I want to take this time to wish everyone good luck on the last weekend of the season. Just a recap of the ins and outs of my wife and I season which as normal has had its ups and downs.
Youth day was a great day with my son (12 yrs old) even though it ended with a miss. We heard several birds and called in one (called in the hen he tagged along) for us to try, luckly my son does not care about hits or misses just the time we spend together. He is more interested in sports and girls. He went just to make me happy, and I love him for that.
Opening day the wife and I heard several birds but got henned up in the am so we gave them a break till after lunch. Around 2:45 we struck up a lonely love sick tom. Called him in from around 400 to 500 yards. We were lucky to get him because he did everything different from what I tought he would do. Wife shot him at 9-10 yards (to close in my opinion). 10' beard 1' spurs.
The following Sat we hunted a new farm, heard several birds, set up on wrong side of tree. I watched him strut for it seemed like forever without being able to get a shot. A jake slipped in without me knowing (wife knew, he was almost in her lap) and busted me while I tried to make my move. Got the ok from the landowner to try him again later.
Good Friday was not so good to me as we hunted our farm and did not hear a single gobble on the roost, which is very rare on that piece of land. Around 8:30 we struck one up, had him closing the distance sounding off at every call, only to have a hen head him off and lead him away when he was within 60 yards.
The Saturday following good Friday we headed back to the new farm to give that bird another try. We set up in the direction he fooled us on last time and low and behold he flies down on the other side. We are in the blind this time ready for him in any direction. Two hens fly down with him. Never got closer than 60 yards, the hens lead him off once again. Landowner laughs as we tell him about the smart turkeys he has and invites us back if we want to try him again.
The next Saturday we find ourselves back at our farm and to our delight the birds are gobbling that morning, to our dismay the hens are all over and we can't buy a break. We listen as the toms gobble and the hens answer, we never saw a bird until we are leaving, we see a gobbler in the neighboring field headed for the far property line, he saw us. I break mentally and give up and go fishing to clear my head and regroup.
My son and I go fishing after church the following Sunday and as we are leaving we see a tom by himself close to 6pm and I have a little time Monday morning to try him before work. I try my best to talk my son into going even if he has to be late for school but he declines and opts for the extra sleep. I set up early and with a lot help from the man upstairs I make all the right decisions and I have him at 5 yards at 6:05am, by 6:10am he is at 12 yards and dead. 10 1/2' beard 1 1/8' spurs
Talked with the other landowner today and he tells me the woods are full of gobblers where the one keeps giving us the slip and invites us to try them tomorrow, I gladly accept. When I asked if the bird is still in the same spot he replies they are gobbling all over the farm every morning.
The wife and I will give it a try in the morning and if it doesn't work out we will be after em again Saturday. I am praying to double up tomorrow because the tuna and dolphin are biting great and the offshore forecast looks good for the weekend but not going to sit out the last day unless my tags are punched.
I thank the Lord every day on how blessed my family is to be able to experince the things we do and marvel in His creations. I hope every one has a safe close to the season as the count down till next season starts. Thanks for all the replies from GT and Jeff and all the others. God bless you all and please remember if you hunt with your kids you will not be hunting for them.
Well, I finially talked one into taking a ride in my truck this morning.
It all started Saturday, with a very frustrating turkey hunt. Wife and I heard seven different gobblers on the roost with one within 100 yards. Short version, there were a group of hens within 75 yards of us. He gobbled once, they answered, he gobbled twice, they answered, he never gobbled again, never saw him. With this being played out trip after trip I decided to go fishing. I was by myself and caught 26 bass in 2 1/2 hours all on topwater, no monsters but it was better than the turkey hunting.
With the fishing so good my son decided to tag along Sunday afternoon to cast a few baits, once again the fishing was great and we caught all we wanted. One of my son's things is to drive on the farm so thats what we did when we finished up on the pond. As we round a curve right beside the pond a ol tom comes b-bopping around the corner takes a look at us and heads to the woods without any hens. It was close to 6 o'clock by then so I knew he would be close in the morning and hopefully no hens would find him.
Well I was on my own this morning due to the wife having to get my son to school so off I went at 4:30 am. As I walk down the path I had forgotten that there are two ways to get where I wanted to go, if I make the wrong decision I'm busted. I say a little prayer and trust that he will led me the right way and as always he does. I don't know where the bird is roosted except for a general area, so I take my best guess of the direction and tree and have a seat.
As I sit, I reflect back on the mishaps and rewards of this season. I hear a gobble off in the distance and then BOOM the one I am after gobbles no more than 60 yards, my pryer was answered, if I had gone the other way it would have been over. I give him a little purr and cluck and he cutts me off. I let him sit and he is gobbling his head off, double and triple gobble, one time I hit the call by mistake and he gobbled.
Needless to say he came within 5 yards gobbling and strutting the whole time. I had him so close I could feel him drum and see the spurs as he came in. I had to adjust my gun when his head went behind his fan. Shot him at 12 yards at 6:10 am home showered and at work. Another great day in the woods, listening to all gods creatures and having a conversation with one while talking to the man upstairs. Can't beat it.
Will post pics soon.
This video was shot in 2009 by my good buddy, Tracy Blake of Ure-a-Duck Decoys. This was the first time my wife had been taped while hunting. Come to think of it the only time she has been filmed hunting. The hunt was not to take place till the Monday after opening day, but as we set up our gear on Sat (opening day) T and my wife decided to sit for a little while. Wife and I had two nice birds hang up on us that morning.
This is the female record for NC and 4th in nation. Bird sported 7 beards.
If only I had been on the other side of the tree, I would have gotten him.
Ran into a gentleman last night at church that I knew had a good farm for turkey hunting, I asked him if anyone turkey hunted his land (knew he deer hunted) and his response was of course no. I decided to push for more info and inquired on why, and got an answer I did not expect 'no one has ever asked me', well I replied 'I am asking now'. He thinks for a minute and replies 'You can hunt on a couple of conditions' they are 1. Tell no one where you are hunting, I don't want a hundred phone calls asking permission. 2. Stop by the house and show my father anything you harvest. 3. I get one breast if you get one. We agreed and he gave me a quick rundown of the land and possible turkey haunts.
The wife and I decide it is best to get there earlier than normal and to leave the pop-up behind just in case we have to do some running around. We get there well before light and ease to where we where told the most sign has been seen and pull up a tree and have a seat.
I am awakened around 6:15 by the sounds of thunder, and I don't mean a storm was approaching. I come to my senses and start to check out my surroundings and try to remember where I am at, and BAM he hits it again then another bird sounds off. By this time my heart is pounding and my wife and I can't beleive we are set up on two different birds on a farm we have not seen in the daylight until now.
One bird is on the edge of a swamp to our left and the other is on a ridge to our right, one on left is only about 75 yards away, one on right is a good 150 yards, so we focus on the bird to the left. I run off a few tree yelps with answers from both birds. I hush up some and let them both stew a little, have had to many times in the early season to much calling brings in to many hens. I hear a fly down but still hear both toms on roost gobbling away, I know we are in trouble now, HENS.
I begin my calling sequence and still get answers from both birds and they are on the ground. My wife and I begin to hear the hens off to the right, we think this could not get any better, we are set up to take the bird on the left, the hens are with the bird on the right PERFECT. And then it happens.
The bird to the left begins to gobble off in the wrong direction and the hens start to pop out on the path to my right, at 35 yards. Now I am peeping around the tree over my right shoulder watching hen after hen come out on the path and I catch the movement of a fan in the edge of the woods. Unable to move, whether to shoot or to let my wife know what is going on (she can not see them), I sit and watch as he does his dance and the ladies pay him no mind for the next 45 minutes. The hens, all six of them, begin to led him off away from us and our decoys. It is now or never to get the gun around and make the shot, but it is never that easy.
Unable to let my wife know what was going on, she was in the same boat, she could not let me know there was a jake 15 yards from her that I could not see. He was there the whole time, I guess tring to slip in and steal one of the boss' girls. I begin to make my move when I hear PLOCK, PLOCK, as we all know what happened next the hens, jake and tom are gone.
My wife turns and looks at me and says 'What are you doing, it was just a jake, I know you weren't going to shoot a jake with all that gobbling we heard'. She had no idea that I had been sitting here watching a nice tom strut around with six hens at 35-40 yards away for the last 45 minutes and unable to get a clear shot.
I explain everything I had seen that she did not, and we were only seperated by 3 feet, and she tells me about the jake. I tell her IF ONLY I HAD BEEN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TREE.
I now wish we would have taken the blind, it would have allowed the movement I needed to get the shot, but hind sight is always 20/20. We will try him again, hopefully the hens will leave him soon and he will want to take a ride in my truck.
Good luck to everyone, be safe, and have a Happy Easter and God Bless.
I posted earlier about opening day and am new to the board but not to turkey hunting. Wanted to share some photo's if they come out ok. Posted a photo of her opening day bird, but it was fuzzy, it looked great on my phone. First let me explain that my wife is very passionate about turkeys (hunting, management, etc) not to mention she has a horse shoe when it comes to the hunting part. She will not tell anyone, but I will, she holds the state record for the highest scoring turkey taken in NC by a female and 4th by a female in the nation. Her first bird was a bearded hen with a 9' beard, and her first tom sported a 12 1/4' beard and 1 5/8' spurs and weighed around 22lbs, we never scored that bird but should have. I have taken my share of gobblers, but enjoy bragging on her and if she found out I was doing so she would have my hide. Her record bird had a total of 7 beards shortest was 3 1/4' and longest was 10 1/2'. She manages to get her limit every year and harvested her first solo bird last year (another monster 11 1/2' beard 1 1/4' spurs). Here are some photos of the last few birds she has taken including the big one.
Turkey season is upon us once again. This is my favorite season because it is one type of hunting my wife and I started together. I deer and duck hunted before meeting her, but turkeys we started that together when the first season opened in our county. Each year we hunt together, rarely hunting apart, and take turns on who is to shoot first if there is only one bird. This year was her turn to be first on the trigger (I harvested last bird last season), and was she ready.
Started morning out set up on a controled burn area, set up and ready well before the first of several gobbles were heard. The birds began their fly downs, I knew we where in the wrong spot, but decided it would be best to sit tight and wait. After watching several hens make their way to the feeding areas and hearing the gobblers work off in the other direction, it was time to regroup, so off we went to get some needed breakfast.
It was around 11am when we made it back to the area we knew the birds would be headed to after the hens left. It wasn't 5 minutes before it sounded like we were surrounded by hens, clucking, cutting, purring and such, after what seemed like forever they moved on. The slate call was not producing any results, which made me nervous because it is my favorite call, so the wife recommends the loud as all get out 'Real Hen' box call by Woodhaven Calls. I scratch off a few yelps and sit it down to listen.
Within 10 minutes a sneaky tom slips up to within 45 yards to sit right in the edge of the woods and strutts for the next 15 minutes without giving a clear shot (boarder line range as well), and finially moves on.
As the wife and I whisper about the what ifs and the could haves, another bird begins to open up a good 500+ yards and then another about same distance but different direction. The slate comes back out and gets the response I like to hear, gobbles. We can tell the bird is coming right down the path, we will not be able to see him until he gets within 50 yards the way we are set up.
The wife gets postioned for the angle and wouldn't you know the bird takes a short cut and comes from the left instead of from the right. I have the perfect veiw, angle and shot, but this is not my bird, so I some how maintain my composure and allow the bird to pass within 10 yards as she is doing everything she can to postion for the shot. The bird continues to strut and gobble 10 yards from us as it looks for the loud hen it heard before. The wife finially gets the shot at around 15 yards. 10 1/2' beard, 1' spurs and in the neighborhood of 19lbs.
I would love to post a pic but have no idea how to. If someone could give me some help I will get the pic up.
Last year the wife and I doubled two days in a row to fetch our limit on the last two days of the season after some near misses and alot of frazzled nerves.