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brittman

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About brittman

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    MN

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  1. brittman

    Last Season

    I would be out a morning or two if I still had the tag. Afternoons must be a sauna in a blind. We hunted in shorts and t-shirts in early May and were still hot when afternoon temps reached around 82 - 85 degrees.
  2. brittman

    Headhunters

    Assume you were in a blind since you are bow hunting. That is a long time ... active bird or no bird. Very Nice.
  3. brittman

    Season e

    Bird by work living big in a non hunting zone.
  4. brittman

    Season e

    Started Season E up where I have hunted in the past. Wanted to hit the old and maybe some new woods where I have killed grouse, woodcock and several turkeys. Up before 3 and on the road. By 4:15 I am parked and working a little on my laptop. Chatting / skyping Europe. Shut that down around 4:30 get out and put on my tick sprayed camo. I am parked by the big woods with a good half mile walk in before turkey territory is found. Well I am either getting older, lazier, or smarter ... but there is not enough gobbling to pull me down that trail road. Quickly drive to another spot about 3 miles away. Stop, listen ... nothing. Another 2 miles and I am parked again at a spot where I have set up in the evening with my son ... Public land or well at least unposted trust type land that has been partially logged. Get out and I here gobbles to the N, NE and S. Head about 150 yards from the truck. Just me, my gun and my favorite call. It is around 5:15AM and birds are on the ground. Gobbler to the NE must only be about 100 - 150 yards away ... I cannot see him though. I am out in a mostly open "field" ... find a small pine tree and sit down in the swale / depression in front of the tree. Call and he answers hard. At times it seems like he is closing the gap and then not. I figure he is on a strutting ground ... he is moving back and forth and when he is close and facing me ... load ... further away and turned away ... softer. There is a willow thicket between us, but a trail road that could bring him to me. Anyways he seems hung up. Hen behind me starts long cadence yelping and I decide to copy her. She is far enough behind me that it will take her time to walk towards me. As I hit those long cadence yelps the gobbler to the north starts gobbling ... wait there is two and they are getting closer. Lot's of taller grass patches in this over grown "field" ... around 5:40 or so two Toms pop out of the grass at around 45 yards. They quietly move towards me looking for that hen. Lead bird goes into full display for about 5 - 10 seconds. When he comes out of fanning I drop him. Walked off exactly 30 paces. Saw three separate groups of birds on the drive home and these were in areas where turkeys should be seen, but usually you don't. Lot's of birds around this area this year.
  5. brittman

    Season e

    Season E ... Early morning for me. Up before 3 ... bird down by 5:45AM. May did not disappoint this year. Will share later. Birds gobbling pretty heavily this morning. This was a public land bird. Come to the conclusion that the hatch two years ago was really good. Lot's of 2 year old Toms around.
  6. brittman

    Anyone else getting whooped?

    They are out and about again today. Most (well the ones I can see) seem to be using fields, but with some type of hill or tree line to break the easterly wind. All toms spotted this morning were with hens at 7:30 - 8:30 this morning. No single Toms, groups of 2 - 4 ...
  7. brittman

    Anyone else getting whooped?

    Kids need days off. I sometimes spend that time scouting and if the area you hunt allows you to watch over it (especially if it is an ag/woods mixed area) ... find a spot, park and see how the birds are moving. Go listen to them gobble on the roost and fly down one morning ... not from the blind, but from an area where you can maybe figure out their pattern.
  8. brittman

    Anyone else getting whooped?

    Dragging kids out pre-dawn is OK if you have a roosted gobbler, but often they fly down another direction and are then held in place until around 8:30. That is a lot of quiet time. I have found my kids have a much better time when we head out at 8AM or 3PM. I try limit pre-dawn hunts (with kids) to one per week. I am seeing quite a few gobblers and much tom movement around right now ... going to work, driving around Washington county (always scouting a little bit), and just running errands ... They are strutting in new and more open places, crossing fields mid-day, they are looking for that lonely hen. All this late season activity is why I have never bothered applying for early seasons. May is my fun time. I have a lot at work right now, so I am planning on pulling my tag for Season E starting next Wednesday. Looking back, I have never shot a MN bird in the month of April.
  9. brittman

    Woodstock nests

    Great photo !!!!!!!
  10. brittman

    Anyone else getting whooped?

    So yesterday was the first day in about 6 days of hunting that we had birds in range. Today it stepped up another notch. Picked up my son and decided to go turkey hunting and he could make up trap league later this week. We drove to our spot and the neighbors property had six Toms in the pasture next to our pasture with our blind. Five gobblers were together rather close to a swamp edge and another off by himself. Pretty much what we saw in the bean field on Saturday, but now closer. Absolutely no way to get to the blind even with just a thin single row of trees between the two fields. We parked at the approach and they were gobbling up a storm. We walked through the woods from the truck to the field edge, set two decoys (jake and breeding hen) and and then back up down the trail road a bit. I called and the gobblers responded heavily. We could barely see them through the woods and across the little swamp ... birds fanned out and strutting. I called (and probably over called a bit) and they were comfortable answering, but hanging tight in their field. All of a sudden a live hen started yelping and yelping aggressively across our field - fortunately on the other side of the field. If she came across the field and hooked up with the mob of gobblers we would be done. I sat there and dueled it out with her matching yelp cadence with yelp cadence. The gobblers were going nuts and totally lit up. She finally stopped calling and I could see (at least for now) that she was not coming across the field to toll them away. So I stopped calling. Man is it tough for me to go silent. About 10 minutes later, the five Toms strolled out from the single tree belt and "remobbed" up. The five Toms came straight at us and then stopped 30 yards out. One Tom really stretch out his neck to lock over the situation. Fearing they would bolt, I said take one now. Boom and the tom was down. Two other gobblers stood over the fallen bird, but did not attack him. We got up and moved quickly to the bird - just in case it did get up. It never moved or flopped at all, the head completely crushed by the shot ... We actually had to chase off the other four Toms who were in no real hurry to leave, until it clicked in their head and they ran as fast as a turkey can to the far woods... It was nice to see my son have a little redemption and make a clean kill, and if he would not have missed yesterday - this show would have been missed. Why five mature, 2 year old Toms were still running together at this time in May is beyond me ...
  11. brittman

    Woodstock nests

    Years ago now I walked up on a woodcock nest with freshly hatched chicks. Of course it was a rare time that I did not have my camera along and for those too young to remember, my cell phone did not yet have a camera They were maybe the size of my thumb. Momma was nearby doing the broken wing thing and flutter up in the air - so I did not stay over the nest for very long.
  12. brittman

    Anyone else getting whooped?

    Me - have not even bought a license this year - well yet. Last year helped three people get birds (two first timers) before toting a gun myself. Going to go listen at my spot(s) in Western WI (Somerset area). If I hear them or roost them I will buy my son's license he was drawn for ... other wise ... will let it slide. Only bird I really want to get at this point is a white buff tipped Merriam's turkey (not going again this year . Otherwise it is about getting others on birds. Can't believe how fast every thing is leafing out right now.
  13. brittman

    Anyone else getting whooped?

    Toms were moving mid day (after school) today. Had three come in ... all silent ... could not even hear them walking. Hens that walked through never a peep or a put. First two came through at 45 yards (right on the edge of woods - there goes that theory), just a little too far out for my son to shoot. One was in full strut. They could see the hen decoy, but a ridge blocked their view of my jake. Interestingly a hen came up the wood line from the opposite direction and turned in with the two Toms and I suppose drifted them away ... Third tom came in silent and was on top of my DSD jake decoy before we knew it. I could not have been looking down for more than a minute... I could not see the decoy from where I was sitting in the blind. My son said he was right behind the decoy. I told him take the shot when he sticks his neck high in the air. He missed. It flew way and no second chance. I realized I had set the decoy too close ... it was a 9 - 10 yard shot. He has killed birds out at 25 -30 yards... Too dang close - no margin for error. The decoy in front was no help either. At least he missed high and did not rip apart the $100+ decoy. He was not overly crushed by the miss ... helps to have killed 'em before.
  14. Years ago, I entered the woods real early ... Near what I thought would be isomewhat close their roost. I ended up 45 yards or so from a gobbler. Two hens one almost above me and the other out 70 yards or so. I watched and listened to it all unfold. Hens tree yelping the gobbler would actually fan out and even strut on the tree and face both directions to gobble. I chose not to call, move or make a sound. Nearing fly down time the hens dropped down first. They ran off about 70 yards from me. The gobbler facing them gobbled repeatedly and knew exactly where they were as they yelped back. Then as I started to feel dejected cause it would not play in my favor ... The gobbler spun 180 and pitched down right at me ... I actually stood up as he was landing and he short stopped 10 feet in front of me. I took him 10 yards out. Learned a lot that morning watching what you typically just hear and imagine.
  15. The simple answer is hunt where they want to be. I would say that hunting in the woods is often more difficult because the birds can move about relatively randomly. If you can find a trail, forest road, and or open area that is being used as a strutting ground - odds of success improve. That said, most of the MN/WI woods I hunt or have hunted do not have traditional roost trees or even roost areas ... the birds seem to move about with no loyalty to a specific spot from day to day. General area yes, specific spots not very often. The birds that I have hunted near a roost are often unpredictable ... from what I have seen most often. The hen or hens fly down first ... the gobbler quickly follows down, but may or may not fly down to the hen. He goes down his preferred direction ... lands and the hens quickly run up to him. I typically hunt woods and deep woods without a blind. Nestled up to a tree you some times get caught out of position with birds rarely approaching you straight on. Almost every Tom that I have brought in - in the woods has circled me at some level. Open fields birds are easier to pattern, but they can hang up out of range if they have been pressured. I typically hunt fields inside a blind. Blinds are certainly easier for kids and older adults to hunt out of. Edges can be good, but I have often seen birds skirt the edges of woods (out a safe distance) until they see the spot where they want to head in. The birds then turn 90 degrees and head right into the woods. Again, maybe this was because those birds have had a negative experience (hunter, predator) when they previously walked the edge line.