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First Eastern

Old 04-26-2022, 12:47 PM
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Default First Eastern

Hi fellow beard busters. Here's some background on my first Eastern gobbler. I got my bird on the last morning, Apr 24, of Florida's spring season, in N. Jefferson Co. east of Hwy 19 near Monticello. I hunted a bottomlad for 2 mornings before, took a day off, and then went back for a last chance. The 3rd time, I held the gate so it wouldn't squeak & moan, and drove in with a flashlight pointed at the ground. No headlights or even parking lights. I walked to the spot I had heard him and seen 3 hens on the first morning.

At 0632, he started gobbling, which was 15-20mins earlier than the previous two hunts. Five mins later, he's on the ground gobbling and strutting. From my spot, he was behind some cover and a tree between me and him. I waited until two hens yelped to him, and then I hit my slate (self made ) 3X. Three girls waled up to him and they socialized for a bit. The two other mornings, I only saw hens, and they filtered uphill in a SE direction, with me looking straight W. I figured the hens would do the same and pull big boy along with them. They did, and as soon as he got clear of the tree I had lasered at 58yds, I shot...Boom! I drank the Federal TSS kool-aid and dropped him at 61yds. I had patterned my gun with Longbeard XR out to 55 for some decent patterns, so I had confidence for a few yards past the tree.

Technically, he's an Eastern, but his wing primaries look a lot darker and blacker than the Rio's I'm used to hunting on Mauna Kea. This morning, I was in the woods outside Coolidge, GA. No luck, but I saw toms strutting, so tomorrow am, I'll be in a new spot closer to the action. If I connect tomorrow, I'll share more pix.

Wt: 21.5#
Beard: 12"
Spurs L, R: 1", 1.0625"

Good luck to everyone who's still chasing the dream.
Attached Thumbnails First Eastern-thumbnail_img_0848.jpg   First Eastern-thumbnail_img_0858.jpg   First Eastern-thumbnail_img_0841.jpg  

Last edited by JoeA; 04-26-2022 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Typo fix
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Old 04-27-2022, 05:00 PM
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Congrats! the primaries are kind of dark but by the rules thats an Eastern. Awesome beard and coloring. I have been using the TSS with my 20 gauge with great results. Luckily I bought a few boxes before the big price hike. I'm still using the Winchester Longbeards in my 12 though. Good luck in Georgia, hope ya get one to flopping!
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Old 04-27-2022, 05:30 PM
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Nice bird, congratulations!
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Old 04-30-2022, 01:20 PM
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Well done.

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Old 05-04-2022, 03:46 AM
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car
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Nice bird, congrats!
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Old 05-08-2022, 01:57 AM
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Congratulations!
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