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Losing my desire

Old 05-17-2005, 09:03 AM
Typical Buck
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Default Losing my desire

Set my alarm last nite, all gung-ho to get up this morning and hunt for an hour or so before work. In fact, I planned on hunting almost every morning before work, and really hit it hard the last 2 weeks of PA season. Alarm went off, I threw it on the floor, and then asked myself "WHY should I go hunting this morning.??" It became apparant to me that getting up at 6am to go work was a lot more appealing than getting up at 4 and spending another morning chasing around a bird. I haven't pulled the trigger on a bird since May of 2002. That's a long time to me. When I first started in 1995, I had a blast; taking 4 birds in 5 years, then calling off for a couple years for a new job. Started in 2002 again, and bam, took one the first 15 minutes in the woods. I loved it. Back then, it all worked. Set up on them at the roost, they fly down, come to the call, bang. It didn't work every time, but enough to fill a tag and keep me going. Nowadays, it's been nothing but an exercise in futility. It doesn't work none of time. Frustration, anger, humiliation and disgust have all taken a toll on me. I have absolutely no confidence when it comes to this sport anymore. No matter what tactic I apply, no matter how I call, if I call at all, no matter where I set up, they just don't come my way. No matter how many scouting days I spend watching them roost here or there and fly down to whereever, the day I set up, just happens to be the day they change their patterns. I'm not even learning anything anymore; how can I learn something when they do something different everyday - no matter which piece of woods I'm in? Preparation, patience, planning, perseverence..........none have paid off. I used to smile when I heard that first gobble of the morning while sitting under a tree........now I think "yea right." I know this is a test; whether given by Mother Nature, God, or some other force that I cannot comprehend...........and I know that I'm failing miserably. I used to love this sport. But with 24 unsuccessful mornings in 3 seasons, the love is gone. I just want it to be fun again. That's all. I don't have to pull the trigger. I just want one to walk by. The white flag is in my hand, whether I wave it or not, only the time I spend in the next 2 weeks will tell. If I can get out of bed......

Sorry for the rant. But I don't have anyone to talk to at work or home about turkeys; and I just wanted to put my thoughts in writing here so someday, if I do stay with it and succeed again, I can find this post and remind myself of how low one can get when success avoids them........then I'll delete it.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:37 AM
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Default RE: Losing my desire

You ain't alone man. You ain't alone.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:08 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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Default RE: Losing my desire

Sorry guys, but even though I share your luck, I don't share your grief! I cherish each and every moment that I'm able to spend in God's green playground! I've only heard a few gobbles in the 6 or 7 times I've been out, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time afield. Been checking out the songbirds, scouting up the deer sign, and catching up on some VERY relaxing sleep! Nothing like a nap induced by the songs of wild things! I don't know.....maybe since I've killed some really nice gobblers over the years I just don't get so frustrated so easily anymore. In all actuality, this is just one of those years where the hens are nesting late and it will get much better later in the week and next week. Times are changing here in PA. The birds are getting called into "MUTEDOM" by the pre-season scouting and getting harassed by the 'yotes more and more every year. We have to change our hunting style to deal with the "new" PA birds! Good luck, and good hunting!
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Default RE: Losing my desire

That's why they call it hunting and not killing. I have spent 4 years getting up early and chasing birds to no avail. I felt exactly the way you did. I never even have killed a turkey. Finally on April 30, I got up as normal, but could only hunt an hour before I had to go. Wasn't expecting anything. Before I knew it, my unt was over in 10 minutes. First bird ever. 10" beard, 1" spurs. There are 2 things about hunting that I know for sure. 1. You never know when that big one is going to walk out. 2. You can't kill em at the house.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:45 AM
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Default RE: Losing my desire


It's not you. Gunwalkr summed it up when he says "mutedom." In Greene County, there is more hunting pressure than ever. There are less turkeys than ever (especially compared to the pre-fall hunting-ban years). There is more predation than ever. That all combines to make a breed of turkey that is nearly unhuntable. They are so call-shy that they refuse to respond in any way. Gobbling on the ground alerts nearby predators and hunters to their location, so a wise bird is now quiet on the ground.

These factors have combined to make for some of the hardest turkey hunting I've ever encountered. I lucked out in a "right place, right time" scenario when I killed mine. I guided a guy Saturday and he killed what had to be the only talkative bird in the county.

My advice is to get 50-60 yards from one on the roost now that there's adequate foliage. Put out a decoy or two if you can. Make a couple clucks and purrs once he hits the ground and try to draw him that last few yards to get him in range. If they go the other way, try to swing around them and get back in front of the flock without getting busted and wait 'em out. Just do some really soft clucks and purrs to pull the matriarchial hen over your way. They're so henned up right now, you have to hunt the hens' movement patterns to get at the toms.

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Old 05-17-2005, 11:58 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NY: NYC to Watertown
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Default RE: Losing my desire

try dedicating more time to it,
If i went to hunt for just 1 hr before i had to go to work,
i probably would feel the same,
getting up at 4am doesnt get any easier,
but i do love being out there when i do get out,
Try using a day off to be be out,
or make a weekend hunt.
going out for an hr is not the same to me as being out for the day/weekend/week.
heck would take me an hr just to get to my blind.
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:19 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Heaven IA USA
Posts: 2,597
Default RE: Losing my desire

I have had outside circumstances influence my hunting motivation at times. For example, family situations, work, exhaustion, poor hunting spot etc.. There are other reasons of course but, sometimes ones motivation can be affected negatively and your drive is dampened to the point of not going out. I don't feel like any of these are out of the ordinary and everyone experiences them at one time or another.

However, if one is not having fun, or experiencing a certain amount of pleasure and enjoyment in whatever endeavor they are voluntarily pursuing, than I feel it won't be long before they "hang up their guns". That seems perfectly reasonable to me. Should that day come for me I will do the same.

Everyone has a favorite species and a favorite technique to hunt that animal. I love bowhunting elk and deer. I have spent large amounts of money, time, and expended an insane amount of energy in their pursuit. I love to hunt turkeys also but when they stop responding to the calls I get almost as much satisfaction mowing my lawn as I do hunting them. That is why I only pursue them directly in the spring and not the fall.

As far as experiencing "24 unsuccessful mornings in 3 seasons"...I have eclipsed 24 mornings IN A ROW without harvesting what I was looking for on more than one occasion in a single season. If a person is motivated they figure they are just getting warmed up in that time frame. They look at it like they are 24 days closer to success! But that is only if you are having fun doing it. If not, it is just another unpleasant grueling excercise in life. Each person has to decide that for themselves.

For what it is worth I will say this. If you have access to an area where there are birds gobbling, you are way ahead of the game. Just because you may not see a tom close to you doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't there. You may have had a close encounter and not even been aware of it. I feel like if one is hunting in thick cover it can happen more often than a person would care to believe. They come sneaking in silent and can leave the same way. Success or failure hinges on the smallest of margines at times and we may not even be aware of when it is taking place. If you take the attitude that IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN than more often than not you won't get caught off guard.

Good luck in whatever you decide....You always have people who are willing to listen to anything that pertains to hunting here...
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 151
Default RE: Losing my desire

Try something you may not have tried yet.
Move slowly through your hunting areas...keep your eyes open.
What have you got to lose....you sound like your fed up up with hunting gobblers "the traditional way".

Best of luck to you....you are just paying your dues...there's probably a great gobbler out there with your name on it....by all means, keep hunting!
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:14 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: masontown pa USA
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Default RE: Losing my desire

Antler Eater: you said a mouthfull about success and failure hinging on the smallest of margins. This is the frustrating thing for me. Like setting up at a corner of a field thinking "that bird flew down here 3 mornings in a row" and then the 4th morning you set up, he drops down in the opposite corner 800 yards away.........leaving me to think "hell that's where I was at yesterday!" You almost want to quit on the spot. This past saturday I had 2 large mature birds bumping each other out of the way to get to my decoys, but instead of coming all the way in, they both stop at 100 yards out in the field, fold up, and walk 180 degrees away from me, past their real girlfriends, and march 400 yards back to the other side of the field to eat. Never to be heard from again all morning. And there is nobody hunting there but me! They just don't want to breed!

Quik: You spoke of gobbling on the ground. The area I'm hunting contains a field that is about 1000 yards long and 700 yards wide. A lot of turkey playground. At least once a morning, there is a bird someplace in that field( a different place every time) going absolutly nuts, gobbling by himself, till 7 or 8 am. I set up on him, undetected, make sure he's still gobbling on his own, then I do some soft calls. Nothing. I do hard calling....nothing. I'm baffled.

Teresec........if I take any more time off, I won't have a job!
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:53 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Daphne, AL
Posts: 425
Default RE: Losing my desire

That is a big field. Have you tried a blind? You can get an Ameristep for $50-$60. May get you a little closer. I know what you mean about them changing patterns. A couple of years ago I hunted a new place for a week. Every day I would hear gobbling (I mean gobbling their heads off gobbling) on the left side of the property and I am on the right side. Five straight days. OK, on day six I set up on the left side and hear them gobbling on the right. Go figure.
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