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A Hunt w/ Turkey Goddess as seen thru the eyes of JW.....I survived! :)

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A Hunt w/ Turkey Goddess as seen thru the eyes of JW.....I survived! :)

Old 06-15-2012, 12:43 PM
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Default A Hunt w/ Turkey Goddess as seen thru the eyes of JW.....I survived! :)

A hunt with Turkey Goddess according to JW

Well I got lucky – I don’t guide much but this time I got lucky. And the luck is what we make of it with a bit of hard work
1
My Journal.
I left the WI Dells area as I was hunting the 3rd Season in WI. I had harvested a bird so it was time to move on and get to Fort McCoy to scout. Scouting to me is more fun than the actual hunt. I do lots of scouting.
I arrived Saturday morning and already had an area of the Fort in mind. I have hunted this part for a few years now each year trying to expand. I needed to scout for 4 people including myself. I had my partner Roy who was stuck at home with family duties and then Turkey Goddess (aka Kimmie) and her husband Shane as they where on their way from southern Indiana. So far most of the season had gotten tough. The weather was far to warm early in March and that did not change. It moved the breeding cycle up by at least 3 weeks and we had to contend with that. The birds would gobble most days from the roost but went silent once they hit the ground and where with hens. It was rather tough to get a shock gobble after that.
Saturday April 28th.
Arrived at 445 AM. Can’t drive on the Fort until 5 AM as per regulations and black out hours. I spent a little bit of time trying to understand the map they send you. And I had listened to the Game Line which informs you of daily closed areas due to military training. That is one thing you need to do each day. Call the Game line.
It is getting twilight and at 5 AM I am in position in an area Roy and I have found and heard birds in past seasons. Things change though as I notice a bit of logging. I exit the truck, insert my hearing aids as I am partially deaf and wait for the tell tale gobble. At 5:20 AM I hear my first mark this on the map and start my run. I travel to all high spots or 100 to 150 yards or more and get out of the truck and use a gobble call. I mark each response I hear and then try to locate them them the best I can. Once gobbling starts I know it may not last long as they have been shutting up once they hit the ground. So I do move fast. Once gobbling stops I go back to each marked location to see if I can figure out where the bird really was and where he might be headed. I try my utmost to actually see the bird so I can rank them. So I continually move in circles covering the area for the next few hours. I mark down the hens, jakes or toms I see. Do this a few days in a row and you find the location the birds like to use and you develop a pattern. Actually seeing a mature Tom is a bonus. And I see 3 different toms of the several I have marked. It was a good day! And I see one Tom 3 separate times in one general area. He is rather vocal today. The last time I see this Tom was my exit of a much needed Porta Potty that are located throughout the Fort McCoy area. And I desperately needed this one. Upon my exit I see this bird down the road and realize I had seen this same Tom 2 other times but from the other end. I name this bird ‘Sh!thouse’. That is what I do I like to name them. I also find 2 new areas never hunted by me. I see a few birds and want to go back to investigate why are they there? As I walk quietly I jump a bird. Okay – that is good – it was rather big too as I saw it quick as it ran as it saw me. Jumping the bird don’t bother me as I walk on and I see a second. Oaky backing out of this area. Will come back later. But I see both fresh Tom and Hen tracks as with lots of strutting signs as well as lotsa turkey poop! I definitely will come back to walk this area a bit more.
Back at my truck I travel and walk several other areas looking for turkey tracks, any type of turkey sign as well a human sign. That tells me if the birds I find are pushed or not. Around 10 AM I had seen enough and left going back to Sparta as I needed breakfast and needed to check into my motel.
At the motel I take a short nap and am back out around 3 PM and go back to the areas I have seen birds. And I see ole Sh!thouse again! Ya baby! Got one tom located for sure. I do see several jakes and a few more hens. I have seen enough so I leave for Jim and Kathies which is a local watering hole and meet up with Basserman. It is because of him I now hunt McCoy and he has given me several great tips as he works at McCoy. Oh and I left as I had a 3rd season tag to which I shot a good ole Tom at 5 PM after the all day rain storm! Ya baby!

And I wish to thank Basserman as he made that possible. Told me where he saw birds and gave me permission to hunt with a bar napkin drawin to boot! J
Sunday April 29th
Roy came in late Saturday nght or very early Sunday morning and is now with me. Kimmie and her husband are still on their way. Was hoping all would be with me as I would have paired up with Kimmie and send Shane on with Roy to scout. Allows us just more area to cover. But that ain’t happening so Ole roy and I hit the area on time at 5 AM. I drive to my 1st listening spot. Heard nothing there Saturday but I just start all over again anyhow. I get out of the truck and as I reach for my gobble call my plastic owl hooter falls out of my vest pocket and on the pavement. Man I haven’t used this thing in years. Well what the heck. So I hit one long Hoooooooot which is deep. I do like this Pittman hooter and have used it for over 25 yrs. But nothing answers. So I hit it harder this time with one long Hooot and the a “Who Cooks for You’ type call and bang! I get gobbled at immediately and this bird is high on the ridge. I whisper to Roy hang one buddy we moving quick now. Stay with me.
What I do is try to triangulate on this bird and any bird I get to gobble. So I drive what I feel will be a good spot to listen and bang I get answered immediately upon my hooting and do get 2 more Gobbles of new birds in the distance. Wow!!! I am a kid in a candy store. Get in the truck – don’t be late getting back in the truck as I will leave you - as we lay rubber traveling and stopping and hooting and locating almost a dozen toms as they are all on roost still. I find toms I had no idea where there. And there is quite a few! I back track back and forth until all goes silent because as before once they hit the ground at fly-down they don’t gobble much. Too bad Kimmie and Shane where not with me today as this is a banner day. You don’t hear this much. I am absolutely ecstatic as I find several new areas to investigate. Roy and I do see Sh!thouse bird again so he is marked for sure and one of us should go after him tomorrow on opening day. And we see 2 others.
Well the same leave around 10 go find breakfast and hit the motel and Kimmie and Shane arrive. We chat a bit and then I load the whole crew to show those 2 what we found. And it gives me yet another chance to scout.
We walk may areas and the area I found the day before where I saw the 2 birds is tracked all up with fresh tracks yet again. I make mental note of an area I would like to sit as I hunt out of a blind and try to call the bird to me. Roy has also picked an area he wants t work. Tomorrow when we hunt Kimmie (aka Turkey Goddess) will hunt with me and Shane will go with Roy.
Again we meet up with Basserman for dinner at some other local pub. Good food, good beer but it don’t last long as I am tired. Been at this turkey thing a full month now and it is taking tis toll. In bed by 10 and back up at 3 AM. Tomorrow Monday April 30th is opening day for the season we where awarded.
Monday April 30 Opening day.
Man I am up and ready to go at 4 am. There is a short drive as we are paired, Kimmie with me and Shane with Roy as we stop at a truck stop so I can get coffee. I need my coffee. We then drive to the gate entrance and wait as we are early. I want to be the 1st as each of us has a spot to drive to. Since Kimmie has yet to shoot a bird I am going after Ole Sh!thouse. If he is still there it ought to be over quick. I plan on sneaking in on a trail – setting up my blind and 2 hen decoys and wait for him to gobble on his own. At 5 we load back up and drive on the fort protperty. It don’t take me long to get where I need to be. I have planned where to park – how we are going to walk – and have instructed Kimmie what I need her to do. I have also told Shane to park his truck in an area to block it from other hunters. That area is our fall back area if either Roy and I do something stupid. That is why I scout so hard. I pick places I want to hunt 1st and then have a fall back area. Each of us has a kill tag.
Kimmie is a real trooper. She is staying up with me and is real quiet. I get the blind up and all set real quick. I go through my routine of laying out my calls, chalking the boxes, treating the surface of my pots, then pouring my first cup of coffee before I open a tiny slit of my blind windows. I keep the inside of my blind real dark or as dark as I possibly can. It gets to roost gobble time and I hear nothing – not a darn thing and I start to get concerned. At first light I try a bit of soft calling and nothing. Okay did I spook this bird walking in? Don’t think so as heard no fly offs. Did that a few times. Man it is dead silent! So I get a bit louder with my hen calling and nothing. Now I am real worried. What I thought was a given is not! So I tell Kimmie so. Finally at 6 AM I make a decision to leave. I will not sit in an area I don’t hear a gobble. This bird was real vocal for the 2 days I scouted. Either he has moved off or someone else has spooked him or I did but it is time to skeddaddle.
We quickly pull the blind down and Kimmie helps me a ton. With blind, chairs and decoys in had we boogey to the truck. We are going where Shane left his truck The area I found just a ton of turkey tracks as well as fresh poop. Didn’t really see a Tom there but it a easy walk, which means a quicker set up as it still is early. Kimmie stays with me as I hustle now. She does make some comment as I told her keep up with this Ole fart! J But the blind gets up, Kimmie gets the chairs in as I place the decoys and we are back ready to go in a matter of 15 minutes or so. Nice day too. Kinda overcast and cool. We sit there and chat and I wait 20 minutes or so before I start to turkey call. I always start of soft. I vary my calling for either of my box calls to either of my pot calls to maybe a yelper or two. We chat and giggle as we wait for that gobble. I pull out my Tom Turpin yelper and this time really crank on it. I mean it is loud. 3 yelps and bang! I get a gobble. Kimmies eyes are like big ole saucers as she goes “What was that!?” I just smile and say it a tom and we might be in business here! I wait my usual time to call and try again and bang – he answers me. Now I whisper to Kimmie ti might be on and this tom will tell me soon. She goes “Huh?” as she gives me a quizzical look. I know if this tom will gobble without me calling we have real good chance to get him in. And he does. He gobbles as I sit silent. He then gobbles again and I grab a box and hammer at him. Which in turn he double gobbles. Just a classic hunt going on here.
So I wait for him to gobble again and then I see him. I see this white light bulb back in the pine plantation coming at us. He gobbles and then struts. He gobbles again and then struts. All I see is this one bird and no more. Hey great he is alone. As Kimmie peers through the blind window slit I have I hear her brathing getting exicted. He gobble again and I answer him to which he double gobbles again. So I whisper to Kimmie – “Enjoy the show!” as I slide back into my chair and pick up my cup of coffee. She goes “Huh?” and doesn’t understand what I am doing. In a way I am teasing her as it is not time to call. I am reading this bird and I want him to come to me and not me to come to him. So I wait for him to gobble a bit more. As I sit back and watch Kimmie she is getting more and more excited. I whisper take your time it might happen. Wel he is out about 50 yards in the deep pines. I can see hi strut for a bit and then I loose him. I whisper to Kimmie wh helps me locate him. I call one more time to which I get gobbled at again and then I see this Tom. Now Kimmie is on my left and the bird is going left. Bad thing for a right hand shooter. But when I see this bird it don’t make sense as I see a Red, White and Blue head but no dang beard! Wow! I know I saw a symetrial fan which tells me it is a mature tom. As I watch this bird walk right to left at a hard angle on Kimmie’s left she taps ne and says “Oh Look!” I look back and there he is! A real nice long beard in full strut. But he is not coming into the decoys as planned – he is walking hard to the left and going sort of away from us. Oh no I think……….
The blind is tight with 2 people and I am huge. As I try to get Kimmie in position she tries to swing the gun out the window of the blind. I quickly snatch it back all the while watching that tom. He is well in range but slowly walking out of it. The bird is on Kimmies hard left. We are facing the wrong direction and I need to get Kimmie and the gun in position. So I take Kimmies gin from her and get on my knees as far back in the blind as I can. I am trying to leave enough room for Kimmie to get on her knees. I do have her gun mounted to a monopod which does help. Well here I am on my knees and kinda straddling Kimmie and I think man Shane ain’t gonna like this if he saw me now as I smile. It’s a ugly situation for sure but I am moving very quickly here. When Kimmie is in position I poke the gun barrel out the blind straight at the bird for her and tell her to get the bead on that bird. The Tom sees nothing but is still in strut. But he is still strutting at an angle away from us. I do slide back into my chair and open a slit in the back of the blind so I can see too. Once I see the bird I am whispering to Kim “The bird still is in range, line yoyru sights up real nice. Once there drop low with your sights and raise up until the feathers stop and the skin starts on the waddles. You tell me where you are ready as I will put to get his head up.” I say this about 3 times slowly and softly more so to calm Kimmie down. She says she is ready and I use my natural voice and “Putt”. Bang!!!!!! As I watch the bird tip over. Kimmie pulls her gun back in the blind and is all smiles and I holler no put that gun back on him now! Although I am pretty sure she made a good shot I don’t take chances. As she gets back on that bird I tell her I am going to get out of the blind and to watch that bird. If it gets up shoot again. Don’t hesitate I tell her.
Well I am out of the blind and as I take my first step I notice the gun barrel. I tell Kimmie okay safety on and she goes “Yep”. Okay pull the gun back in as I will go the bird. She pulls the gun in and is exiting the blind as I arrive at the bird. It is hit good and I stand on its neck. I see the nice long beard. And then I see those gosh darn long spurs. I go bonkers. I am a spur hunter and she has shot a bird better than anything I have ever gotten. I loose it as Kimmie arrives at her bird and stooped ole me grabs a leg to show her the spurs as this dang tom is still kicking. Stoopid how youmay ask? Well this kicking tom gets me with the other spur and opens up the inside of the middle finger knuckle clean to the bone. I see tendons the whole 10 yards. Dumb mistake……..Now we have a great bird to which we are tagging and one injured hunter me. Oh well. Kimmies tells me it needs stitches. Nah we just wrap it with a knapkin and I press it tight with a bit of electrical tape. We laod up the blind, Kimmie carries her first ever Tom and we go back to the truck. Once back at the truck I treat my wound with proper first aid. Shane and Roy do show up shortly there after. But that is my story. It was a hunt for her amd me to remember. Good thing was Kimmie shot a real nice – I mean a real nice mature Tom. Based on spur length at least a 4 to 5 yr old tom. Bad thing is she might spend a lifetime and never get a bird like this again. But to me that is why we hunt.
On a side note – I did inform Kimmie of almost everything I did. Why I did it as I was also trying to teach. Because turkey hunting to me is everything. Wife accusses me of soring like a gobbler and I do perch on the bed post at night! Oh and one other thing – Be safe out there!

One of the prettiest birds I have seen in a while. The copper hues along with the bright green tint was awesome. Spurs where deep black in color and needle sharp as I showed Kimmie what a limb-hanger looked like and why it was named as so. This one would hang by one leg or both due to those spurs! And the tail fan color almost made it look like a Rio – but it is a true Eastern


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Old 06-15-2012, 01:49 PM
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hahaha Love it. Great story JW
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:48 PM
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Good thing you weren't in season jw,
She would have bagged and tagged you too.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridge Runner View Post
not a bad bird for a girl!! (proper first aid: lick the blood off and go!) good on ya JW saved me a trip to indy! congrats to kimmy thats what turkey huntin is all about.
RR

yep RR just exactly what I did. Licked it clean till I got to the truck. At the truck it was doused with hydrogen peroxide a bit of neosporin and several band aids and I was good to go. Seeing my tendons was cool I must admit.....but it wasn't the first time.....no time to waste as we had tags to fill.....

Turkey Goddess is a real trooper and real eager to learn.......it was fun in the blind as I watched that bird and I coached her softly until she took that shot..........she calmed down rather nicely and made a real nice shot at 30 yards.......was her only chance once I got her turned around in the right position, monopods work very well and I didn't want to see him get away. It was a real show by that bird, a great hunt and will be a memory for both of us for years to come - and I was proud of myself when I a did a series of calls......looked at TG and then sat back to sip coffee. All I said was "Enjoy the show", as he was in his strut mode. The look of astonishment on TG's face will stick with me for years. Ya I was a tease and I'd do it again in an instant. but from TG I got a silent WT? ...she started sputtering till I shushed her...hehe....but there was a lesson there too. It was not time to call. That bird told me that when he strutted in the dark deep pine plantation...he needed a bit of teasing...and I knew......

JW

Last edited by JW; 06-15-2012 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:14 AM
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If I hadn't read the story, I would have sworn she had shot a Rio as the fan looks identical to the ones I have on the wall!
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:31 AM
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Wow!!! What a story Dave!!! You are an eloquent writer - you had my heart racing reading it & reliving it. It's a hunt I'll never EVER forget. We had a lot of good laughs and I learned so much. Dave called me Friday night to tell me he posted this and we discussed the rest of our seasons. I told him I'd love to hunt with him again... In a heartbeat!!!! So we may be discussing new plans for the 2013 spring turkey battle, as it gets closer. Of course I'd love to get you to hunt with us here in Indiana...

I will NEVER forget JW sitting back to sip coffee as that Tom was slowly making his way towards us. Man, how we've laughed about that! I was like W-W-WHAT??? Lol.

There's a million things I love about JW & he is a brilliant turkey hunter & teacher... But to see his hands tremble & how he starts breathing hard when he see's a turkey or hears a gobble is BY FAR my favorite thing about him!!!! It's awesome!!!!

I wish I had been with JW Sunday morning when they located all of those Gobblers. So here's my warning to you JW... Next time we hunt together, we will be joined at the hip. Sorry about your luck!!! LOL

Great pics too! I look like hell in a hand basket, but MAN that is one beautiful Tom. Thank you again JW for an amazing hunt!!!

Kim
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:49 AM
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JW, if you got them pics of Kim with her bird could you send them to my email, if you still have the email address?
I'd like to get copies made, to add to her bird when we get it to the taxidermist.
She wont let me have any pics of her with the bird, if she has any!!
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:13 AM
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Great story guys and way to go TG! That is a great Turkey from top to bottom,a real trophy for your very first bird. Thanks JW for helping her get him,I think working a bird for a new hunter or for someone who has not gotten one yet is a great experience equal to getting a bird for yourself. A good season indeed for you guys as a team.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:22 AM
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Nice detail JW LOL your welcome up here anytime to hunt turks. He saw what kinda deer we have too
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:16 AM
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Awesome just awesome !!!!
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