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Season E ... Early morning for me.  Up before 3 ... bird down by 5:45AM.    May did not disappoint this year.  Will share later.

 

Birds gobbling pretty heavily this morning.    This was a public land bird.   Come to the conclusion that the hatch two years ago was really good.   Lot's of 2 year old Toms around. 

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Posted (edited)

Started Season E up where I have hunted in the past.  Wanted to hit the old and maybe some new woods where I have killed grouse, woodcock and several turkeys.

 

Up before 3 and on the road.   By 4:15 I am parked and working a little on my laptop.  Chatting / skyping Europe.   Shut that down around 4:30 get out and put on my tick sprayed camo.    I am parked by the big woods with a good half mile walk in before turkey territory is found.   Well I am either getting older, lazier, or smarter ... but there is not enough gobbling to pull me down that trail road.

 

Quickly drive to another spot about 3 miles away.  Stop, listen ... nothing.

 

Another 2 miles and I am parked again at a spot where I have set up in the evening with my son ...  Public land or well at least unposted trust type land that has been partially logged.   Get out and I here gobbles to the N, NE and S.   

 

Head about 150 yards from the truck.  Just me, my gun and my favorite call.   It is around 5:15AM and birds are on the ground.

 

Gobbler to the NE must only be about 100 - 150 yards away ... I cannot see him though.   I am out in a mostly open "field" ... find a small pine tree and sit down in the swale / depression in front of the tree.   Call and he answers hard.   At times it seems like he is closing the gap and then not.  I figure he is on a strutting ground ... he is moving back and forth and when he is close and facing me ... load ... further away and turned away ... softer.   There is a willow thicket between us, but a trail road that could bring him to me.  Anyways he seems hung up.

 

Hen behind me starts long cadence yelping and I decide to copy her.   She is far enough behind me that it will take her time to walk towards me.   As I hit those long cadence yelps the gobbler to the north starts gobbling ... wait there is two and they are getting closer.

 

Lot's of taller grass patches in this over grown "field" ...  around 5:40 or so two Toms pop out of the grass at around 45 yards.   They quietly move towards me looking for that hen.  Lead bird goes into full display for about 5 - 10 seconds.  When he comes out of fanning I drop him.  Walked off exactly 30 paces.

 

Saw three separate groups of birds on the drive home and these were in areas where turkeys should be seen, but usually you don't.  Lot's of birds around this area this year.

 

 

KIMG1071.JPG

Edited by brittman

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Good job Britt!  You get to sleep in tomorrow.

 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • I have another weekend in me to fish and fight the winds and weather and then the boat will be done for the year.  Guess it is that time of the season but would really love to get another couple outings in but such is life! 
    • who uses flashers now days haha; I'm a helix convert now too, i was hesitant at first as the Lowrance had a LCD screen a few years ago for ice fishing but the lag was unusable, but hbird figured it out. Mapping, flasher screen if wanted, and sonar all in one, its like a smartphone; everything in one.   also, I have not had any interference issues with others using the helix, especially with all of hte chirp setttings
    • Looks like a good time 
    • I love my Helix unit also, and GPS has been a game changer for me. No more fumbling with my phone in the cold with apps eating my battery and trying to keep it out of the elements.    I miss the simplicity of my Marcum VX-1 but after getting my Helix dialed in I have no complaints.
    • SD resident opener was a wet one. Saturday I didn't go out. Sunday morning woke up with 4.5" inches of snow at my place a few miles south of Sioux Falls. Never would I have imagined we would be able to hunt in snow this early! The other odd part is that none of the weather people even hinted at any accumulation or even predicted any chance of precip. It literally just came out of nowhere.   Yesterday I hunted the entire day from noon to sundown and was fortunate enough to still have some snow stick around in areas.. My only summary is swamp country. I wore the wrong boots, wrong pants etc. Should have just wore waders would have been able access things better. My biggest mistake was not going far enough west and not far enough north. But there is a ton of public land where I headed and I hadn't been able to scout that way yet this year. Everything that looked walkable was wet it didnt matter how high or low it was. If it looked good at knee level it very likely had ankle high standing water under it. Ditches were full of water, some roads were underwater it was just wet everywhere and I don't see any signs of any harvesting starting any time soon. The water just made things difficult to walk as some areas I am familiar with. I could walk one side and work it good, but then get land locked because of water and have no way of getting to the other sides and ended up back tracking and walking a lot of same areas twice  which usually isnt productive.   I only managed 1 bird all day. I missed 1 bird my first walk probably at 12:01pm right after getting out of the truck. Just was slow to get the gun up and was way behind it. Typically early season lull, I think I just stared at the bird before I even realized I should be trying to shoot it. I downed another bird early afternoon and I knew it wasn't hit hard. Made a good mark on it and then my dog got a good track and pinned it down. As I went to grab it with my hand the dog released and the bird took off like a bat out of hell and we never were able to recover it because of all of the water. As soon as I put my hand on it, it just exploded and was gone. Was just an odd scenario.   Saw a few other hens but otherwise a very very slow day. I had spotted a bunch of birds coming out of some CRP earlier in the day that headed for corn. I came back an hour before sundown and hunkered down hopefully to get some pokes at them during the golden hour and they never showed up. I know the birds are around but all the crops in makes it difficult to hunt during the day.   I dont know what to suggest for people coming for the big opener this weekend. Its going to be difficult with so many crops in. I would say anywhere north of HWY 14 should be a little drier in areas but they have still seen some moisture the last couple weeks. Up near Brown county they are basically in a drought and down in the south eastern part of the state we are breaking yearly precipitation records. Harvest is off to a slow start all over. I know this weekend is the big opener everyone gets fired up for but if it were me I would be coming back for late season hunts and skip the circus this weekend.   I wont be hitting it hard any time soon will probably just stick to some sundown hunts closer to home for now. I have some gopro footage I need to get edited from yesterday got alot of good stuff on video including the bird that got away.   Good luck to those heading out this weekend!
    • I'd like to see how the Helix handles interference.   Interference was the reason I went from my Interphase Video to a flasher. Currently using HBird Ice 45 and MarCum LX5.
    • I put all the boats put away,  subsequently the rain stopped.  I'll take that and finish pulling the dock in.
    • Posting.  Cuz I can’t sleep worth a dump.  Gonna be a MEA yahoo for most the rest of the week.  I’ve heard good reports from the friends that are already out there. They took the whole week so I’m driving myself out Tuesday night.     Just getting the the back of the truck filled with dekes got me too revved up.  Gonna be hard packing anything else besides waders, layout blind, guns and shells!  Who needs food and more than one change of clothes for 5 days anyway?!
    • I was ALMOST headed to Ely as well but opted to stick to “productive” pursuits at home, figuring I probably missed the October window this year.  That only lasted a day though before I headed west.   It looked really cool though.  Quiet too I bet.
    • I have a couple LX5s and have been very happy with them.  I had to get a second one for the wheelhouse since after I set it up for the wife, I usually go out hole hopping my original one.  Then come back with fish only cuz I was using the “cheat mobile”.    With the second one I was able to let her stare at it long enough to figure it out cuz apparently my teaching skills are sub par.  She normally wanted to have the camera down all the time but come dark, it’s kinda hard to see anything.     Who knew a wheelhouse and flasher would change her from a winter hibernator to an ice fishing addict.  She wants to go EVERY weekend now.     Anyone wanna buy a wheelhouse? 😉😂   Just kidding.... but I wish she’d wanna try for lakers every once in a while.
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