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My 09' Hunt

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Not wanting to hijack the photo thread I put this up here, I got a bit long winded but here it is;

Alright, sorry it took me a few days to get back here and tell the story, just been busy getting moved home and working...

So, I bagged my first turkey last year, a jake, before that it was 6 years of failure (I like to call it learning) and mishaps, so this year I was out to find out if my curse was lifted or if last year was a fluke.

I couldn't hunt the first morning of my season and only could sneak out for a few hours that evening; however I did see 2 toms with hens in the field that day so I knew I was most likely dealing with some henned up birds. Wednesday I was going to put in a full day of hunting and then hunt Thursday morning before heading back up with school for the day.

Wednesday morning brought a few birds gobbling on the roost like crazy but everything went quiet once they flew down, mid morning I had a tom silently cross the field and skirt by just out of range. That evening I decided to sit in a funnel area that leads out of a steep ravine and up to a roost area, more or less I was on a real gradual hillside with a flat area halfway down and a large flat on top. All was quiet most of the day except for a lone hen that would not leave me alone and the 13 deer I saw (more on both of those later!) With about a half hour left of shooting time I heard a gobble on the opposite ridge, a few quiet clucks and a response and I knew this bird was coming in fast, however he had to come up a steep 5-6’ bank at the bottom of the hill and I couldn’t see him. I quickly repositioned and got ready, only to have the bird move and come over the hill 20yds farther down than I expected. I tried to swing on him but he had my location pegged and busted me.

So I had one last morning to hunt on Thursday, I had tried to roost a bird the night before but wasn’t successful so I returned to the same area I had seen the tom the night before because I knew there were hens roosted behind me and hoped to get in the middle of them and a tom. In the morning I heard a few gobbles on either side of me, but none very close. Shortly after fly down I had 3 hens near me having quite the little conversation, I kept imitating the loudest one and all three were soon circling my area and clucking and yelping constantly looking for this fourth bird. All this commotion caught the attention of a near by gobbler, he came in very quickly but hung up on the same bank as the bird from the night before, I could see his tail fan every once in awhile but never had a shot. Eventually the hens all left and headed down the hill toward him, soon all 4 birds were heading the opposite way.

So at this point I was fairly convinced that my curse had not been lifted and I was about to start another streak….However a faint double gobble caught my ear, I had heard these birds on the roost but that had been it. I decided to stay quiet as there had been a ton of calling from the area already and these birds didn’t need any more. Soon I heard another gobble that sounded closer and was about to reposition to the other side of the tree when I noticed a deer about 30 yds away, I decided to sit tight so not to spook the deer. With-in two minuets I heard the gobblers again, this time much closer. I scanned the flat area above and behind me but could not see anything yet. I finally let out a few quiet clucks and actually jumped at the response, there was at least 6 gobbles and these birds were on top of me. Slowly turning my head towards the top of the hill revealed 5 fans just sticking up of the top at a mere 30 yds, however these birds were on my right and I could not turn for a shot. Now as luck would have it, that deer had spotted me and started to blow and stamp its foot, not good. Worried that the deer would spook and startle the turkeys I decided to turn up on one knee and take a shot at the closest bird, who was in a half strut and facing right at me. This is where things went down hill, or maybe up…..

So I pulled the shot high and took off a few tail feathers, got too my feet and took a few steps up the hill, all of a sudden there were birds EVERYWHERE! A mental recount puts them at around 9 toms and a few jakes and hens, regardless of numbers, there was mass chaos, birds running every which way, a deer that still didn’t know what was happening and me trying to find one too put my tag on. The one I had missed was a bit startled and still the closest too me, I tried to shoot again, but hadn’t pumped my gun and had no shell in the chamber. I quickly fixed that and took a few more steps up the hill, by this point the bird was running away and about to make it over the ridge. I quickly shot and missed in front of the bird, which scared him and he turned on a dime and came right back towards me! Finally a shot found it’s mark and I quickly went to get my bird as I was out of shells and could just see a last second escape happening, but it was not to be. As I was picking up my bird there were still turkeys all around me, putting and taking off in crazed flight from the top of the ridge, one hen even went up into a tree not to far away and watch me.

So while not a made for TV hunt, I got my bird this year and got to feel a bit like Rambo charging over the hill!

Hope you guys enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed the hunt and retelling it!

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Awesome, sounds just like the story I want to have. Never forget hunts like that. What a great way to get a bird. Congratulations

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