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I got one!


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I just got my 6th Turkey ever, but the first in a few years, so I thought I would share. Being I am a busy dad of 4 I couldn't go for longer than Thu and Fri mornings. So I get up Thu morning at 3:45 am drive to my hunting area and get there at 4:45 I meet my friends and we head out to the 250 acre farm that we have permission to hunt. I am all setup before legal shooting at 5:17. It is a large pasture with woods and swamp surronding it. I setup about half way down the large pasture on the east side, facing west overlooking the pasture area. I have woods and swamp to my back (east) and an old fenceline to the south. I saw 8 deer, several birds, ducks, sandhill cranes, etc. Which is a good sign to me, as if I see lots of wildlife I usually see Turkeys too. I heard nothing and saw nothing until 9:00 when I spot a Tom across the field on the opposite wood edge. I watch him for about 10 minues, giving a few yelps to him, but then he disappears. At 9:20 I see a hen in the same general area, but a little further north. These birds are about 200 yards away and I can only make them out with my binoculars. I sit tight and at about 10:00 I see a large Tom crossing the field about 100 yards to the south of me heading straight west to east. I have the binoculars on him and start to yelp a bit. Each time I yelp he looks my way and fans out his tail and heads my way (north east) a little then starts to head straight east again. Everytime I yelp he turns and take a few steps my way, so this continues for about 20 minutes until he is about 30 yards south of me right on the tree line. Now I have had birds respond to my calls before, but never like this. They either seem to ignore me or come right in on a string. This guy seemed to forget about me aver few steps. So I have him closing in at 30 yards, BUT he is behind a big bush (or really I am behind it in my blind) and all he needs to do is step north or west about 10 yards. Well he hangs up there. Any noise I make, yelps, clucks, purrs, etc he gobbles at now, and he is spitting and hissing and real worked up. This is a first for me seeing this type of reaction. Well after about 10 minutes of this he just turns around and starts to walk away. He no longer reacts at all to my calls. He walked right out of my life. It is now 11:30 and I pack up and head for home. He haunts me all day and night. Should I have taken a marginal shot through the brush, maybe I should have tried to ambush him in the tree line, etc. Fri comes and I get up and drive to the land, meet my friends and head out. (My friends hunted all day Thu and only 2 of us saw birds). This time I setup, before shooting time, where I saw the first 2 birds Thu morning on the west side of the pasture. I figured I had my chance yesterday and would sit until noon in hopes or getting another chance at a bird. I setup in the field this time, facing the woods to the west. I kept scanning the wood line south to north and back again. Well I look south then slowly north and then back south and BAM there is a Jake at 15 yards, where nothing was 30 seconds ago. Well I planned and hoped to see my Tom again, but in about 2 seconds I decided to take what was given and BANG he was down at 6:15 Fri morning. He isn't my best bird, but it was a fun 2 mornings of hunting and he is a nice consolation prize for the Tom I had on Thu. He had nubs for spurs, I didn't weight him, but he had a double beard at 4" and 3 1/2". He will be dinner tonight, and I am going to do a tail mount to remember the hunt by. A funny side note is that I really want to kill a bird with my bow. A few years ago I got a bird with my gun at 10 yards, then hunted with my bow and could not get one to close 30 - 40 yards, now I go back to the gun this year and get him at 15 yards. What can I do?!?! Fun stuff.

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Nice job. No shame in taking a jake, especially when hunting time is scarce.

Though I've shot a few with the bow, you're right. It happens like that a lot, no shot while holding your bow, then the next day when you uncase the gun, there he is at 12 yards. Can't tell you how many times that's happened to me.

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Congrats on your bird,a trophy is in the eyes of the tag holder.

I know what you mean though I have only shot 2 with a gun then switched to a bow but one was 10 yards and the other was 5 yards. Talk about jelly heads cause they really dint have one after the shot.

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Congrats! It's funny you say that the tom haunted you all day because I am still kicking myself for some of the decisions that I made while hunting in Wisconsin. I think it's natural to second guess ourselves a bit and I think it definitely helps us learn better hunting strategies but I also always try to remember that that there are just some situations where no matter what, the animal was going win :-)

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