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HateHumminbird

Brother's Bird a Lover AND a Fighter! w/ pics

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steve_rs.JPG

After a very short hunt, my brother tagged a nice bird at 6:30 this evening.

Getting into the woods, there was a gobbler firing up on his own about 200 yards below the base of a good ridge, strutting away in an open field. Putting himself between the bird and a known roost location, all it really took was a few yelps. The bird double-gobbled, and closed the distance in a matter of minutes, spitting and drumming the whole way.

The bird worked his way to 20 yards, and my brother put him down hard. Upon closer inspection, this bird was more than just a forlorn loverboy, he had about a 4” gash on his front left breast. He also had another good rip on his right leg. I’ve seen pock-marks and small scabs, but the nastiness of a scab on this bird was the size of a large willow-leaf! Absolutely disgusting.

scab_rs.JPG

This bird was in the same general area we’ve been watching four gobblers since last fall. One of those birds is massive, with some ultra-long hooks. I got a look at his spurs from a spotting scope this winter and they are darn long and curved. No one could ever know if it’s the same birds, but it’s tempting to thing of a sharp-spurred, right-footed warrior up on the hill that exiled this bird all alone to the other side of the valley. I’d strut all alone too if I’d been torn into like this bird was!

steve2_Rs.JPG

STATS

Tom - 20lbs 14oz

Spurs - 15/16" adn 7/8"

Beard - 10 1/8"

Score - 59.29

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Great story Joel and congrats to your bro! That is one roughed up bird!

I like the pic on the tailgate, just goes to show that with some prep, even tailgate pictures can be done in style grin.gif

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Very nice bird and good pics.

Makes me sure wish I still had a tag.

By any chance was your brother using a Tom decoy? I'm just wondering if a Tom decoy would scare off a beat up bird like that.

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Grey:

Meant to email you congrats on those two birds you guys got. Healthy looking toms in short order!

No decoy at all actually. Steve did the right thing and used the birds natural gobbling to get about 100 or so yards away before he made his first call. Between that and the fly-up location 100 yards behind him, it made it darn near impossible for the bird not to at least check him out. I'm guessing he was pretty lonely after getting beat up so bad.

I've had even jake decoys scare off toms/jakes in these later seasons. It's a measured risk. Alot of times in areas with pressure, many of the hard-gobbling youngsters have been killed, and all that's left are dominant birds. These are ones esp. susceptible to strutting Tom dekes. You run into a younger bird, esp. one that's been beat down, I think you're hurting your odds. For bowhunting esp. though, you need a tom to really bite on your setup to get that close, so I'm thinking at least with a bow, you're doing more good than harm. Who knows though, I've had it happen both ways?

Joel

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Was your bird missing feathers on breast? Because the bird that my brohter shot had a patch of missing feathers on it. Is that normal?

And also congrats and nice work.

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 Originally Posted By: Duncan7709
Was your bird missing feathers on breast? Because the bird that my brohter shot had a patch of missing feathers on it. Is that normal?

And also congrats and nice work.

They can wear the feathers off the breast bone from breeding. During this time of years it's somewhat common. ;\)

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You bet, all those feathers were originally missing when he shot it. Most of these feathers I think were removed from the fighting however. Upon closer look, there were even broken and "cut" feathers. I've never seen that much damage on a bird from fighting!

Joel

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