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THE WINNERS (Team 13)

Old 05-16-2008, 10:46 AM
  #621  
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Well boys - I've spent basically my entire season waiting out a particular tom. Yesterday was the day.

Up until now, he's been henned-up, lugging around a harem of between 6 and 10 with 2 satellite jakes. The weather has been a factor in why I've taken it this late in the game... And his unwillingness to play...

So yesterday, I had until 8:00 to hunt before work, so I made the long drive to this old boy's hangout. I skirted his roost area at flydown... Nobody home. Odd. So, i covered some ground as best I could - broadcasting into the nearby areas to no avail.Finally, I jumped in the car to swing around to some fields on the ridge above. It rained the afternoon prior, so I figure he may have been picking bugs in the field all evening - and roosted up there.

It's 7:45, and I head to one last area to givea call - bam. He's there. I call again - and he cuts me off.

I take his temperature and give him a few cutts. Double gobble. He never gobbles like this. Never. I've got all of fifteen minutes, so I've gotta make something happen - FAST. I work him as I close the gap, slinking through the creekbeds like a fox and using the land and timber as my blind... We're working toward each other. I keep him firing - so I know where he's at...

Finally, he makes it to the field edge, where I get a visualand I'm pinned down. 50 yards out. I get the binos on him - and it's him. He's got a wide paintbrushthat marks him like a scarlet letter. 8:00.

He works into the woods, and I see his tailfan over a slight rise...25 yards. Safe off. Finally, I get a visual of his head craning up over the bank - and I took my eyes away for a second. Not sure why. I re-focus and and level the bead on what appears to be his head... Now I'm not sure... The glare from the sun is really silhouetting it. Seriously, I just glanced away for a split-second... And now I'm just not sure whether this is his periscope, or if it's just a stick.

8:15. I've REALLY got to make this happen. NOW.

Just as I decide to shoot at what I think is his head - it drops back over the bank, and he goes back into strut. He gobbles as a courtesy to let me know that he's not coming any further.

I know then, I blew it. He came over and looked for a hen that wasn't there. He's leaving. This bird is cagey - and he's played these games before. Getting him back over there may take hours.

He's still fired up, but moping back toward the field to display himself- I keep him gobbling hot and heavy- and wait for him to get behind a huge cherry tree... I stand and move. He gobbles and I have no visual. I take one more step - and I'm busted. The color drains right out of his head - as it goes pink.

45 yards... I raise the gun and take it.

He rolls and flops... As he gets up, I take a follow-up shot. He's really hurt bad. I only had 2 shells in the gun.

So now a really pathetic footrace ensues. He's gimping along. I'm hot on his tail, hobbling ata normal person's brisk walkingspeed.

He got away. [>:] And I was late for work.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:39 PM
  #622  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

Dang Fran thats rough! Although its a crappy ending, it sure makes for one hellacious story!
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:03 AM
  #623  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

Fran That's one you should have got on video.Better luck next time.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:40 AM
  #624  
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No kidding Dan - if you'd have seen the whole episode unfold - you'd have died. It was like "Ernest goes Hunting."

For what it's worth - I finished tagging out Saturday.

Y'all heard about Thursday's little mis-hap.

So Saturday, I was still a little upset at myself - no real interest in turkeyhunting, to be honest.So I got on the horn andoffered to take my cousin out and try to get him a bird. Right at flydown, we located a bird really far off - gobbled maybe 5x, then went silent. 15 minutes of silence ensued... And just as we were about to gather up the dekes and start trolling - the bird hammered right in front of us. Within 60 seconds, he materialized and R.J. wiped him out. He was definitely a happy guy. First tom ever.

17#
1 1/8" spurs
10" beard
(59.5 NWTF Gross)

I'll post the cameraphone pics once he sends them to me.

Afterward, we dropped off his bird at my parents' place anddecided to hit a few areas onsome public landand try to spark up a tom and close out the season with a 2-bird day. At about 10:30, we were trolling the gamelands and hit a bird that responded right away. A couple hard cutts, and he was pounding. We got set even on the hill, maybe 200-250 out. After a half-hour of working him, he was finally in view. He hung up at 38 yards - so I gave him a few hard cutts, got him firing off a few times... A good Putt to get him to crane his neck up high - and it was Game Over.

Really pretty bird - it had rained for a few days straight - so his feathers were cleaned and he had just finished drying off. Really great irridescent coloration. Great cape on this tom.

18#
1 1/4 & 1 1/8" spurs
9 3/4" beard
(61.25 NWTF Gross)



These were both two really great birds for the areas we hunt. Not enormous, but good 3-year olds. The breeding season is obviously taking its toll, b/c I'd bet both of these birds were at or over 20 pounds at the beginning of the season. They were practically clones of each other, despite coming from areas 20 miles apart. His bird had a little beard rot, so half of the bear was missing.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:33 PM
  #625  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

Congrat's Fran sounds like you had a better day.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:17 PM
  #626  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

Dang Fran, you killed a couple dandies there!Cograts bud and to RJ too..I enjoyed the read, hope someday you can come out here show me how its done on a few merriams.. The last PA guy to come out was Pat Ely and we had a blast..


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Old 05-20-2008, 02:15 PM
  #627  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

Quick.. sorry for your mis-fortunes on the first turkey story encounter...

But congrats on the 2 birds after! Nice!

a dancing banana for you.
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:37 PM
  #628  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

great work on the birds quik!! sounds like a heck of a season
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:25 AM
  #629  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

Allright fellas - turkey season is almost over - so it's time to turn our attention back to whitetails.

Let's hear it:
[ul][*]I wanna know where you're planning on hunting (same areas as last year or new);[*]Will you be running trail cameras through the late summer;[*]How much free time are you expecting - any vacation time saved for bow season;[*]Same standards as last year, up or down;[*]Your best guess at a percentage chance of success;[*]Any travel hunting plans;[*]Any complicating factors?[/ul]
For me, I'll be hunting the same wildlife area that I was in last year in Ohio. I'm basically abandoning all weekend PA hunting to focus on better deer a couple hours west. We did buy two digital trail cameras that we should have in place sometime this summer. I may add another one or two (cheapies).

My standards will depend on the amount of time I have available. If I have zero vacation time - only able to hunt weekends- I'll be looking for a decent 110"+ deer and taking it. If I can muster a week off in early November, my standards will climb toward the 125" range.

My success chances are near 100%. I will not get skunked. I'd shoot ascrub-rack on the last day just to avoid having to gun hunt.

The biggest ball I have in the air right now is the job situation. I'm kindastuck in limbo waiting for the Ethics test in August andmy law license to be processed, so I can't really start the job hunt until I have that base covered. It sucks - b/c I have no idea how much money I'll be making - and likewise, I have no idea as to the likelihood of getting a week off in November.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:47 PM
  #630  
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Default RE: 13-Official Team 13 Thread

I'm hunting the same land that I always hunt but we are going to venture out past the property lines and hunt a couple of new areas about 10 to 300 yards North of my place.For that kind of hunt I have to buy a climber stand.
My time this fall, early in it anyway's is going to be limited because I have to go to China for business. I hope to fill out the first weekend.
The trail cameras are going out this weekend we have 6 of them I'll put 1 or 2 over a bait pile, anther couple buy the food plots and the other 1's we are going place them on random trails and see what is on them.
If I don't fill out opening weekend I will have about 10 days at the end of October to November. I would really like to put down the 10 point we've been seeing for the last few years.The same 1 my neighbor found the shed. He should go about 150 to 160. If I get a crack at a 130+ I don't think I could pass it up. My chances are about 80% I do my homework and read the sign around me. I just need to bring it all together.
My biggest problem this year is dealing with the wife. I will have to spend some time with her to try and get her a buck. I hope she starts picking up on hunting and not rely on me to take her out all the time.

As soon as I start getting some good cam pics I'll post them.
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