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Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:11 am
by Out4trout
Plans in Place
Friday evening my son Tristan and I hatched a plan to hit the turkey woods first thing Saturday morning.
All the turkey hunting paraphernalia (calls, clothing etc) were laid out for the early start.

Weekend is Here
Saturday, 4:00am. Check, -2c with a frost covered lawn. Very little wind. Perfect!!

Woke up Tristan, perked a pot of brew and a few slurps later we are ready by 4:45. By 5:15 we slipped silently into the woods, walking to our spot avoiding every branch, all the while listening for the first gobble. Comfortably situated by 5:25, no gobbles were heard until 5:40am, when a distant gobble sounded off. Moments later, estimated 150yds, some tree yelps started and the game is in swing. We both called, me on the box and Tristan on the slate pot. He is a fast study, as his slate calls sounded great in my opinion. Hoping the birds would agree, we called sporadically.

Game Time
At 5:55, a nearby gobble surprised us both. A few scrapes on the slate brought an immediate response. It's GO time!! Things were looking up for a great morning hunt, and we were just in the first inning of the game. The gobbling was getting closer, and it was obvious this bird was coming in on a string. Sure enough, he walked around the swale and beelined for the earlier heard hen calls. It always amazes me how these birds are able to know exactly where the call originated, even from a great distance. We laid eyes on the bird, a decent sized fella and the decision was obvious.Take it when it comes! Tristan had the gun raised and in the bird marched. At 20 yds he stopped to check out the decoy, head sideways to us, and a BOOM - a perfect headshot. Bird down!!

Checked my phone, 6:15am Fist bumps and smiles all around. :D

Tagged the bird, then hunted a bit longer, then some pics and home for breakfast by 8am. A most enjoyable hunt, this is Tristan's 2nd bird and a dandy Jake, 5" beard, nubby spurs and gobbling like a boss. Another tail for his wall. Hunting is a great way to spend family time together and success is just icing on that cake. Watching my son excited to hunt, then take a bird, can't be happier! :)

Early Morning Jake
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Gleaming in the Early Morning Sun
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12+ pellets head/neck
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5" Beard
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Time for Breakfast
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Good Luck on your hunts!

O4T 8)

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:25 pm
by emeraldpirate
Wow nice Gobbler, Sounds like you guy's have the routine down to an exact science. I too would like to do some Turkey hunting locally either on the Quebec side or Ontario. I'm in Aylmer Qc. And was searching the web for some info on local Turkey hunting but having trouble finding some good/accurate info. Any advise to send me in the right direction would be appreciated.

Thanks

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:39 pm
by RJ
Very nice Len! Congrats to Tristan!

RJ

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:31 pm
by Jul0682
Very nice man! Congrats :)

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:10 pm
by smitty55
Way to go lads. That'll make for a fine meal and a nice soup after.

Cheers

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:14 am
by fatluke
Another great hunt fellas. Thanks for reporting Len.

Funny you mentioned "on a string". Yesterday we pulled a big Tom 500 yards across the neighbour's property in less then 4 minutes "on a string". He came to the rock fence line, saw the hen decoy, strutted, gobbled and then walked away. I guess we didn't have a tight enough knot in the string. That was the most bizzare thing I have ever seen.

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 9:28 pm
by Out4trout
Thanks for the comments. My two most memorable hunts have been both my son's harvested turkeys.

emeraldpirate wrote:Any advise to send me in the right direction would be appreciated.

Take the turkey course (best in person) to get the T on your outdoors card, then scout. Start scouting and prepping now for next April.
There is public land around that holds turkeys. It's a time investment to figure them out, but well worth it.

fatluke wrote:Funny you mentioned "on a string". Yesterday we pulled a big Tom 500 yards across the neighbour's property in less then 4 minutes "on a string". He came to the rock fence line, saw the hen decoy, strutted, gobbled and then walked away. I guess we didn't have a tight enough knot in the string. That was the most bizzare thing I have ever seen.


Yup, that's been my experience also. They seem to have an innate ability to be totally predictable, until being hunted, then they do the oddest things. Especially the big Toms. One day I had 2 Toms gobbling their brains out, coming right in. They hopped onto a rail fence, heading my way, marched by at 50 yds and totally ignored me. I thought my calling brought them in but no, I watched them through binocs, both stopped in a dusting bowl.

My experience with decoys is love hate. Some Toms come right in and molest the decoy, while other Toms stop looking and walk away once they see the hen doesn't move to them. I have harvested my 3 biggest Toms without decoys.

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 5:16 am
by fatluke
I agree with the love/hate relationship of decoys. Always hard to decide should I, or shouldn't I. Then when things go wrong you really start questioning yourself. In my opinion though, that is what makes turkey hunting on of the most addicting hunts.

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:47 am
by Markus
enjoyed this one! Great hunitng...and pics!

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 12:44 pm
by C5
Hey Len.. congrats to Tristan..

funny enough they were been silent my way for the whole first week.. then with a bit of warm weather coming all of the sudden, gobbling everywhere.

Still with the hens though.. seems we are a bit later than normal this year... I believe numbers are done but still lots around. (a few less after the Sunday hunt though:))

One other thing I have noticed is that they all seem to be on the green this year... very little activity in old corn or grain.. at least where I hunt.

good luck rest of the way!

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 8:51 am
by i got worms
Great story, great bird and great memories made for you and your son!

Re: Early Morning in the Turkey Woods

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:06 pm
by bradford2
Now there's a head shot. Some darn fine shooting right there!