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  • Yasterday afternoon, a freind ( who has been hunting longer than I have been alive) stopped by the house for other reasons, but we ended up talking about my turkey.

    He looked at it, messed with it and determined it was indeed a jake>

    Said the hair/ feathers on the neck was one indicator. It didn't go high enough to the crown like a hens would.

    He pointed out where spurs were about to develop - but I'll be damned if I could see what he was talking about. Snood was small, but there none the less.

    He also told me that the side feathers on the fan were actually a bit shorter than the middle or top fan feathers. Said a Hens fan feathers would be even in length.

    Of course, he also said that if there are rules in nature, then there are also rule breakers too.

    He said he has seen hens gobble like a tom, fan and strut like a tom too. Said there heads must have gotten turned around backwards while still in the shell. :)

    Mwe...I don't care.

    I didn't set out to shoot a hen or a jeke, Wasn't my plan, and not once did I settle for something less.

    I I know a few of you hinted about having patience. Trust me...I have plenty of it. I spent 5 years mentoring youth in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
    I have spent many, many days and nights spear fishing and gigging fish. That takes not only patience, but also takes determination and the ability to sit motionless for a long time.

    My point being, I didn't just see a bird and decide to shoot it. I was watching a field, saw what went into and what went out of it during that time. The bird I was pursueing was in fact gobbling and strutting. I stalked that bird and shot it while it was strutting with tail fanned out.

    Be it a bearded hen with lesbian tendacies :) or a jake, it was strutting with it's tail fanned out.

    It was a legit kill legally and ethically.

    I do not purposely kill young animals. I'd rather miss 100 turkeys than kill one that is still young. I also do not kill anything for bragging rights or as a trophy. If I ( or somebody I know) isn't going to eat it...it will not die by my hands.

    May 12, 2013 at 3:49pm

    So, on the last day of turkey season, I finally get my first turkey!

    Been so close so many times. Shot at one who did a back flip and flew away over my head into the trees, should have taken a shot at two others on two different occasions, but didn't.

    Spent time in the wind and rain getting wet and cold, but never got it done.

    And during the times that my nephew would go with me - althought I am pretty sure it is just coincidence - we usually wouldn't even hear a turkey, much less see one.

    I have a theory about that too: He tromps too loudly or hardley picks his feet up when he walks. I wear full facemask, gloves and face paint, his hands are bare and his mesh face net is very thin. I put all my camo on before we walk away from the truck, he waits til we get seated to put on his mask. I turn my head very slowly and look out the corners of my eyes alot - he will turn his whole body around to look.

    Anyways, back to my kill.

    I had set up between two fields. They are about 50 yards apart , and seperated by moderatly dense woods with natural paths through them. One is planted with corn that is about 4 or 5 inches high, the other has about 3 foot high grass. Not planted grass, just your average wild, weedy stuff.

    I'm sitting and hear a gobble. I wait a bit and hear another gobble, so I shake my gobble call and the turkey responds immediatly. I play with my slate call a few times and get all kinds of responce from the turkey.

    After a while, I realize that he isn't coming any closer, so I get up and creep towards where he's calling from. I end up at the edge of the wild grass field and sit under a low hanging oak tree branch.
    I hear him every now and then, and hear another way off behind that field. After a while, I see a head stick up from the middle of the field. He's about 60 to 70 yards away. For the next 45 minutes, we go back and forth. He'd walk a little closer , fan out, make a gobble, then walk back the other way. He probably walked a 30' diameter circle, but that was as far as he was going.

    SO, I'm thinking: What the hell!It's the last day of the season, I haven't shot anything else so far...... I have nothing to loose.

    With that, I got down on my stomach and crawled about 40 yards through wet grass that was about 3 foot tall. Every now and then. I'd raise up a bit when I was behind a thick clump of grass and take a peek. Mr Turkey was still right in the same area.

    When I finally got within 15 to 20 yards of him, I pointed and shot. He fell over, kicked his legs once or twice - and that was it!

    Now, I am honestly thinking I enjoyed the stalking part better than bagging one. The fact that I had to crawl across a field in the grass on my stomach, and that I was able to sneak up that close to him without ever alerting or startling him is pretty damn awesome.

    I mean, yeah, shooting and bagging him was pretty great, but the stalking somehow makes it way better!

    So now I have a few questions:

    I saw him in the grass with what looked to be a 7 or 8 inch beard, yet, when I rolled him over, it was maybe 3' long. Looks like the ends were singed. Kinda balled up and a caramelish tan color on the ends. Kinda like when I singe the hairs on my arms when too close to a camp fire.

    So I guess it is possible a pellet of two somehow tore through his beard? Or was I just seeing what I wanted to see instead of what was really there?

    His head and neck were redder than a fire truck when I shot him, but now his neck is a pale blueish white. I guess the heart stops and so does the blood pumping in his body. I mean, I know fish will loose their color after a while and animal eyes will cloud over, but I though the neck would still be reder than it was.

    Now, this turkey weren't no huge record breaking tom by any means, but wasn't no runt either. Maybe a really big jake? I don't know, but he don't have any spurs at all!

    I even entertained the possibility that it was a bearded hen, but if so.....does a bearded hen strut, fan out and gobble?

    I enjoyed the season, learned more from being out there than anything I read or watched, and enjoyed being in nature even when I didn't get anything.

    Except that day in the cold windy rain. That day just sucked! Just sayin!

    So, looking forward to next year and plan on getting that huge one I have seen on many occasions. He has about a 11' or 12' that drags the ground when he walks, and when he is puffed up and strutting, it still looks about 9' long.

    Til next year my nemesis! :)

    May 11, 2013 at 7:34am

    Okay, I know you don't use them to mhunt other crow, so what are they for?

    I have seen them in Dicks' sporting goods, my local outfitter, Wal-Mart, Bass Pro shops, Cabela's online site,etc...

    I have asked all my hunting friends and nobody knows. Matter of fact, a few think I am pulling their leg about crow decoys.

    So, do they make a deer or turkey think everything is okay in a field? Do they help draw in geese or dove?

    Do you use them to draw in other crow so you can shoot them to keep them out of the cornfield?

    I don'y have any plans to buy any, but I am just curious.

    Thanks, Mark

    April 17, 2013 at 1:40pm

    I was inspired by a recipe in NC game & Fish magazine for bacon wrapped / plank cooked turkey breast.

    Well, I didn't really care for the plank part of it. Nothing against a semi smoked flavor, just not my personal favorite.

    I also didn't use the rum.honey/ dijon mustard marinade either.

    I just took two big ole wild turkey breasts, dry rubbed them with ranch seasoning powder mix, covered them in bacon, salyt and peppered them and baked at 375 for 50 minutes.

    They were awesomly great tasting!

    Garlic roasted mashed potatoes and garlic bread on the side with fresh brewed homemade ice tea.

    Oh, I did soak the breasts in a pot of salted water for about 24 hours, rinsed and patted dry before cooking.

    April 14, 2013 at 7:39pm

    Okay, have a question for yah. I cannot find the answer anywhere online at NC WRC website> Can't find it in the hunting rules and regs book either.

    So here goes:

    At what ( legal) age can a person be left without adult supervision to hunt?

    In this case, can a 15 year old who has taken the hunter safety course ( about 3 years ago) be dropped off to go hunting in the woods , and not supervised by an adult or guardian?

    I will need a link or source to your answer, not just a 'trust me' answer.

    Trying to make sure that a friend isn't doing something wrong or illegal.

    No, it would be with blantant disregard to the rules or lack of caring - just not aware of rules.

    Matter of fact, 99% of the time, that particular youth would be with me or his uncle when hunting.

    The youth is just as safe with guns as any other adult I have ever seen, and is pretty knowledgeable about hunting rules, ethics, etc...

    It just happened to come up in a conversation today and I want to point it out to the parent if it is indeed illgal to do.

    Again, if this in fact illegal, I need a source so that I can copy or print it out and give to the boy and his parents.

    Thanks, Mark

    April 08, 2013 at 8:01pm

    Bought my first mouth call today.

    Nothing fancy, just a cheap one. I don't see any reason to buy a $30.00 call when I will be learning from scratch.

    SO I bought a HS Strut 'Single D' single reed call. Bought it at Bass Pro in Myrtle Beach. Got out in the parking lot and opened the package and put it in m y mouth and tried it.

    Spit in on the dash of the car. Put it back in after I got on the hiway and almost gagged myself. Tried again and ended up spitting drool all over the windshield>

    SO, the BPS is about 2 1/2 hours from my house. 15 minutes after i got home, I was making this thing work, I can do 3 distinctly different sounds with it.

    Problem is - and this is also my question -

    Does your mouthcall make you drool or slober?

    I can start calling and get off about 20 calls before I have to stop and swallow drool or take a chance of spitting the call out.

    Is this normal?

    Thanks!

    April 06, 2013 at 10:40pm

    Man, I am so jacked up and ecited right now!

    Just came in from the field and watching a few Toms strut.

    Okay, let's back up just a bit:

    This is going to be my first year of turkey hunting. Well, my first year of hunting anything that didn't involve using a fishing pole.

    So about 1/3 of anything I know about turkeys ( which isn't much ), I have learned from this site.

    Anyways, I went out this morning armed with my camo clothes, a turkey vest, camera, Primos gobble shaker call, a Knight & Hale 'lil screamer' slate call and my stool.

    I wasn't really sure how good my camo was or how well I was going to blend in. This was not my regular field of hunt and I didn't have a blind of any kind, just my Mossy Oak BU coat, primos spandex face mask and gloves, Red Head real tree camo turkey vest and regular dark camo Wrangler camies I bough from Wal-Mart ( as work pants).

    This area is not my regular area so it's not like I have spent alot of time scoping it out. From the highway, there is a field that is about 150 deep and 60 yards wide. Behind that is a thin treeline that encompasses a ditch that is about 70 feet deep( the treeline, that is). Beyond that is a bigger field that is about 175 yards wide by 250 yards deep. Then another bigger creek and tree line that is maybe 80 feet thick. Beyond that is the field I sat in. This field is about 350 yards wide and 200 yards deep.

    Right now the field has been cut in and turkey manure spread in, but not tilled up or rowed in yet.

    So I sat at the edge of the wood line ( not in, but just at the edge) with my back to a big oak that was about 2 1/4 foot wide. I was out at 5:50 am and waited til light.

    Around 6:15 or so, I hear a gobble. You could tell he was still up in the tree. About 5 mins later, I heard him go to the ground. Sounded like a bear fell out of a tree. :)

    Then he gobbled about 3 times in a row. I shook my gobble call and he gobbled right back.

    I waited a few minutes and hit the gobble call again and he gobbled back- louder and closer.

    So then I started plucking with the slate call. Threw in a purr and plucked at it some more.

    He gobbled again.

    I then shook my gobble call and he came running across the field at a 45 degree angle to about 25 feet away.

    I was scarred shitless! I was scared I was going to freak him out and watch him run away.

    So I very slowly moved my arm behind ( to sound farther away))me and shook the gobble call again .

    I figured he migh run away, but instead he puffed up and fanned out.

    At this point, I stopped. No calling, no moving, no breathing!

    I mean, I called him in, but I couldn't shoot him, was pretty sure I couldn't pet him, and didn't know what else to do.

    After forever ( about 20 seconds) he started walking off to my left and around the treeline over a small culvert that crosses the bigger creek.

    He walked back to the field behind me. During this time, there was at least two more toms gobbling away.

    One in the woods straigt acroos the field from me and another one that sounded like he was 150 yards to the right and on the opposite side of the field. I never heard those two come out of the trees - of course, I was so excited about calling that first tom in, I might not have noticed had a Boeing 747 crashed in the field in behind me.

    Well, after about 10 minutes or so, I heard that first tome gobbling in the field behind me.
    I turned my stool around and started alternating between the slate call and gobble call. I could see him strutting in the field behind me and fanning real big.

    So I started plucking and purring with the slate call and he started walking towards me from the other side of the crrek. I hit the gobble call and watched him hop/fly over the creek and work his way towards me again.

    So again, I realize that I can't shoot him, can't let him sit in my lap while I pet him either, so I stop calling, moving, breathing again.

    He walks right by me, not even 10 feet away from me!

    He ended up walking right back into the field he started in to begin with.

    I know he was getting confused that there were no other turkeys that should be making the aounds.

    Well, since I was only scouting and not able to hunt yet.....I was pretty much satisfied and done.

    I stood up to leave and saw the tom in the middle of the field still. WEll, I didn't want my presence to scare him off so I shook my stool and let the legs rattle against the frame. He didn't really care too much and very slowly walked away. Very slowly. Never saw me though.

    Okay, so......I learned a few things this morning:

    My camo must be a whole lot better than I thought. I was not in the woods, but backed up to a tree that was on the edge of the woods.

    I know what a gobble call is, but I haven't really had the time to figure out exactly when to use a cluck, a purr, a yelp or such. But this morning, it all worked out. I did what I instinctively felt right. Maybe it was the right calls, maybe it was pure dumb luck, or maybe the Tom is in a mentally challenged state of being.

    Had it been season right now, I would have a HUGE tom in my truck right now. His beard was at least 12' long. It was dragging the ground when he walked.

    Yeah, like a 5 year old jacked up on Red Bull and a 10 pound bag of sugar!
    Bet I'm smiling bigger than the joker right now!

    :)

    In my excitement, I never got a shot with my camera!

    March 31, 2013 at 7:56am

    I just love this video.

    I'm sure you have seen it before, but I gotta post.

    I can only wish I end up being in this situation too one day!

    :)

    March 30, 2013 at 6:23am

    Anybody own one?

    What do you think about it?

    Would you recommend it?

    I am planning on buying my 12 year old a pump shotgun. Now, before you start thinking about some tiny child....My son is 12 years old and he weighs around 150 pounds...and is 5'9 3/4' tall.

    For a while, I had been mulling over buying a Mosberg Maverick 88 because it was pretty cheap.

    Know what I mean? For a first gun that may get laid down in the dirt due to lack of thinking, maybe dropped in the mud or water, possibly banged around some due to not being as careful as he should be...I didn't want to spend alot of money.

    So after holding a 535 today at the local outfitters, I have to say it felt pretty good. Pretty solid feeling , although I am used to holding guns that are heavier in weight.

    So, unless I get a bunch of bad reviews, I'll probably go with the 535 ATS

    Thanks for your input!

    March 28, 2013 at 5:24pm

    Saw this shirt at my local outfitter today. Didn't have one in my size though..........

    March 24, 2013 at 6:14pm

    This is my very first turkey blind I have made.

    Used a Mossy Oak breakup patterned burlap cloth. about 5' tall X 12' wide Height wise, it is doubled over my upright stakes to create a double thickness and
    lengthwise, it is in a half hexagon shape.

    Drug a few dead trees that were laying around ( and very common all around) and layed a few in front of the blind just as they were laying where I found them. Same position and direction in relation to a compass too. Walked over about 20 yards and grabbed a big handfull of leaves and threw the up in the air and let them settle over the dead wood I laid out. Did this 3 or 4 times to give it a a look that more matched the surrounding dead branches on the ground.

    Come hunt time, I will clip a few green branches while walking in and plant them around the blind also to have some fresh greenery.

    This is at one end of a clearing in the middle of the woods I hunt on ( our family land) and opposite end of where I have watched many turkeys enter the field.

    Anyways, one shot is of my son peeking over the top. Realize though, he is not wearing any kind of camo whatsoever. Brown Duck Dynasty hat, shades, brown jacket, very bright blue denim jeans.

    The pattern on the burlap matches 3 of the trees behind it very well. Didn't even realize that until I uploaded the pics and looked at them on my computer.

    So, be brutally honest and give you best constructive criticism:

    So......What do yah think?

    March 22, 2013 at 8:38pm

    Bought the Mossy Oak 3M vinyl gun camo kit online from Wal-Mart.com .

    Total price of kit, including tax and shipping was $26 and some change. Ordered it last Friday and it arrived today.

    Took me about an hour to apply after cleaning the gun.

    It's not factory camo perfect, nor does it look as good as it would look if I sent it to a pro to have it wet dipped.

    But considering this is the first time I done this, it came out pretty damn good. I used a box razor blade, a windo tint squeegee, and a hair dryer to help bend and stretch the vinyl.

    I have to admit one thing I missed. After I aplied the kit to my gun, my son pinted out that I had forgot to cut out for the shell ejection port.

    I'm sure I would have figured it out eventually...maybe after it wouldn't cycle a round! :)

    March 20, 2013 at 10:03pm

    Okay, have any of you seen the camo duipping kits for gun?
    Some really nice patterns too> I love the God's country camo...it's like Real tree and Mossy Oak that have been super charged>

    Anyways, every pictur I see of a pitol or rifle shows just the stock or grips camoed - so you can tell the action and barrels were disassembled before dipping.

    However, when looking at shotguns that were camo dipped, The entire gun has the same camo pattern>

    So, Am I to assume you can dip the entire gun in the water?
    Okay, maybe the trigger mechanism was taken out, but the ammo tube, the action area, barrel, stock and pump grip have a continuous 'uninterrupted pattern. This tells me that the entire gun was dipped as a whole piece.

    NOw, the cost of sending one off is m ore than I want to pay...which is what makes the home kit ideal>

    But if I have to completely strip the gun apart, spend an extroidinary amount of time cleaning/drying it out then forget it!

    I'lljust buy the 3M vinyl graphics kit instead.

    SO, what can you tell me from experience?

    Thanks!

    March 06, 2013 at 8:39pm

    Okay, I am aware that this may be a stupid question, but that hasn't ever stopped me before! :)

    Male or bearded turkey? I take it to mean a hen could have a beard too? Maybe one that escaped from the bearded female turkey attraction that the traveling circus puts on?

    Does it happen alot, occasionally, every now and then, rarely?

    Would you shoot her....him....it?

    February 16, 2013 at 5:43pm

    Yesterday, I took some shots at my turkey targets to get my gun patterned it.

    I have the Mossberg 500 with 28' accuvent barrel.

    Using a stock full choke that came with the gun, and using Remington Nitro turkey 3' #5 shot - I consistantly put about 20 shot in the kill zone at 45 - 50 yards.

    Up til that point, I was planning on buying a
    X full or XX full turkey choke, but now I am
    thinking of not even bothering since where I hunt at - the longest shot I will have will be around 35 to 40 yards due to wood lines, ditch bank, trees, etc.

    But as this will be my first year turkey hunting, I want to hear what the more experienced have to say:

    Will the turkey choke benefit me or would I be spending money on a choke for a gun that will do just fine without it?

    February 10, 2013 at 6:16am

    So most all of the aftermarket turkey chokes state that they are not made for steek chokes. It'll ruin them fast.

    But Most of those chokes also extend at least 2' pst the end of the barrel.

    What about factory chokes? My Mossberg came with three chioles, imp cyl, mod and full. Full choke has a really nice tight pattern too.

    Anyways, they fit flush inside the barrel. Not any part of them extend farther than the end of the barrel.

    So I am thinking the barrel itself supports the chokes, unlike the extended chokes that stick out farther than the barrel - thus un re-enforced.

    Or is it just that a aftermarket turkey choke narrows down so much that the pellets ( which are just too damn hard) just carve it away after x number of shots?

    NOw, it's not that I plan to go out and buy a case of steel shot or anything, but if it ever happened that I eneded up wanting to try some...would they damage my factory chokes?

    Thanks, Mark

    February 04, 2013 at 9:19pm

    Okay, I admit that I'm feeling just a little extra proud of myself even though it wasn't a matter or rocket science or any other display of amazing human feat.

    My Mossberg 500 that I just bought 2 weeks ago needed a sling. Not a problem right?

    WRONG! My Mossberg has a big difference between the magazine end than the older ones> Instead of a cap that goes on the end of the magazine, it has a bolt instead. The bolt has a round head with ridges similar to the edge of a dime or quarter.

    It stays on the barrle flage by means of a locking nut on the inside threads which thread into the hole in the end of an otherwise solid ended magazine. This bolt is pre tapped and threaded on the head for a swivel eye.

    Am I saying this in a way that makes sense? The magazine does not use a standard cap, but a bolt threads into the end of the magazine. A swivel eye bolt then threads into the magazine bolt.

    Well apparently, NOBODY carries a sling swivel set that threads into the bolt. Cannot buy just the eye bolt with machine threads, cannot buy a swivel with adaptor>

    What I can buy is a whole new ' Uncle Mike's' bolt from Cheaper than dirt for $25.99 plus $12.00 shipping and handling. Plus waiting 3 or 4 weeks for it to arrive.

    So here's what I did. Took the barrel off and carried to my local outfitter - who also does not have and cannot order a swivel for my gun - and looked at swivel sets.

    WEll, a Winchester 1' swivel & stud set ( part #99740 - bolt action rifle) will work with small modification to the swivel bolt. No modification at all to the Mossberg.

    The machine thread swivel bolt is 7/8' long. The Mossberg takes a 1/4' long bolt.

    Solution: I cut the eye bolt down to a 1/4' , filed the threads smooth and burr free and
    TAH - DAH!

    We are in buisness!

    Again, no major gun smithing on my part and nothing requiring a degree in engineering....but I am proud I did not have to spend $38.00 when all I needed was a $1.47 eye bolt.

    Okay, that's it! :)

    February 02, 2013 at 10:09pm

    I occasionally glance ythrough online sales sites and classified like Armslist and craigslist , among others.

    Every now and then, I see a Charles Daly shotgun for sale ortrade. Never heard of them before this year.

    Thinking about maybe getting a 20 gauge pump for my son and saw a good nprice on a Charles Daly 20 ga pump.

    So, are these guns reliable?
    Reputable? Or total junk?

    I wanted to get something afforable, but not cheap, if you know what I mean.

    So, what is your experience with them?

    Thanks, Mark

    February 01, 2013 at 6:32pm

    So, I am thinking I might make a run to Bass Pro Shop in the next couple months. Pretty decent prices on some shotguns and make a whole day trip out of it too. Kinda a one day mini getaway of sorts.

    Now, I live in Jacksonville, NC, but the Myrtle Beach, SC Bass Pro Shop is at least 2 1/2 hours closer to me than the Concord Mills, NC BPS.

    SO, what do the laws say about buying a gun in SC and transporting it back to NC.
    I mean, if I was moving , it would be different circumstances>

    I have n dubt the federal paperwork would be the same, but what about on the state level?

    In reallity, as long as I don't get pulled for speeding and anything along tose lines, nobody would ever know...but we know how Murphy's law works - I'd get caught in a random trafficstop/ licnse check/ vehicle search.

    So, what can you tell me?

    January 20, 2013 at 6:14pm

    Watched this video on youtube the other day:

    Make a turkey call with a pill bottle

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRVkU7Yb7G4

    and this one too:

    Make a turkey call with bamboo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhRHZfbTWNY

    Okay, still working on the bamboo one, but finished the pill bottle call.

    Here's the deal, I probably not going to really use these when I go turkey hunting, but it was just something fun to do on arainy day while waiting for turkey season to get here.

    Deer season is over, I'm not into squirrel or dove hunting, so thise was just a 'just to see if I can do it' project for me>

    The pill bottle I have is slightly larger, so I had to spend quite a bit of time tuning it. Pretty sure a smaller diameter would work better, but I'll be honest, it's my part that needs the most tuning. I have a pretty decent gobble so fat and can cluck pretty good. Still need ALOT practice, but hey - got a couple months to get it right - IF I even ecide to use the call while hunting.

    January 13, 2013 at 8:33am
    A comment titled: Diane- you misunderstand in response to a report titled: Scoutfish...I'm just gonna put it out there for ya!!!

    ' I just got a little worked up because you said you shot at what you saw as a less than ideal jake. I just felt if you didn't think it was a good bird you should have let it walk even though you were having a tough time getting one.'

    No, what I said was I shot a less than ideal bird.

    I could have been more clear.

    I was saying that the turkey I shot at ended up being less that ideal. Not that I saw one and figured I needed to kill something or anything.

    Had that been the case, it would have meant i shot is just to fit in with or try to meet the standards of somebody else.

    That's noty me. I don't try to meet other people's expectations or fit their ideals.

    The jake was in taller grass. Because the grass was tall, it suggested ( at the time) that the jake was also very tall and the reasoning at the time led me to believe he as a pretty damn big tom.
    Only when I went and got him did I realize he was less that ideal.
    And no, had I had a perfect world preview of the jake, and had i had some ESP to know exactly how big he was...I wouldn't have shot him.

    But having said that: I have a very clean conscience due to the fact the bird was a legal and legit kill and also because my intentions were not malicious or of ill will.

    May 14, 2013 at 2:53pm

    I'm a first time turkey hunter, but this is not the first time I ever picked up a gun,first time shooting, first time I ever went hunting, nor the first time I have chased after a creature to take.

    Almost everything you quoted to me, was in fact my own observations, but could also be the observations of anybody doing anything that invloves breathing or living in general. Nothing about anything I said was any great revelation that you laid out for me.

    Those same kinds of circumstances happen while fishing, while playing a game of pool or football, or while watching a nascar race. Happens in traffic, while cooking, or pretty much doing anything at all.

    They were even nicknamed 'Murphy's Laws'

    Stuff happens, that's life, we win some, we loose some, we sometimes break even. Sometimes we encounter something so bizzare and strange, we just scratch our heads.

    I have shot plenty of guns in my lifetime. assault rifles, target rifles, bolt actions, semis, singles, shotguns and pistols. And I am good at it too.

    I have been around all kinds of wild creatures in my lifetime. Always lived on the costal woods or deep in the woods. Never been an urban dweller.

    Just started turkey hunting this year. Turkeys are new to me. Turkey calling ( which it turns out I am pretty decently good at) is new to me.

    Knowing my gun, knowing how to shoot a gun, how to carry a gun,service and repair a gun,etc are NOT new to me.

    As for your opinion...well, I'm cool with that. I respect that you have some, and I absolutely suport your right to have one. But at the same time, they just don't weigh much with me. You took one of my photos and blew it up and turned it upside down just so you could prove there was no snood, but I could see it plain as day in even your photo.

    You are looking at just a photo, this guy who looked at it is in his 60's is a licensed forester in the state of NC and works on a 118,000 game forest every day. The man has a ton of turkey fans, deer heads, duck and geese mounts all over his man cave/ hunting garage. He has a few elk racks, a freaking huge buffalo head, and a couple foxes mounted too.

    But here's the kicker - He actually picked up my bird and held it, examined it, and saw it in person.

    Now, after you saying there was no snood ( even when it's obvious in your edited version of my photo) and remembering how you tap danced you way around trying to make your wrong answer about NC hunting age somehow appear to be my misunderstanding, after finding out the correct answer....after reading many of your comments after I make a post...I am starting to think you only read a sentance or two before you have already made up your mind about how wrong I am about anything or how superior you are.

    In my post about my first kill, I posted every single bit of info that you and another person then proceded to ask me about in following comments.

    I stated that I shot at a red neck( connected to a fanning tail ) and watched it fall. How that particular neck jumped up without me seeing, and a hen's neck running over and taking it's place is beyond me.

    Once I stated that I liked a gobble call and you immediately went into the ills and immoral acts of using one. Okay, you don't like them...that's cool. But apparently alot of people do like them and use them with success. Lest otherwise, they would not be on the market.

    I stated so many times that I am on private land, yet you reference the woes of what I do on public land.

    I hunt three private properties with a total combined acreage of around 1,800 acres .

    Now, I do not live in Charlotte or any other part of western NC.

    I live in an area where every other property owner has at least 3 or 4 hundered acres. Private land is not lacking here.

    These properties are surrounded by other private properties of equal sizes. They are split by hiways and creeks. And for the most part, people around here respect each other and ask permission to hunt and keep out when they do not get it. Most people here know all their neighbors and recognize their vehicles. Chances are good that when I walked out of the field to my truck with my turkey, 5 or 6 people knew about it before I drove the 2 miles to my own house .

    So, yeah, the possibility exists that somebody may sneak onto the land, but I never one time said or remotely suggested that I shot blindly into grass, trees or at what I thought might be a turkey - again, this is you making up details in your mind about something instead of listening to what I say. I don't know about the people you hang out with or even your own shooting methoods, but mine are not just spontaneous or random.

    I mentioned that I called a huge tom a week before season. You then gave a speech about how I scared the bird, would never see it again, and so on and so forth.

    Thing is - had you actually read my post, you would have read how I made a small noise to gain the attention the bird just enough to change directions so that he wouldn't bust me. Then I stated that he walked about 20 feet away from me into the field and started STRUUTING.

    So, the bird did exactly what I hopped it would do.

    Now, I realize I am no 'expert' turkey hunter, but damn if you can tell me that bird was scared by any means, alarmed or running for his life. I could have thrown my gobble call and hit him while he was strutting because he was so close to me.

    Now, I will consider the real possibility that turkeys may act differently where you live. 200-300 miles difference in geographical terrain may do just that. Happens with other animals and fish too. Seen it myself. So I will consider that, but honestly, I think you just like to feel superior to everybody else.

    I see it in your comments to others too.

    If that's your thing, okay. I'm not gonna fret over it. But at the same time, don't think that I am asking for your condescending advice either on anything. The very comments you were quoting from me were just that: comments. Not a plea for help, advice or anything else....just comments about stuff that happened.

    No more, no less.

    And as far as reading, yeah, I do that. I read alot. I used to read books while all my friends sunk quarters into arcade games. I used to shoot guns while my friends spent their days in summer school or summer camp.

    Lastly.

    I have never hunted for enything I did not make use of. Same with fishing too. I do not catch fish just to brag about how many I can catch or how mine was superior to everybody elses.

    I did not hunt turkey for that reason, and I will not hunt deer, duck or geese for that reason. If I kill it, it will end up on my table or the table of a friend or any other needy person.

    May 14, 2013 at 2:43pm
    A comment titled: I habeen wwatching in response to a report titled: would you have shot this bird?

    a bunch of nice toms all winter long. Watched them into the weeks preceding turkey season. Watched them during youth week.

    Come regular turkey season, they must have packed upm and went of vacation.

    The few times I did see some, things went wrong:
    1 time I should have shot, but thought the distance was too far - turns out I later paced it off at around 25 yards from where tom was standing from me. Looked alot farther while crouching in the bushes on my side.

    Next time, I shot at one and he fell over, got up, flew straight over my head into the trees. Went looking for him but never found him.

    Another time, I waited for a better shot, but ended up losing the chance.

    Another time, a freaking dog comes strolling out into the field. He didn't even know the turkeys were there, just sniffing and peeing on everything anf scared them off.

    So come the last day of turkey season, I shot at a less than ideal turkey. At first, I wasn't sure wether it was a jake or bearded hen, but a well experienced hunter confirmed it was a medium jake.

    I didn't set out to shoot a jake, but the grass he was in kinda clouded his features. I saw him strutting, took aim and took him down.

    Still proud as it was my first turkey and i even had to crawl on my stomach for 25 yards or so to even get close enough to him to take the shot.

    That was actually kinda cooler than getting him.

    So, depending on circumstance, I'd have no problem shooting the bird in your picture.

    May 13, 2013 at 8:42pm
    A comment titled: It really Depends in response to a report titled: would you have shot this bird?

    I agree that it depends on different circumstances: If you see a 7 or 8 HUGE toms every time you go out..if you go out 3 or 4 times a week, if it's private land, etc... Then I might wait.

    But if you don't see one every time, or you only get 1 day a week ( Sat) to go out and hunt( like me) or there is alot of activity on the land that keeps them scarce ( like farmer tilling, plowing, planting his fields I hunt) or the turkeys only make an occasional appearance, or there are only 3 or 4 out there to begin with -

    THEN I WOULD SHOOT THAT DAMN BIRD FOR SURE!

    The property where I hunt had a bunch of big toms on it. But it turns out they can read a calendar and knew when to go into hiding come turkey season! :)

    May 13, 2013 at 8:25pm
    A comment titled: Nice one! in response to a report titled: first triple beard

    Congrats!

    May 11, 2013 at 2:36pm
    A comment titled: Seen both in response to a report titled: GOT ONE!

    Watched a big one come across a field - but naturally he was at least 80 yards away) all puffed up and strutting. Head was so red, I thought he was going to explode.

    Seen some with predominantly paleish blue heads strutting around, but they were smaller than ole red head

    Ole red head is the one I called out the week before youth season started.

    He had the 11' or 12' beard that drug the ground while he walked.Saw him two other timesbut always across the field and alwayson the other side of the hens from the other toms.

    From what I can tell, there are 3 distinctly different roosting spots they use.

    There are ( as best as I can count)4 big toms, 7 jakes and around 13 hens. It looks like they are actually two different groups with Old red not actually belonging to either group.

    May 11, 2013 at 1:28pm
    A comment titled: Big feet, no spurs in response to a report titled: GOT ONE!

    But from what I have read, a jake might not also have spurs.

    But I want to point out again, I aimed at a red head and it was fanned out and strutting.

    Not saying it ain't a hen, just that it was strutting, it gobbled and it was the only turkey in the field as I could easily watch it walk along before I crawled to it.

    After i shot it, nothing else flew off or made any noise.

    That is why I asked in my original post about the possiblity of it being a bearded hen since it was strutting and fanned out.

    May 11, 2013 at 1:09pm
    A comment titled: Not saying the head ain't small in response to a report titled: GOT ONE!

    But I have to show you a pic of me holding a 20 oz drink bottle to give you a bit of reference to my hand size.......

    May 11, 2013 at 12:49pm
    A comment titled: Shaker call in response to a report titled: GOT ONE!

    Well, the biggest difference would be that every time ( except that sucky cold, wet , rainy day) I use that shaker call, I have either had turkeys gobble back, or come out in my direction looking for that tom.

    Too many times, they would get hung up with hens that were out there too.

    But I never ran one off.

    Every time I have gone out by myself, I have seen turkeys, shot at a big tom, missed a shot at a huge tom, missed a shot at a very decent tom, didn't should when ( later) it was painfully obvious that I should have shot, or had toms just out of range in the middle of a field.

    Matter of fact, a week before youth season, I had to freeze up and wait out a big ole tom to go away because I called him directly straight to me by using that shaker call.

    Twice I have had hens walk up to within 5 feet of me and had a tom ( the week before youth season) walk within 10 foot of me.

    I'm am pretty sure that the shaker call is not an issue or causing any problems
    at all

    So, all I am saying is that for whatever reason, when my nephew is with me, we either don't see any turkeys, or we see them far off and can't get them anywhere near close to us.

    May 11, 2013 at 12:20pm
    A comment titled: Small snood in response to a report titled: GOT ONE!

    I can see it even in your picture. The beard is about 3 ' long right now. Looked to be about 7' when I shot at it - but I will not deny that my eyes may have been excited and misjudged. The way the tall grass was, I might have even been looking at shadows within the grass.

    Like I said, I am considering the possibility that it is a bearded hen.

    But IT IS bearded.

    The head and neck was very much red when I shot it. I mean, the red is pretty much what I sighted in on and the turkey was fanned out when I shot it.

    May 11, 2013 at 12:10pm
    A comment titled: hear you! in response to a report titled: Almost Again

    Lately, been so close so many times.

    I go out one day, and watch 3 or 4 hens and 3 big toms in a field. All the hens are well within range, but the toms are strutting just too far away. Big toms too!

    Go out the next day and a tom starts coming into range. JUst about the time I get my sights on him, the farmer who owns the field come back with his seeder impliment. Sounds like a Boeing 747 size leaf blower. Tom runs off.

    Next day, I go out after the farmer finishes with the same tractor and seeder. After about an hour, I start hearing some hens and a few toms in the woods ...probably only ten yards in, but cannot get them to come out.

    Go again with my nephew and we don't see a single turkey, but did hear one gobble a ways off.

    Took off work Friday and was set up with my decoys. not too long after, a big ole tom lands and starts running to my jake/submissive hen decoy.

    He is not even 23 foot away from me. I line up, pull the trigger nd watch the tom do a back flip and then fly off straight over me into the woods behind me. Looked for a while and never found him.

    Went out the next day and never saw anything, never heard a peep.

    Since it is now Sunday, I figure there is probably some big 'ole turkey convention in the field with probably 45 record size toms just hanging out without a worry in the world! :)

    April 28, 2013 at 8:34am
    A comment titled: Chad, It's all good! in response to a report titled: Opening Day

    Took my 12 year old with me.
    About 2 weeks ago, he told me he didn't want to hunt turkeys( which I respect), but changed his mind about 5 days ago.

    Took out with me and he got to see the woods the way only people who go out at 5 am see it.

    He got to see the world come to life from a perspective that is different that an alarm clock going ogff.

    Plus: We both learned something.

    I guess I have to sum it up like this:

    We learned there are 5 tomes that haunt this field instead of just two.

    We have zeroed in on their roosting area.

    We learned that alot of their elusivness was in fact, due to the lay of the land, and not because they were on to us.

    Best part of the day was the big look to my sons eyes when he heard that first gobble. And then smiled when he heard the second gobble.

    So, as long as I learn something from my outing, I consider that a sucess.

    Oh, I learned something else too: If you have peacocks around, you might want to warn your child about them AND how they sound BEFORE you go in the woods!

    I guess a peacock's call sounds alot like ghosts and demons do in today's modern horror movies! :)

    April 14, 2013 at 7:06am
    A comment titled: Same to you in response to a report titled: Opening Day

    I screwed up this morning, but in the bigger picture, it's gonna help me out. Learned something about spot we had been scouting. We had set up several times and listened and watched the turkeys from a spot and this morning, I set up my decoys there.

    Turns out our 'great' spot is just about invisible to 90% of the field we are hunting.

    While my decoys looked good from where I sat, once you went 35 yards past them on the other side, they dissapeared behind the hump in the field.

    Wall...... after having went back and forth calling to about 4 different toms, and possibly a 5th, we decided to sneak around to the other side of the field since we couldn't get them out of the woods.

    Turns out they were out of the woods and not that far away - we just couldn't see them and vice versa!

    Well, we spooked them off and knew our day was shot. Luckily they didn't fly or run away, just walked away kinda quickly without making a fuss or raising the alarm.

    I figure they will be all cooled down by next Saturday.

    In the process, I did discover a better spot where I can sit in between two huge oaks with low hanging branches. I'll be about 5' in the woods and just about invisible due to shadows and lightingm but will have a spectacular view of the field and where they drop from their roost.

    April 13, 2013 at 7:36am
    A comment titled: Yeah, in response to a report titled: Unsupervised hunter minimum age ?

    He had the safety class, but an aqaintance told me that you could not be left unaccompanied if you were under 16 - safety class or not.

    And honestly, where he hunts at, the chances of running across a WRC officer are slim to zilch...but that's not the way I work. Has to be legit even if there was no way you'd ever caught.

    April 09, 2013 at 9:11pm
    A comment titled: Found it- not what you think! in response to a report titled: Unsupervised hunter minimum age ?

    2012-2013 NC Regulations Digest

    Page 4, Right hand column

    Under 'Hunting'

    'Youth under age 16 are exempt from the requirement of a hunting license provided they comply with the following: Youthwho have not obtained a Certificate of Competancy showing their completion of the hunter safety course must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult when hunting.Youth who have obtained this certificate, may hunt without being accompanied by an adult, but must carry their certificate while hunting.'

    So, this boy I know is in fact hunting legit. Again, it probably only happens 1% of the time anyways, am I am not saying thay a youth under 16 shouldn'r be accompanied by an adult.

    I'm just making sure it is legal by NC standards.

    April 09, 2013 at 5:08pm
    A comment titled: That makes total sense in response to a report titled: Unsupervised hunter minimum age ?

    Since that - up til age 16, you do not have to have a license to hunt, just the safety class - and can hunt under somebody else's license.

    I just can't find it in writting anywhere.

    April 08, 2013 at 8:12pm
    A comment titled: Broke the frame in response to a report titled: Mouth call question

    So I was watching a video on youtube and unlike most, the guy didn't spend 90% of his time demonstrationg what he could do, but instead, told differet things zi should try, things I should feel for and what to expect.

    Right off the bat, this guy says it will take a long time.

    So, I'm enjoying the video and the guy says trhat sometimes, you can bend the frame a wee tiny bit to get a better fit.

    Yeah, he did say becauseful as you could change the tension of the reed.

    Anyways, I thought I would try a slight bend because I could actually wedge the call between my teeth>

    WEll, I guess most calls have an aluminum frame.

    Mine did not! SNAP! Barely even put pressure on it at all.

    The HS Strut 'Single D' is no more!

    So today I went and bought two calls:

    Knight & Hale 'Preacher' and a Knight & Hale 'Prosecutor'

    The Prosecutor sounded good,

    The Preacher was just impresive!

    Okay, so they are 3 reed calls, but I was able to make the Preacher speak turkey for me in 5 minutes.

    Yeah, I still have alot of time and practice to go, But I am already seeing a huge difference.

    So, no doubt different calls in different mouths react differently, but I'm kinda glad that first call broke, because otherwise, I wouldn't have bought these two new ones.

    April 08, 2013 at 6:23pm
    A comment titled: Crossbow in response to a report titled: Sunday Hunting

    Yeah, I'd like to try that, but dang, for the price of a decent crossbow, I can buy a nice shotgun.

    For the price of a really good crossbow, I can buy a really nice gun.

    April 07, 2013 at 6:12pm
    A comment titled: Not attacking religion in response to a report titled: Sunday Hunting

    What I am saying is that not all religions use Sunday as their holy day or Sabbath type of day.

    What about the religions who meet on Saturdays? They should be given same respect, no?
    What about the ones who meet on Mondays or any other day of the week? What about the ones who have an entire month as a religious timeframe?

    Would you suggest that nobody can hunt on those days?

    Anyways, the answer is moot because the proposed bill specifically states:

    'A person may hunt on Sunday on privately owned land if the person is the owner of the property or if the person has written permission dated and signed by the owner of the property to hunt on Sunday on that property.'

    So, This would not change the chances of churches getting shot at> The odds are no more or no less.

    Again though, what about people who's jobs have them working Monday through Saturday? You are saying they shouldn't be allowed to hunt like you and I?

    April 07, 2013 at 6:09pm
    A comment titled: Weather in response to a report titled: Any Ideas

    It's taking longer to warm up this year. They are still grouping up some.

    Right here along the coast, you might have a few days of warmer weather and you start seeing toms at the back of fields all fanned out and strutting their stuff.

    Then the temps drop for 3 or 4 days and they group back up toether.

    Then a few days later, Mr.Sunshine comes calling and a couple toms start strutting again.

    This year, we are behind in the average temperatures.

    April 07, 2013 at 4:38pm
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