turkey chaser. STay tuned, folks.

The Nebraska wind was working hard to blow us away and probably kept the birds from hearing our calls. The Gobblers seemed to know exactly where the hens were and were keeping tight to 'em. Glen and I figured we'd start prospecting, grabbed calls, threw the dekes into the blind and took our bows and quivers and started moving around the "upper pasture". We through enticing calls down the hill on several sides, did some listening and glassing but didn't hear much response. We were down the west side of the pasture-ridge and headed back over to the other side when Glen spotted movement. We dumb-lucked, spotting the bird with a glance down the length of the pasture. He was just making his way into the brush so we quick backed out of sight and formulated a plan: We'll throw "elk tactics at him"! I gave Glen the option of choosing who would be calling and who would be the shooter, Glen said you take first shot so he tucked himself up against a cedar and I worked my way through the brush to another cedar that was just off the edge of the pasture. Glen's calls were barely audible in the stiff wind and I was doing my best to keep an eye for birds and remain concealed. I had heard that leafy camo was the ticket for non-blind bow turkeys so I was wearing mine, looking like a well-armed bush.

It was probably about 5 minutes since Glen had spotted the bird when 3 Jakes came in to view. Looks like this just might work. I carefully got on my knees, knocked one of my arrows and watched the birds and checked for holes to shoot through, if the birds kept coming. The adrenalin was pumping and I was breathing hard as the birds surveyed the area carefully. These were no longbeards but if I got lucky, I was gonna shoot one! I'd been practicing shooting in all kinds of positions, standing, kneeling, leaning, and I was ready. The first bird got by my shooting lane and two were standing in it, just to my left when I lifted my bow and drew. Dang! They spotting me and started looking nervous...well, MORE nervous as turkeys are ALWAYS nervous! The two turned directly away from me and started to Putt, the turkey alarm call "get outta here boys, there's a hunter in that tree!!" I let the arrow down and quickly shifted my attention to the first bird, and made a slow turn to my right, scanning for a shooting hole. I knew I had to "get on it" before the birds decided standing around looking wasn't as good of an idea as getting the heck outta there. I had about 6" between two branches on the cedar and the wind was making it tough to figure when the time to shoot was right. The bird was walking away when I turned a little more and drew, focusing on the bird (what about using your pins, TomBow??). I plumb forgot about sight pins, got the bow up and let the arrow go. Funny how that split second with the animal close can make you forget ALL your days of practice and constant mental self-talk. "He's close! I gotta get an arrow in him. Uh, uh, shoot him, shoot him, shoot him now!!" You've probably been there yourself, I'll bet.

The bird exploded into the air in a cloud of feathers. Glen said that he heard the shot and saw the bird take a jump.

The bird hit the ground again and stood upright! His tail feathers were considerably shorter than before my broadhead had expanded and cut through them cleanly. Yes folks, I had shot behind the bird. To be honest, I can't say I even looked at my sight pins. I had made the mistake of ignoring the bowhunter's mantra of "Pick a spot" and had aimed at the whole bird.

Ka-rap! I exclaimed under my breath as I watched bird not falling, not dropping over dead, but very much alive, walking off into the woods out of sight with his two friends in tow.

After the hit that didn't kill, the arrow headed off to parts unknown, out of the bow, through the tell feathers, up over the hill and gone. Glen and I searched but even the white wraps and light-up nock didn't help us find the arrow. We decided to call it a morning, grabbed the equipment and headed toward the truck, walking along the fence at the top of the ridge. I happened to stop and look down the hill and spotted movement. There they were! The group of 3 jakes that I had tried to reduced to 2 were moving away from us along the hill. I know it was the same 3 birds because one had a serious lack of tail plumage! Con sarn it!

We grabbed lunch at Herb's, heard his reports and headed back out about 2 PM or so. We set up a few times but didn't hear any birds calling in the stiff spring wind. The day ended without any additional turkey involved excitement. Hopefully Saturday would be a more successful day.

Saturday morning dawned after a sleep that seemed to last for seconds. Glen and I set up down the hill from Friday morning's spot because of the bird's we'd heard from the top of the hill on Friday. There was some gobbling but again, the wind had been blowing for about 24 hours and gusting often, so our hearing skills were being severely tested. I can tell you that I may have listened to too much heavy metal and other forms of loud music because wind really does a number on my ability to pick out distant gobbles due to a good bit of hearing damaged. A certain early morning urge hit me and I had to hit the truck for some paper for some "paperwork" that just had to get done ASAP! I headed to the truck, did what I had to do, then headed back to the blind. I spotted a large bird in the next pasture on the way back but I think it might have been a goose. Whatever it was, it just couldn't be enticed with our calling! OK, Plan B!

We headed up to the pasture where we had been on Friday morning, the location of the non-fatal feather trimming. We figured that the birds were probably working the edges of the hills and heading toward water down near the end of the ridge. We'd have to prospect for birds, one shooter, one caller, and hope we'd strike up a conversation with a gobbler. As before, the wind was making it difficult to hear turkeys and even difficult to hear calling from more than 30 or so yards away. We started at the fence and worked our way down the hill-top pasture, switching caller and shooter roles as we made our way down. I called loudly when Glen was the shooter and he was doing the same when the roles were reversed. We got close to the end of the pasture, near an erosion ditch, not far from the border of the private land we were hunting and the public land to our north. I was the shooter, Glen the caller, so I headed behind a good sized cedar while Glen took position on the opposite side of the open pasture. The elevation of the pasture peaked in the center, Glen and I were unable to see each other and unable to see the opposite field edge. Glen called loudly but it barely reached my ears. I inspected the tree for shooting lanes to my left and right and tucked in as best I could to remain concealed. 10 minutes later, after numerous calling sequences. I spotted movement to my left, down wind, on the other side of the erosion ditch.

My heart-rate jumped a bit when I spotted the red head of a male bird come around one of the pines on the other side of the ditch, followed by 4 other red heads. The group of 5 Jakes was coming in silent, a few with beards that looked like chimney brushes, probably from facing into the wind on the roost all night long. Glen's calling was working and these birds were coming in, looking. I took a deep breath as they disappeared from view for a minute, adjusted my position a bit and got my bow in front of me, release hooked up and tucked myself a little farther into the cedar. The first of their heads peeked over the edge of the ditch and stepped into the field, there were 5 Jakes, no longbeards in the bunch but I didn't care, I was hear to bag a bird and it looked like it was going to be my turn right here. The previous day's tail-cutting flashed through my mind and my concience said "Use the pins and Pick a SPOT!". I slowly moved by bow arm into position as the birds scanned the area. 2 birds passed my narrow shooting lane and the other birds were looking away when I drew the bow and came to anchor. One bird lagged behind the others so I focused on him, put the pin on his wing-butt and squeezed the trigger on my release. The shot was about 15 yards and the arrow hit just slightly left of where I aimed with a "thwop!" The bird's chest dropped to the ground and it sat motionless. One of the lead birds turned around and instantly walked on top of the bird, eyeing it curiously from above. For a few minutes the other birds walked around their down comrade as it sat alert but not moving. Then it's head started to get closer to the ground. The other birds seemed to sense something was wrong and soon began to work farther up the pasture. Glen had not seen the birds at this point and had been calling the whole time. A red head popped over the hill and Glen carefully kneeled down to grab his bow and stood back up. The birds never came over to Glen's side of the hill and headed off. Glen carefully extracted himself from behind the brush and snuck out into the pasture, out of sight of the birds. By the time he peeked over the hill, the birds were running into the woods. He looked back down the pasture and saw my bird giving it's final kicks. The shot had taken out the birds legs, as intended, at it was going nowhere fast. I quickly ran out into the pasture, saw Glen and shouted "That bird is DOWN!"

AFter inspecting the bird, the broadhead and the hit location on the bird, we huffed it down the hill and grabbed the video camera for a bit of "pro-fesh-un-al T.V. huntin'-type Camera fun". AFter that it was time to head in for lunch and get that bird on ice.

For the afternoon, Herb took us to another of his hot spots, luring us with wild tails of Gobblers seen and other turkey activity that had taken place that morning. Herb had a bird that he couldn't confirm as male at 8 yards. We got a call from him on the radio and he asked "Do hens display (strut like a gobbler)?" We said we didn't think so but with turkeys, ya just never know! Herb described the birds as having a red head (like a jake or a gobbler), it was strutting like a gobbler around his decoy, but only yelped like a hen, never gobbled once. A legal bird in NE is described in the regs. as "a male bird or a bearded hen". Since the bird never gobbled, only yelped, Herb couldn't positively identify the bird as a male so he didn't take a shot. Glen and I heard birds from our set-up but they never came our direction. At the end of the day, we heard what we thought was a turkey running through the leaves just down the hill, then it flew up in a tree. Seemed the bird waited until we had gathered our stuff to get out of there, run in and roosted just as soon as we left. Sneaky, huh?

The weather forecast, checked every morning, pre-hunt, by Mr. Herb, was saying that rain was on the horizon and coming fast for Sunday morning. We'd have to get on the birds before the rain came. The good news was that the wind had finally died down and was only a light breeze. Perfect conditions for hearing birds and for the birds hearing us. Mr. Herb was off to a spot that hadn't been hunted, a mucho grande CRP-grass field with a Nebraska-typical creek bed with trees cutting through the low side. Glen and I decided to stick it out in the place we'd been the last two mornings, with a slight change in tactics. We planned to hit the "high-pasture" at first light, do some listening for Gobbling birds, then try to cut the distance and set up the blind. We climbed up to the gate at the end of the pasture, lightly called a bit and listened, Glen on one side of the hill and myself on the other. Glen spotted movement just over the hill, out in the grass field and quickly ducked down and grabbed his bow. He figured the Gobbler hadn't seen him and he might have a chance; all he could see was the round top of the birds fan but hadn't seen or heard any other birds around it. As it turned out, it was wise that Glen had decided not to start his stalk prematurely, for suddenly the fan appeared odd to Glen. There was an odd whiteness to the fan, not typical of the Merriam's turkey species where the fan is ringed in white-tipped feathers but more of a line of white. You might say it had a white stripe. Yes folks, Glen almost blundered himself into a dose of freshly squeezed skunk juice. The kind that only goes good with tomato juice and a heck of a lot of it!

The skunk was rooting around just over the edge of the top of the hill, most of the time with it's tail up and, in the dim light, it could have been (and was) mistaken for a turkey fan, seen at a farther distance away than Mr. Skunk actually was. Glen figured it was best to just back off and let Mr. Skunk figure out that maybe it was best to go away from us. We called a few times and the skunk went on his way and, needless to say, us non-skunk hunters were pretty relieved.

We decided to avoid bumping any other stink-cats around so we set-up near the gate. A few weeks earlier, Herb had seen a flock of close to 100 turkeys in the field we were next to and almost half of those birds were gobblers. Of course, that was a "winter flock" and "break-up" had already taken place, but still we held on to hope that the odds would swing in our favor.

We could hear birds down the hill from us as sunrise time arrived but they didn't sound like they were getting any closer. The conditions in Nebraska had been dry for quite a few months and birds need water so we guessed that's where they were headed. And time was running out for us Minnesota boys, we had to get back that evening so we could get back to our wives and (a revolting thought) our jobs. It was time to run and gun. Glen was the shooter and I would handle the camera and most of the calling duties in order to keep the birds attention off of Glen.

We headed to the far end of the pasture, where the 5 Jakes had come from the previous day, and we separated, waited a few minutes, then I began to call.

I threw the most enticing and sometimes aggressive calls out in various directions. Every once in a while, we'd hear a gobble far off. I figured these gobbles were coming from birds that had not heard my calling but turkeys CAN hear long distances so you just never know until you know. We gave each spot 20 minutes or so and hoped for a response. I will say one thing, the pheasants LOVED my calling! But the gobblers didn't seem nearly as impressed as the pheasants! We worked our way all the way back up the pasture, to where we had the blind, then we headed down the hill toward a dry creek bed, close to where we had heard gobbling earlier in the day.

On Thursday night when we had arrived at Herb's place, he took us around to look for turkeys and hopefully roost a bird or two. The creek bed was the exact area where we had roosted some birds on Thursday and that was the main reason why we had been concentrating our efforts on this property. We tucked ourselves into some cut cedars about half way between the blind and the creek bed. The sky was looking dark and we knew that we'd be in for some rain at any minute. It had been threatening to rain all morning but now we could smell the rain coming. It was time to pull out all the stops. The spot in the cedars proved fruitless so I grabbed the camera, Glen grabbed his bow and pack and we headed down to the creek bed.

Once we got there, Glen said he'd head over to the other side of the narrow creek bed and I told him I'd sit behind a thorny bush on the opposite side from him. From the creek, the grassy hill rose up to a group of taller cedars at the peak then flattened out. I gave Glen a few minutes to get into position and took a few minutes myself to get the camera ready. I have little experience with cam-corders and had a bit of trouble. I was filming through the top of a bush so I had to use manually focus the camera, not to mention hold the durn thing as still as I could. I let out a few yelps, some purrs and some quick clucks and waited, fiddling with the camera focus and zoom. Now I know why a tripod is a must! We had one but the camera attachment just couldn't survive this vigorous hunting adventure, so I was "free-handing" it. Another calling sequence and we heard that awesome sound that turkey hunters are listening hard for, "GOBBLE"!

After that first gobble ripped the stillness, I struggled to spot the birds and man the camera, calling at the same time. I estimated the birds to be just to the left of where Glen was waiting so I pitched my calling to the right, hoping to draw the bird in that direction. Another gobble was heard, louder than the first, indicating that the bird was on his way. The third gobble was joined by a fourth not quite as loud, sounding nearly simultaneously. Two birds! We had at least two birds and they were hot and headed our direction! The first stepped out from behind the pines and cautiously (turkeys are ALWAYS cautious) eyed the scene below him. A second bird appeared and came down the hill around the pines and headed farther left of our position and broke into strut. The center feathers of it's tail-fan indicated that it was a Jake, but his young age didn't keep him from strutting his stuff for all to see. Pretty soon, both were strutting and gobbling at our calls. Glen had seen the birds headed left, away from us, and was not adding his calling into the mix to try and keep the birds interested. "GOBBLE!-GOBBLE-GOBBLE!", the sound was almost deafening and I was having trouble keeping the camera from shaking and keeping the birds in the view finder and in focus! (It was the camera shaking, not ME!) After a few more gobbles, it started to rain, just as we had expected, and I hoped that this wouldn't end the show. The two Jakes started to come back toward Glen and were scanning everything, looking for the hens that were sweet-talking to them. There's nothing better than having the birds respond to your calling and gobble right in front of you and these birds weren't disapointing either Glen or myself. I was softly calling, trying not to have the birds pin-point my position by "throwing" my calls to my right side. The rain picked up a bit but the birds didn't seem to be bothered. I could tell that both were well within bow-range and I waited for Glen to shoot, watching the birds carefully. One of the birds turned back toward the hill and took a few steps away. "Shoot, man, Shoot!" I whispered under my breath, "they're gonna leave!". I widened the lens a bit to get both birds in the viewfinder and then I heard a sharp "THWOP!" and one of the birds took off running. I could see the arrow sticking out of him as he ran for 20 yards in a semi-circle and abruptly tipped over forward! That bird was DOWN!

The other bird seemed to consider the situation for a second and then hightailed it up and over the hill. I got the camera on the downed bird and whispered into the mic "That, folks, is a dead bird." I got up with the camera still running, got it focused on Glen and he yelled "Yeah, Baby! That's what I'm talkin' about!"

We'd done it! We had come 7 hours from Minnesota on a quest for our first-ever bow turkeys, we'd practiced like there was no tomorrow, had figured out what tactics to use and we now had two bow-birds headed for the freezer and the cooker. It was nothing but AWESOME! Glen said that it was the most exciting hunt he'd ever been on, Bar NONE! He'd taken his bird at 7 yards, close enough for the bird's gobbles to blow his hair back, and had made a perfect hit!

We put the final ending on the video segment, including our product placements (I know, we ARE Cheesy Dudes sometimes!), gathered the bird and headed back home just as the downpour started. We were damp but our spirits were far from dampened as we headed to Herb's place to prepare for our trip back to 'sota.

Got back to Herb's just a few minutes before Herb himself did and gave him the whole blow-by-blow on the mornings hunt. He told us about his morning, he'd set-up pre-dawn as usual and things were quiet. He gave a few calls on his box call and the treeline behind him lit up with dozens of gobbles! It turned out to be a few hours of a "Breeding fest" of turkeys. He'd been on birds all weekend but hadn't brought any home. We talked and waited for the rain to quit so we could get some pictures of our birds. Of course, we had to have a nice cold beer to celebrate! When the rain started to peter out, Herb started unloading his equipment from the truck. We almost didn't notice that one of the pieces of "equipment" had feathers! Yup, Herb had scored and scored BIG! A 20+ lb. mature gobbler with 10"+ beard and nice sharp spurs. Apparently it had been a good morning for Herb, too! O'course, you'll have to ask Herb about that!

Thanks a billion Herb, we owe you big time!

Equipment info:

I was shooting a 2002 Bowtech Patriot Single Cam set at 67lbs. and 28" draw length. My arrows were 432 gr.(approx.) total weight Carbon Express CX300Hunters, cut to 28", with Lumenocks (lighted nocks) and arrow wraps, fletched with 4" feathers. The arrows were tipped with Rocket Hammerheads, 100gr, 3-blade 2" cut expandables and Rocket Buckblasters, 110gr, 3-Blade 2.75" cut expandables. Arrow speed: 265, 66 ft. pds. of KE.

Glen was shooting a brand new (just a couple weeks old) 2005 Bowtech Allegiance with the Equalizer Cam system, set at 60 lbs., 28" draw length. ARrows: CArbon Express CX300's cut to 27", total arrow weight I believe is in the mid 350 gr. range, speed is in the mid 280's (estimated). Broadhead: NAP Spitfire Gobbler Getter expandable 3 blade, 1.5" cut.

The Buckblaster cut tail feathers, the Hammerhead busted my birds thigh bones and immobilized it and the Spitfire broke Glen's bird's heart.

Now I'm on a quest for another bow bird. My wife and I will be hunting in 2 weeks, she'll be going for her second bird and I will be going for my 4th, second with a bow.

Best of Luck to all!

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hookem2

I shoot my first bird Monday 4/18/05. In MN.

21LBS.

10 1/4 BEARD

1 1/4 SPURRS

Heres the store. Monday morning came and went with only 10 gobbles back. My cousion and I take off for lunch with the intent to be back in he blind before 1:00. Get back first set of calling nothing wait 5 min. call agian Tom gobbles back I answer after a little wait he answers back a little closer. He goes silent. All at onces we see 1 comeing around the corner. We are watching the first one and another one comes all in all there are four big toms coming at us. The front three are getting closer. My cousion tells me to shoot when they get close. Before I shoot I did 2 soft yelps on my mouth call 2 of them double gobble back at the same time. I get ready aim at the first one he walks by my sight pic. I get a good bead on the second one and pull the tigger. He hit the ground like a ton of bricks. The weird part is the other two stick around until we come out of the blind. I never really did get a good look at the fourth one, my cousin said he was the biggest. We belive I shoot the second biggest one.

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Captain B.R.K

Great story.....my season starts in a few days!!!

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Borch

Nice story and Bird!

Good Luck Capt.

Borch

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picksbigwagon

Only got 10 gobbles in the morning, holy hannah I want access to your hunting area........I go next weekend and it is driving me nuts reading all of these stories, hopefully I can add my own. Good job Hook'em, two years ago, I called in three, shot the one that was two steps from the decoys and the other two stood there looking at him flop on the ground. They didn't move until I stood up, okay jumped up celebrating, I could have had all three

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woodman

Joel- Now you have our blood pumping. Tiffany and I just got our vacation approved this week, so I am heading to gander tomarrow to purchace a few items. Looks like you guys had a great day.

We can not wait to hunt with you and meet all of you.

Our plans are to leave on the 12 and come home on the 15th. If the hunt goes quick like it did for the best guide in the state, then we will see what happens. The rods will be along for some Trout fishing and lots of venison and other goodies.

I will drop you a line soon.

Scott

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catmaster1557

My brother got one yesterday 24 lbs 11 ounces and it had a blonde beard. 4 more days.. can't wait!

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Ray Esboldt

Well, I'm done in Minnesota as of yesterday at 7:00 AM. I'm happy, but it was all too quick of a hunt. Here's my summary.

I found an area that birds were frequenting on Friday night. I actually found it a couple weeks ago, but it was nice to still see birds there before the hunt. I found my tree about 4:45 AM and was excited because it was a darn comfortable tree to lean against. You guys know that small joy of finding the right tree. This tree had cover on both sides and a great view of the area I wanted to see. I layed my stuff out and sat down about 5:15 AM. Well, there was a little problem, my gun barrel was sticking out in the open like a sore thumb when I shouldered it. I immediatly moved back into woods about 15 feet (which I normally prefer instead of being right on the edge) and proceeded to hastily clip out a shooting lane. The only decent tree option was a birch that was pitched downhill at about a 30 degree angle. So, much for comfort.

I couldn't hear anything with the wind stroking the way it was. I never heard a gobble of what I thought was a bird on roost. Finally about 6:15 AM I heard a gobble, but it was way down in the valley behind me. Then I heard a couple more from roughly the same spot. Finally, about 6:30 AM I heard a gobble from a bird that was down in the valley but not as far away. I called some, but really doubt the bird heard anything from me.

About 5 minutes to 7, I heard a hen behind me to my left. This bird was not down in the valley. I tried to peer through the trees to the field on the other side of them. I didn't see anything. I turn around and here's a bird in full strut off to the right of my decoy. I was on a downslope of a little knoll, and he must have just walked over it. I was kind of pinned down, legs straight out with the gun on my lap. He strutted to the right a little more and got where there was stump between me and him. I shouldered my gun and got my knees up in a hurry, clicked the safety off, took a couple deep breathes, and hoped he walked into my shooting lane. Yep. He strutted right into it, came out of strut, and got lasered. I drove a half dozen pellets though his head and that was it. He barely even flopped. 4 other birds were with him that I didn't see until they were flying away. I have no idea what gender they were, but they were happy they weren't the one piled up.

That was it. My first Minnesota bird in my first try in the state. I'd love to say it was my seductive calling or massive amount of effort that rewarded me with this bird, but it really boiled down to being in a spot the birds used. The turkeys owed me one for all the effort I put in last year in Missouri and Wisconsin that ended up in a zero. But, still, those were great hunts as well. Matter of fact, I've never had a bad day in the turkey woods.

Anyway, here's the tail of the tape and a picture. I can't quite explain the confused look on my face in the picture. I guess I couldn't believe a turkey hunt could end that fast.

Weight: 20 lbs. 2 oz.

Beard: 9.5 inches

Spurs: .75 inches

You can click on the image to see it in its full magnificence. grin.gif

turkeymn20058mv.th.jpg

I know it won't be this easy in Wisconsin. I'm already mentally preparing myself for 5 10-12 hour days.

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Captain B.R.K

After 3 years of attempting to bag my first tom, I finally had a successful hunt.

Got down to my grandparents place after work and my grandpa and I got out to the field to try and attempt to locate some birds while they were in the roost. Had to been 15-25mph winds because I couldn't hear a thing my grandpa was saying unless I was lookin' at him. VERY windy. Didn't hear a thing needless to say and was discouraged when I got back to their house because I was hoping to be able to locate a few birds so I could have a plan in mind when I hit the field Saturday morning.

Saturday morning, running late- got to the field near 5:45-5:55am- my brother and I stood near a fence line and I began to do some owl hoots. Got some responses so we headed back to the farthest property line and set up against a woodsline and us looking out into an open tilled field (to the right of us was all woods and to the left of us was all open grassland). Got the decoys out about 20-25yds from us and set up. Still heard gobbles up until the sun rose and then silence. My hopes pretty much dropped after that.

I called and called- ripped on the slate, did some yelps with the mouth call- NOTHIN!

Then around 8:15am, a hen popped out of the woods to our left right and proceeded to walk about 10 yrds in front of me and continue right into the decoys. I thought I'd have a little fun with her so I did some light yelps, clucks, and purrs. She just stood there and continued to mosey around the decoys until she just walked off. I figured we'd sit a bit longer because if this turkey came in silent, IF there were to be a next one- it would be silent as well.

My figuren' was right. At 9:00am a tom came out of the woods from behind us and to our left. My brother had the better shot, but he was caught with his hands in his pockets and gun laid across his lap. So I got myself ready as the tom made his way to the decoys. He stop about 1/2 to the decoy's and stared at em'- I made some light clucks and perts and he started walking away. That's when I pulled the trigger- downed the bird at 35yds!!!!

Registered at 19.3lb with 8" beard! I was estatic! I was bound and determined to get a turkey this year, just didn't think it would work out for me that soon into the hunt.

resizeofbrandonturkey51vu.jpg

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Ray Esboldt

Way to go B.R.K.! It does really feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders when you kill a bird, doesn't it?

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Captain B.R.K

You got it Ray! Holy guns does it ever....feels pretty good cool.gif

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run-n-gun

Nice job on the turkey Captain! It sounds like you had a good hunt. Congrats on the gorgeous gobbler!

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strat-o-caster

Alway's happy to hear about the First one!!!! grin.gif Strat

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Borch

Way to go guys!

Both very nice birds.

Man, I'm getting the itch bad. Still 9 days to go.

Borch

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bigbucks

I hear you Borch, we're at 8 now, obviously we're hunting the same season.

Nice birds guys, good job.

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HateHumminbird

Great job you guys!

Cap'n - The first of many to come. Pretty bird too, with many of the lighter, caramel-colored accents of a rio.

Ray - Nice move at the moment of truth. Gun and knees up, while a turkey is anywhere nearby is a tough accomplishment in its own right.....let alone making the shot. Good luck in WI, let us know how you do.

Congrats to all, and good luck to those getting ready. Shoot-em up Borch and bigbucks.

Joel

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Nova

terrific hunting all you guys, I am leaving for southern MN tomorrow with my twin 14 year old boys for their first ever turkey hunt. All the stories really have me fired up. I hope to video some great action of the boys and the turkeys. I'll report on Monday. smile.gif

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