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    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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Got him!

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I feel very fortunate as I killed my first gobbler this past Friday on my first day of the D season at exactly the 2 hour mark into the hunt. I literally could not fall asleep the night before and left the house at 2:45 in the morning and drove 2 hrs down to a piece of state property that I frequent in the fall to bowhunt deer and have seen turkeys roosted at eye level with me in a treestand several times. This is the same land where I called in a gobbler for my friend last year and he tagged it as his first as well.

I got him after I bumped him too which provided for a pretty interesting experience. I think he was the only tom I heard all morning from the blind, but he shut up after about 30 min of dialogue with him so I went looking for him even with an orange vest on! The orange was because I was on public so I put on orange during walks between sits for safety. About a mile and 4 sits later, I couldn't get anything to gobble so I decided to come back to the blind to re-strategize. Right as I got near the spot where I heard him that morning, there he was in the middle of the non-motorized DNR forestry road, standing about 70 yds away as I cleared the bend. I believe I bumped him because as soon as I saw him I jumped into the ditch and I started calling only to have him gobble back but sounded way further down the road.

I was pretty bummed but I thought I'd try calling him back so I decided to take the ditch and gained another 50 yds or so and climbed back up toward the road. With a big stump for cover, I peaked my head out and could see him feeding in the open now heading for my blind! As he turned away and was about 80 yds away at this point, I managed to belly crawl out fast and steak my hen decoy in on the forestry road and back to position then started calling. While softly yelping and purring, I slowly pointed my gun in his direction and positioned myself and he started closing in but ever so slowly. No strutting or gobbling, just a few steps, pecks at the ground and stopping to look at the decoy. As he made his way closer within the 50 yd range I stopped calling and let him continue.

Making sure he wasn't just some other bird, I didn't take the shot at what I eyeballed as 40 yds because I couldn't tell if there was a beard and he never opened up the fan either. He just seemed more curious than anything. I let him get closer and finally saw the beard bouncing up and down and decided I'd take the shot at 30. As he crossed that mark, his head was all over the place so I placed the bead a little above the base of the neck and squeezed. He didn't even flop. I can move now so I pulled out the rangefinder and what do ya know, 28 yds!

I hooted, hollered, threw air punches, and tagged my bird.

Wished I had a "in the field" hero shot, but I was solo and no one was around to help so I stopped at a friend's house on the way home and had him take a pic on the sidewalk for me as well as help weigh the bird on his fishing scale.


8" beard


Both spurs were 7/8"




My friend weighed him for me on a fish scale, but we didn't get a picture of the scale. He was 21lbs 15 oz.

Good luck to all who are still going out there!!

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Fun stuff, nice first bird.

I wish I could say I got all my birds like a H. S. Strut video, but nope! wink

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What a great story. Now next year sign up and get on a team.We can always use more players

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What a great story. Now next year sign up and get on a team.We can always use more players

DrJ, I thought about it actually, but decided that I shouldn't since I only had Fri and Sun to hunt due to family obligations on Saturday. Next year, I think I will. It's a lot of fun keeping up with all the teams and their success!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • my guess would be Asian beetles!!!!!!!
    • all this to increase the der herd, then ole mother nature comes along and throws us a couple winters it did a few years ago................and then what?
    • Generally people want more and/or bigger.  Those two things are what’s driving the revamp of the deer plan.  No? PTSD flashbacks from old debates and perceived innuendo in this one. “Antler Mongers” was one.  Equating letting young deer pass/prefer older deer as “catch and release”. May as well just shed hunt so one can brag is probably worse.  No, neither slapped on me personally but it’s part of swaying an argument against the opposition, whom I must be. Doesn’t everyone?  Or lack of change if it suits you better?  That’s just human nature.   Yes, PF, I agree that habitat is key.  But how do we improve that if we can’t even get 50 foot buffers for cleaner water and bird habitat without driving a wedge in farmer/hunter relationships?  Not net gain public land proposals?  Not using our license fees to the fullest extent to improve habitat on the public lands we already have?  Progress there would be phenomenal.   I just got done with a couple hour scouting drive in the area and checked around a couple public hunting places that look great from the road.  This time of year the ground is a canvas to tell me what’s living where.  I could pretty much pinpoint the borders of the public ground/private ground transitions just by the tracks I saw.  Or lack thereof.   The good news is might’ve been fortunate enough to have gained some new access via a work friend relationship.  I have the go ahead for turkeys and didn’t see one box blind on the field edges.  There may be hope.    Carry on.   Almost forgot; I just said eliminate party hunting for BUCKS.   Still game getting together to hunt with friends and help meet harvest goals.
    • Your point is very valid on the lack of habitat in much of southern MN as it is in much of the old zone 4 area. Each area of the state has a different "hole in the bucket". While that area lacks habitat, many other areas, including mine, have plenty of habitat, but lack high quality food to get the herd thru hard winters.
    • Leech,  I think many areas in WI have herds that have declined just as much as MN. I hunt SE of Turtle Lake, and used to see 25+ deer on opening morning before 9am on a regular basis. Now I feel good if I see a few critters the whole weekend. The many years of "T" seasons, "Herd control, and liberal antlerless tags have  dropped numbers in that area to a fraction of what they once were. It is what it is. I don't think they are doing better than MN is, but they started with a lot larger herd.  Their wolf issues will continue in the north, and CWD in the south. I don't envy their situation either.   FYI,  My land sits on the south end of the wolf range in NE Wadena county, MN. They generally do not bother my area except in the spring during calving season, although I have two of the buggers wandering around last November during rifle hunting. I usually have way more issues with coyotes and bears taking my fawns than wolves. 
    • I like sustainability as well. We party hunting and while that is a dirty word to many of the solitary hunters it's what we do. We never deplete the deer in our area and it's rare for us to fill even half our tags. Nobody gets more tags than one in our area.  I did actually make a solid proposal- habitat. But nobody took a moment to even touch that one.   I'm not sure if you are familiar with the southern part of the state but here is very little habitat outside of the southeast region. You just can't maintain the numbers to hold the numbers of deer that you need to get to where everyone who wants to harvest a deer can do so.   There was one specific post calling for an end to party hunting.   Habitat, habitat, habitat.   We should be focusing on improving habitat, bringing youth into the lifestyle and providing a positive public image to ensure future generations can enjoy hunting as well.    
    • Big Dave2, Just throwing the no party hunting out there as one possible solution. I certainly do not advocate getting rid of it. There are several other things being thrown around out there that I don't agree with as well.
    •   I would bet some cash there is a ton of lady bugs that wintered in there!
    • Well i wasn't sure if its the glue in the plywood or what. Have they been known to do tge same to a cedar or redwood built house?
    •   Op, ran off to the Sportsman show with my son before posting the map that went with my post.    Satchmo, I didn't think you were saying that Wisconsin was doing anything better.  It's just a lot of folks hold them up as a better state for Deer when there are a lot of factors our DNR has to deal with that they don't.   Good thread. Lot's of close personal feelings being shared.