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    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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Just needed a challenge....

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I wasn't able to hunt the first two days of my 346B season do to work obligations. Maybe it was for the better as Wednesday morning dawned clear and calm after two straight days of heavy winds. I was in my blind at 5:20, decoys set up 20 yards in front of me with a jake pursuing two hens.

The first thunder of the morning echoed through the woods at 5:40 with many more to follow. That bird was on land I didnt have access to; I'd just wait to hear the first bird on the 200 acre farm I was hunting. 6 o'clock, 6:30, not a single gobble on the property I was hunting. I hate mornings like this when it seems like there isnt a huntable turkey for miles. You know they are there, they just wont give away their location. I like to "run n gun" so mornings like this are torture to me.

I was set up on the property line and the only two birds talking that morning were on a point probably three hundred yards inside the fence. I tried talking to them, cuts, yelps purrs, two calls at the same time. Sometimes they would answer, but in general you could tell they were strutting back and forth on a point with almost no interest in my calls. They were doing it the way nature intended, the hens would have to come to them.

7:15 hit and these two birds were still gobbling quite frequently. I was suprised no hens had joined them at this point, or if they had, these two Toms just liked to hear themselves talk. They were no longer answering any of my calls, so I pulled out a new call that I had purchased, one of the those shaker gobbles thats made by a variety of companies. I let loose with a series of cuts and yelps, no answer, and then I followed that up with a gobble. They fired right back. I listened for a while and they sounded of again, this time closer, then they went quite. My agressive style got the best of me so I hit the gobble again, and this time they sounded off less than 50 yards away. It was only seconds more when I saw the two white heads marching through the woods, under the property fence and out into the alfalfa field. The both saw the decoys, gobbled and went into full strut. They covered the distance to the decoys quickly and both started strutting. Which do I take (what a luxury to have)? Both looked the same size, both had the same size beard, but one had a perfect set of tail feathers, his fate was sealed. They finally seperated and one shot at 25 yards tipped him over.

The other tom jumped away and then sprinted back to attack his fallen rival. He jumped on and off asserting his dominance. I decided to have a little more fun so I gobbled at him again and he sounded off, this went on for probably three minutes, I would gobble, he would gobble. Finally he started working away from me, he would answer my gobbles but wouldnt come back. I scratched in the leaves alittle bit and he whipped around and came running right back to me. Amazing to watch.

Went I bought that gobble call I figured just another call to sucker me in, but it was the one and only thing these two birds wanted to hear that morning and it pulled them right in. 24 lbs, 8 inch beard, 1 1/8 inch spurs.


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  • Posts

    •   Yeah but it is worth a shot to take it somewhere and try to talk to an expert about it. They may know where to look for some proof marks or something that the rest of us may miss.
    • I'll have to take another look and see if I can find any kind of markings that I've maybe missed. It won't ever get fired in my lifetime. I am hoping to find a couple old pin fire shells to display alongside it. I really doubt the gun has any "real" value and agree that it's probably an inexpensive gun. It will look good hanging over my bar in the basement though.  Thanks all for the recommendations! 
    • smiling is good for the soul.  
    • Well you do seem to be smiling all the time. Now we know why!
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    • So Eye guy did you try your nils after frank adjusted it? was thinking about dumping my 6in lazer and my 8in Thunder Bay blazer and picking up a 6in nils.
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    • Well you did say sometimes it's hard to get your point across with this group.
    • Well a few days ago we got hit hard by a good cold front and the temperatures plummeted down into the 50s here in Islamorada, FL.  We also had another reinforcing front back that one up, so things stayed chilly.   The water in the backcountry bays dropped into the high 50s as well in some portions.  Though a day after each front passed the winds laid down and gave way to some epic fishing.  Today I had Pam and Lars down from Arkansas and we fished deep in the everglades.  We got out early and were loaded up with some nice lively shrimp.  When the water temps drop this far, usually everything is pretty keyed in on shrimp - they don't want to work too hard for that meal and expend a lot of energy.  Working them very slowly on the bottom, really just letting them lay and twitching every so often, works wonders.  Once we got set up and the tide started moving in, it was game on.  Pam and Lars each landed well into the double digits on snook, and quite a few 'big girls' for us... fish in the 8 to 12 lb range.  Multiple double headers it was a blast!  We also had quite a few black drum and nice redfish too.  Very good to see the reds as they've been hard to find especially in the summer time, as much of their habitat has been beat up due to algae blooms and grass die off.  But in the winter they do show up in the 'winter time holes' along with their cousins the black drum, snook, and sheepshead.  We also saw several small tarpon rolling about.  I didn't have much hope that they would bite but knew it was a possibility.  We kept throwing in their direction, and soon Pam hooked and landed a nice 25 lb tarpon!  Not to be outdone, Lars got one about an hour after that.  Backcountry SLAMS for both anglers, wow!  We continued catching fish for several hours it was just epic, also got a few trout mixed in which we kept for dinner.  I don't particularly like killing our drum, especially the redfish, due to the lack of numbers... and snook are currently out of season and also more of a gamefish for us too.  On the way home we hit the gulf side to look for some triple tail.  It was so calm and those fish like to lay on the surface near the crab buoys, sunning themselves and waiting for an easy meal.  We saw quite a few but mostly little guys, though we caught several and got one that was big enough for dinner too at least.  Just a banner day out of Islamorada in December fishing.  I have the same crew again tomorrow and then several days open next week, come on down the fishing is great! Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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    • I’ve never been to Ahlman’s but by the looks of their page, yah, probably a great resource too. Boone’s is similar in respects to offerings and massive showroom layout but I don’t think they have the gunsmithing depth of Ahlman’s.
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