Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > General Hunting Forums > Turkey Hunting
Been a While Gang... Few Updates and a Bird >

Been a While Gang... Few Updates and a Bird

Turkey Hunting Whether it's spring or fall doesn't matter to this bunch. Great tips on calling, bustin flocks, using blinds and more.

Been a While Gang... Few Updates and a Bird

Old 05-08-2013, 06:19 AM
Nontypical Buck
Thread Starter
SwampCollie's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Where the ducks don't come no more
Posts: 4,420
Default Been a While Gang... Few Updates and a Bird

I've been absent for a while around here. Been busy raising youngin's and working and moving and marryin and all sorts of good stuff.

I've called in a few birds for folks over the last few springs, but actually (and shockingly to those of you who have been around here a while) hadn't pulled the trigger on a spring bird since about 2010.

Well I got a right nice wedding gift from a friend of mine named Hunter. He knew I was looking for a good place to chase some spring birds. I have some killer places to deer hunt right here by the house, but there are no turkeys in my stomping grounds.

So Hunter looked at my fiancee's (wedding is on June 8) wedding registry and could tell that I had nothing to do with it. Towels and Linens and pots and pans are not my thing really. So his father and he decided to purchase our family a membership into their hunt club in Sussex County. Couldn't think of a nicer thing for a friend to do, I am still just tickled pink about it.

I called a bird in for Hunter two Wednesday's ago, guess that would have been about the 24th of April. It was his first bird and it put on a nice show for us.

Last week Hunter was tied up with vehicle trouble, so I went on my own. Having only been to this place once before (but having heard 6 different longbeards and having seen 4 or 5) I knew where I wanted to be.

I set up down in a bottom just off a fescue field where I am planning on putting a big patch of sunflowers. At 6am he sounded off, right where he was last week.

Now, last week this bird was going ape on the limb and then pitched down away from us and made his way back in with another sub-dom (aka red-head) longbeard. We were set up on top of the rise in the field and the birds just didn't want to quite crest the hill. Hunter and I were trying to double. I should have just told him to go on and kill the bird when it turned to walk off, but we were greedy and that bird went on to live another day. The bird we ended up killing was a different one.

So knowing this, I had set up at the bottom of the hill where the bird strutted and gobbled his head off the week before. And just like the week prior he flew down away from me. Only he kept right on going off the property and out into a wheat field through the woods a few hundred yards.

So at 7am, knowing that this bird would likely make his way back towards my set up later in the morning, I decided to meet him halfway and do just a bit of scouting on this new place in the meantime. I went intot he woods (which is a mix of tall pine and hardwood swamp/creek bottom) about 125 yards and waited for 10 minutes until he gobbled on his own. I kept a tab on him and moved forward another 100 yards until I hit the old cattle fence that marks the property line. I walked the edge for 50 yards until I came to an open stand of old growth pines. Just then a helpful crow flew over sounding off and the bird gobbled. He sounded not 60 yards away.

I hit the deck and pulled my mask up and stuffed a call back in my mouth. I hadn't been set for 15 seconds when I saw the red-head picking along through the woods and a few moments later I could see the snowball head of the dominant bird coming through the woods. I called softly and he gobbled and started strutting. For the next 15 minutes, the bird walked the edge of the creek, gobbling and strutting, but only showing me pieces of him, and probably never much inside of 45 yards.

Finally, he tired of it and moved on off through the woods away from me, red-head in tow, gobbling away.

Quickly I picked up and gave chase. Moving off to the left some so as to avoid coming up clean behind him. He was very sportsmanlike and kept up the gobbling every few minutes so I could keep track of his movement. It was about the only cooperative thing this bird did.

After a 250 yard run/stalk/sneak I came upon an open oak hill that was just scratched all to pieces. The bird was just down in the bottom probably not more than 50 yards away with a thick blow down between us that hid my move into position.

I set up and cut hard on the slate and he erupted. At one point I heard the bird walking in the leaves and even heard him drumming, which means for my muzzle blown duck hunter ears that he was well in range. At one point I caught a bit of movement through the blowdown, but he never came round it and just like before after 10 minutes of this he went on away from there.

Bare in mind, I have never been through this block of woods before, so while I knew I was on our property thanks to the old fence, I otherwise didn't really have the best of bearings on where I was at, and certainly didn't know the lay of the land. If that same game was to happen again tmw, he would have been dead already by now.

Google Earth being the wonderful thing that it is, I knew how the woods tapered down to a point behind an old abandoned cabin. I knew I must have been getting close, and based on where that bird went, I could tell he was back out into the hay field off our property. Well, they don't get big by being stupid. I decided to make my way back out of the swamp and glass the big turned over field that runs the length of our piece and finally ends at the fescue patch where I started the morning.

As I picked along, I came to a pretty bottom, with lush green grass, gently sloping uphill to the field. I decided to take a break and run the call one time just to see what would happen. The time was 850am by now.

Following my own rule, I got set up and completely ready before I struck a note on the slate. A lesson I learned the hard way as a young man when I was prospecting for a bird and actually found one. 15 seconds later that bird came in a-running and found me standing in the path with my gun slung looking about for a good tree to hide behind... too late....

Anyway, I called and got three instant responses. Two on the left and one on the right. All within 125 yards! The bird on the right was up in the field. The other two seemed to be exactly where I had just come from, but not a second later the bird I had been chasing all morning sounded off, and he was still way out in the hay field off our land. Well alright then....

Figuring that a bird in an open strutting area wouldn't come into the woods I put my attention on the left pair. 5 minutes later here came the first bird, big ol' white softball head. Not far behind, a second white head bird going in and out of strutt. I called again and they both started strutting and gobbling.

I needed them to come a bit closer, they might have been in range, but I wasn't totally comfotable with it. I have a legitamate 60-70 yard turkey gun; which is useless because I don't like shooting birds over 35 yards. You don't need 500hp to get groceries and pick up the kids... but that doesn't mean it won't get the job done right?

There were two spots where the birds had to cross openings. Because I saw the second bird strut first, for some reason I put a target on him. The front bird had a hell of a rope on him and he crossed the opening out of strutt at about 50 yards. I let him go on through. The second bird crossed at 70 and in stutt. Ooops...

So they make their way past me and hit the open green patch, which is conveiently blocked by yet another broken off tree branch. I can see tail fan tips going back and forth and back and forth. I purred lightly and they gobbled again. I held what I had and contemplated trying to put an Elmer Fudd on these birds on up to the blow down when I saw a white head sneaking through the grass around the edge of the blow down. The front bird had left the other strutter and was coming in to see what was up. I waiting for him to stop behind a tree and swiveled 90 degrees to the right. He came clear of that tree and I let him keep on coming. Finally at about 25 yards he reversed course to either walk around the blow over the other way or go back to his buddy. I didn't wait to see which.

Bird only weighed 18-4. Had 1 1/8" spurs, sharp as needles and a 10 3/4" beard. Put on a good show and overall I had a right nice chase all morning with plenty of gobbling and zero hen or hunter (not buddy Hunter but other hunters) interfearance.

My son William just turned 6 months old. Right cute little guy. Loves the sound of my turkey calls... which is more than I can say for most of the turkeys. I think he'll turn out just fine

Looked like something got a hold of the back end of this bird, he was missing three tail feathers that had already started to grow back.

SwampCollie is offline  
Old 05-08-2013, 06:34 AM
Nontypical Buck
Psylocide's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 1,035

Great story... thanks for sharing.
Psylocide is offline  
Old 05-08-2013, 09:10 AM
Typical Buck
swampbuster's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wye Mountain, Arkansas
Posts: 865

Great story congrats on your turkey
swampbuster is offline  
Old 05-08-2013, 10:38 AM
Nontypical Buck
Bible_Man's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Southern TN
Posts: 1,018

Awesome bird! Sounds like a top notch morning.
Bible_Man is offline  
Old 05-08-2013, 12:51 PM
Nontypical Buck
RPD63's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lutz, Florida. Turkey woods in the spring.
Posts: 1,143

Great job. Congrats
RPD63 is offline  
Old 05-09-2013, 03:51 AM
Fork Horn
Thunderchicken217's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 197

Great job and glad to see you got to squeeze off on one yourself. I to know what its like not to actually shoot for years at a time myself. I have a 14yr old son and turkey hunting had become a spectator/calling gig for me for years as well. However I have tagged out this yr with 2 birds and they are the first ones I've killed since 2009. My son has gotten to the point he can call fairly well now and has started to return the favors for me. Great feeling hearing your boy sitting behind you calling and applying everything you've tried to teach him since he was little. Anyhow, congrats and glad you've had a good season.
Thunderchicken217 is offline  
Old 05-09-2013, 05:02 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 495

That's sweet! Congrats !
Timbrhuntr is offline  
Old 05-10-2013, 12:14 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NewLowell ,Ontario ,Canada
Posts: 2,765

Congrats there bud ! Nice to see your name around. You wont have much stand here as all the new guys have taken over and us Old guys are kicked to the curb
Adrian J Hare is offline  
Old 05-11-2013, 05:39 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 495

Originally Posted by Adrian J Hare View Post
Congrats there bud ! Nice to see your name around. You wont have much stand here as all the new guys have taken over and us Old guys are kicked to the curb
I don't know Adrian that guy looks fairly young and still wet behind the ears not old and grizzled like you !!
Timbrhuntr is offline  
Old 05-11-2013, 07:56 PM
Super Moderator
Bocajnala's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 9,161

Sounds like a great morning, thanks for sharing.
Bocajnala is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.