Team 1 The Rejects

Old 05-09-2018, 10:38 AM
  #221  
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This was, by all accounts, a classic off-the-roost hunt that ended 10 minutes after sunrise.

I rolled over at 4:30am and turned off the alarm, deciding to sleep in and take the day off, to just enjoy time with my wife on her birthday. As my aging body would have it, nature called at 5:05 and dragged me out of bed. I was up and noticeably awake, so I decided to throw on my gear and head out for a few hours of hunting.

I drove the 5 minutes to the private property, slipped into my vest, chambered a few shells in my Ithaca 12 gauge and started the mostly 1/2 mile uphill hike. I crested the hill and heard a tom gobble, right where he had been roosted yesterday with 2-3 hens. Mysteriously, I heard a bird gobble from an area that normally doesn't roost birds - as in, I've hunted this property for 4 years and never heard a bird gobble from that direction. A bit puzzled, I looked up into the canopy and noticed quite a few trees had leafed out the day before, so I merely thought the sound waves were bouncing around and playing some tricks on my hearing. I headed off to setup on that henned-up tom, hoping the hens had gone to nest or that I could convince him I was the better girl...

I walked a few hundred yards and was listening to the old bird gobble, spying what appeared to be a dust bowl from the night before, when unexpectedly I definitively heard a new tom gobbling from a new area. I was torn between hunting what I knew to be a 3 or 4 yr old tom or going after a new bird. The thought of hunting a different tom was appealing, and when I heard more than one gobble from that direction, my feet starting flying over the soft two-track to find those new birds.

The birds were gobbling good and, after turning a corner and leaving some of the thicker underbrush behind, I was greeting by at least 3 different gobblers. I was wondering where they were roosted and kept looking up, and was glad I was after passing a large oak tree and seeing one of the gobblers a mere 50 yards away roosted in large-limbed elm tree. I quickly took a step backward and starting looking for a setup tree, just hoping I hadn't busted a hunt before it even started.

It was now only about about 5 minutes before sunrise, and I wasn't overly surprised when the bird pitched down and landed softly about 75 yards away. He was quickly joined by 3 of his brothers from other trees, and the morning reunion had the quartet gobbling in relative unison. One of the 4 was a downright horrible singer with a broken gobble, but all 4 were a joy to listen to, largely because there were no female counterparts to be heard.

I found a nice big cherry tree a few feet away, a mere 10 feet off the two track. It was situated perfectly about 20 yards below a small rise in the two-track, a trail I knew the birds used to travel back and forth between the cut corn field and the other neighbor's large pasture. I popped in a mouthcall and when I heard the loudest and deepest gobble - I answered him back with hen music of my own.

I didn't need to sweet talk very long before the gobbles quickly grew louder and worked closer. The bird in the rear of the rat pack was obviously the show pony, and he consistently went in and out of strut to show off his fan. They got to within 40 yards, at which point I whirred and clucked while raking the leaves, and that was all it took. All 4 of the inseparable lovestruck birds crested the little rise, at which point it was just a matter of letting them separate so I had a clear shot at my pick of the bachelors. All were sporting fine beards, but I was intent on trying to bag the strutter if possible, obviously the dominant one of the pack as his lone head was the only white orb glowing among the bunch.

As fate would have it, the search sergeant veered left, the wary lieutenants moved slowly off to the right, leaving the general tom centered right down the middle of the barrel. He didn't see a hen and had just turned to leave when the load of Winchester Long Beard XR #5 dropped him in his tracks. The remaining 3 scattered making in momentarily difficult for me to be sure the shot had connected, but I was quickly greeted by the the telltale sign of a fullfan from a bird taking his final dirt nap - tagged punched, season over.

What a true boss gobbler - his wingtips were ground off square and his chest was almost bare from all the breeding - and the lightest Eastern tom I've taken. Just a dandy of a bird and I was tickled pink to notch the tag at 6:35 on my wife's birthday, the first bird I've ever bagged on her birthday (over more than 25 years!) and quite fitting considering last year I bagged one on my Dad's birthday.

My daughter graduates from HS as an Academic All American in swimming on May 24, and I'm gonna be swamped for the next 2 weeks - but man, life sure is good right now.

Good luck to all those still hunting!
Attached Thumbnails Team 1 The Rejects-2018-tom-rt-spur.jpg   Team 1 The Rejects-2018-tom-left-spur.jpg   Team 1 The Rejects-2018-tom_beard.jpg   Team 1 The Rejects-2018-tom_fan-woods.jpg  
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:36 AM
  #222  
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Originally Posted by Strut&Rut
This was, by all accounts, a classic off-the-roost hunt that ended 10 minutes after sunrise.

I rolled over at 4:30am and turned off the alarm, deciding to sleep in and take the day off, to just enjoy time with my wife on her birthday. As my aging body would have it, nature called at 5:05 and dragged me out of bed. I was up and noticeably awake, so I decided to throw on my gear and head out for a few hours of hunting.

I drove the 5 minutes to the private property, slipped into my vest, chambered a few shells in my Ithaca 12 gauge and started the mostly 1/2 mile uphill hike. I crested the hill and heard a tom gobble, right where he had been roosted yesterday with 2-3 hens. Mysteriously, I heard a bird gobble from an area that normally doesn't roost birds - as in, I've hunted this property for 4 years and never heard a bird gobble from that direction. A bit puzzled, I looked up into the canopy and noticed quite a few trees had leafed out the day before, so I merely thought the sound waves were bouncing around and playing some tricks on my hearing. I headed off to setup on that henned-up tom, hoping the hens had gone to nest or that I could convince him I was the better girl...

I walked a few hundred yards and was listening to the old bird gobble, spying what appeared to be a dust bowl from the night before, when unexpectedly I definitively heard a new tom gobbling from a new area. I was torn between hunting what I knew to be a 3 or 4 yr old tom or going after a new bird. The thought of hunting a different tom was appealing, and when I heard more than one gobble from that direction, my feet starting flying over the soft two-track to find those new birds.

The birds were gobbling good and, after turning a corner and leaving some of the thicker underbrush behind, I was greeting by at least 3 different gobblers. I was wondering where they were roosted and kept looking up, and was glad I was after passing a large oak tree and seeing one of the gobblers a mere 50 yards away roosted in large-limbed elm tree. I quickly took a step backward and starting looking for a setup tree, just hoping I hadn't busted a hunt before it even started.

It was now only about about 5 minutes before sunrise, and I wasn't overly surprised when the bird pitched down and landed softly about 75 yards away. He was quickly joined by 3 of his brothers from other trees, and the morning reunion had the quartet gobbling in relative unison. One of the 4 was a downright horrible singer with a broken gobble, but all 4 were a joy to listen to, largely because there were no female counterparts to be heard.

I found a nice big cherry tree a few feet away, a mere 10 feet off the two track. It was situated perfectly about 20 yards below a small rise in the two-track, a trail I knew the birds used to travel back and forth between the cut corn field and the other neighbor's large pasture. I popped in a mouthcall and when I heard the loudest and deepest gobble - I answered him back with hen music of my own.

I didn't need to sweet talk very long before the gobbles quickly grew louder and worked closer. The bird in the rear of the rat pack was obviously the show pony, and he consistently went in and out of strut to show off his fan. They got to within 40 yards, at which point I whirred and clucked while raking the leaves, and that was all it took. All 4 of the inseparable lovestruck birds crested the little rise, at which point it was just a matter of letting them separate so I had a clear shot at my pick of the bachelors. All were sporting fine beards, but I was intent on trying to bag the strutter if possible, obviously the dominant one of the pack as his lone head was the only white orb glowing among the bunch.

As fate would have it, the search sergeant veered left, the wary lieutenants moved slowly off to the right, leaving the general tom centered right down the middle of the barrel. He didn't see a hen and had just turned to leave when the load of Winchester Long Beard XR #5 dropped him in his tracks. The remaining 3 scattered making in momentarily difficult for me to be sure the shot had connected, but I was quickly greeted by the the telltale sign of a fullfan from a bird taking his final dirt nap - tagged punched, season over.

What a true boss gobbler - his wingtips were ground off square and his chest was almost bare from all the breeding - and the lightest Eastern tom I've taken. Just a dandy of a bird and I was tickled pink to notch the tag at 6:35 on my wife's birthday, the first bird I've ever bagged on her birthday (over more than 25 years!) and quite fitting considering last year I bagged one on my Dad's birthday.

My daughter graduates from HS as an Academic All American in swimming on May 24, and I'm gonna be swamped for the next 2 weeks - but man, life sure is good right now.

Good luck to all those still hunting!

Congrats!! Don't get too many of those quick hunts and being it was on your wife's birthday just gives you that much more time to spend with her!! Love it when a plan comes together
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:04 AM
  #223  
Zim
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Nice job Strut-n-Rut, Rejects putting some space between the field. I'll be on a plane back to the states Sunday. In time for last 2 tags 5th season Wisconsin opens Wednesday. Got 2 for same season and in my spot 2 is a possibility.
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:37 AM
  #224  
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Originally Posted by Zim
Nice job Strut-n-Rut, Rejects putting some space between the field. I'll be on a plane back to the states Sunday. In time for last 2 tags 5th season Wisconsin opens Wednesday. Got 2 for same season and in my spot 2 is a possibility.
Thanks guys, I haven't had a hunt materialize that quick in quite a few years, it was definitely pretty awesome.

Regarding the contest - that just artificial space between us and the other teams. Team 2 has several members who've scored on birds but just haven't posted stats and/or pics. JW is slaying them again and will probably do a bulk upload when his last WI season ends.

I believe every team had a few members who didn't start hunting until May, and those members probably have a few more weeks to hunt. Speaking of which - any luck Jake?
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:20 AM
  #225  
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Congratulations on the birds, the scoreboard is looking good, Capt Kelly...guess you solved the ammo problem.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:16 AM
  #226  
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I still had 3 rounds left from a different box and used them. The box with the misfired shell I sent back to Winchester. They were very understanding and have given the box to their quality department. Should hear back pretty soon.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:38 PM
  #227  
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We’re gonna need at least 1 more bird to repeat, Team 3 has two more to add to their total and will most likely overtake us by 5-10 points.

Get a big’un Jake!
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:58 PM
  #228  
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firelt72 normally bags a bird. I've pm'ed him hoping it would send an email notification but no luck. He hasn't been on since he checked in
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:00 PM
  #229  
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I haven't followed any of the other teams, I just kinda figured we had it in the bag.
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:57 PM
  #230  
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Yeah, agree with the cautious guys, we have a slim lead and could more birds. Firelit must have personal stuff going on.
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