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Gone Hunting.. => Turkey Hunting => Topic started by: Blocko on May 24, 2011, 02:06:30 PM

Title: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 24, 2011, 02:06:30 PM
I finally got my tom this morning.  What a great day!!
Thus far, it's been a year of missed opportunities.  First, my wife missed her tom on opening day at camp.  Then, I choked on a nice tom at camp about 2 weeks ago with my bow (I'll post that story soon).  Then, over the course of the last few weeks, while hunting at camp with my wife and daughter, together and separately on different occasions, we've heard toms way off, but could never convince them to come our way.  And...while running and gunning at camp and other places, there just weren't any birds responding.  I was starting to think that I wouldn't get any other chances this year...and wouldn't provide any additional opportunities for my family.  My wife has experienced the thrill of the hunt…and is itching for another opportunity…but, I really want my daughter to experience the thrill too.  Thus far, she just hasn’t had anything exciting happen while hunting.  Unfortunately, this morning, neither my wife or daughter could join me…so I was off to try it by myself before heading off to work.
I was determined that my camp would produce again, so I headed back to camp for another shot.  After storms and a lot of rain yesterday, I was hoping that the turkeys would be active today.  Unfortunately, I stayed up too late and with my cold, I couldn't drag my butt out of bed.  I finally kicked things into gear, but I was running late.  In fact...I didn't get to my pop-up tent at camp until about 6am...15 minutes after legal shooting hours.  I figured late was better than nothing.
So, I made a series of calls about 3 different times without any responses.  I sat back in my chair a little disgusted, but hopeful that some birds would travel through the food plot at some point.  No sooner had that thought left my head, when suddenly, a tom gobbled right next to me, startling me almost off my seat.  The gobble came from the direction that I never look...the north end of our food plot...thus, I have all the windows buttoned up except one little crack in a corner window.  I do this because 90% of the time, all the bird activity comes from the south end of the plot.  Because of this, I didn’t see the birds coming…and didn’t know they were there until the tom let loose. 
Right after he gobbled, I looked out the corner window and realized that there were 4 hens, a jake and the tom…all about 30 yards away…already in the food plot.  The hens were moving really fast, working their way across the plot and down the length of the plot, on the other side…basically, getting further away from me.  The jake immediately began heading for my decoys, but the tom stayed on the same track as the hens…which would take him on a route that would push my shooting limits.  Things needed to happen fast if I was going to get a chance at this tom.
I was scrambling to get my video camera re-positioned and recording.  Everything was set up for recording to the south, so it was a mad dash to make it all work…and get myself in a position to shoot.  And just like that, the jake was right on top of my decoys…within 10 yards of my pop-up…and the tom was moving fast on the other side of the plot.  There was no time to focus the camera on the tom and/or get it zoomed in.  I just pointed the camera in the general direction and hoped for the best.  At that point, the jake didn’t like things and started clucking and moving away fast.  I immediately pulled up on the fast moving tom, picked my spot and shot…and down he went.
It all happened so fast that it almost seemed surreal…but the reality of my accomplishment set in.  Amongst all the chaos, I was able to get some of the birds on video…but not the kill shot.  Unfortunately, it was just off camera.  More importantly, though, I successfully harvested a really nice tom at about 50 yards.
It was now 6:20am…a 20 minute hunt.  I was truly blessed to be in the right place at the right time.  And a great bird…an 11” beard and 7/8” spurs.  Not the longest spurs, but the longest beard I’ve ever taken.  What a thrilling hunt. 
As excited as I was for myself, I almost felt a little disappointed.  I want my daughter to experience the thrill so much that I felt disappointed that she wasn’t with me for this opportunity.  The jake was in a perfect position for her first attempt and I would have been able to get some great video footage of her first attempt.  But, I realize that every opportunity we get at nice birds is something to be cherished.  So, I won’t dwell on that little bit of disappointment.  Instead, I’ll look at the positive of what I accomplished and focus all my attention on getting my wife and daughter onto some birds.  It’s going to be a great last week of the season.
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 24, 2011, 02:29:56 PM
 @--0--0133
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 24, 2011, 02:40:48 PM
 ##$%#11 Congrats on the bird! Great story and love the pics. Good looking tom. Thanks for sharing!!
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 24, 2011, 03:09:33 PM
Congrats on a very nice bird.Sounds like persistence paid off. Good Luck with getting your daughter one.We look forward to hearing of her success.
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 24, 2011, 03:15:00 PM
Congrats on a very nice bird. Hope your daughter and your wife can both get one
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 24, 2011, 03:28:59 PM
Congrats on a nice bird. Things can sure happen fast when you least expect it!!  @--0--0130
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 24, 2011, 03:44:23 PM
great bird and story blocko...congrats @--0--0118
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 25, 2011, 07:57:39 AM
Yep, great story, Blocko!  Congrats on a great bird!!   Very nice picture, too! 
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 25, 2011, 11:43:55 AM
Congrats on a fine bird. Great story too.
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 25, 2011, 01:16:34 PM
I'm glad somebody had some luck Congrats!! great story very nice Tom. @--0--0123 @--0--0123
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 25, 2011, 06:45:53 PM
glad you got one
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 25, 2011, 07:23:46 PM
that's a great story, Blocko.  Congrats on your bird!
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 25, 2011, 07:39:55 PM
Congrats Blocko, that was an exciting half hour of hunting, and what a great bird and a memorable story to tell for a long time. Good luck the rest of the week getting the daughter and wife on some nice birds. All you need to do now is focus, you and the camera both  @--0--0123 Go get um.
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 26, 2011, 01:23:39 AM
 @--0--0123 Congrat's! Don't worry, the girls will get thiers too!
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 26, 2011, 12:01:08 PM
Great story!! I got busted twice this year huinting with bow. Have been trying to connect for two years . Any pointers??
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 26, 2011, 10:20:40 PM
Congrats Blocko on a nice bird and great story. Good luck with the ladies on getting their birds!!!
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 27, 2011, 05:50:07 AM
Congratulations on the birds
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on May 31, 2011, 01:48:22 PM
Great story!! I got busted twice this year huinting with bow. Have been trying to connect for two years . Any pointers??

I'm not sure I should be giving you any pointers for scoring with the bow...I screwed up my attempt this year.  I'm posting the story in a little bit.  Check it out.

Otherwise, with the bow, I think the best way to be successful is in a pop-up blind.  Trying to do it without would be really tough...but not impossible.  Were you in a pop-up blind?
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on June 08, 2011, 10:58:20 AM
Blocko, I was on the ground behind a camo sheet the first time . He was strutting within 3 yards of my shooting lane. When he saw the Jake and hen decoys he folded, tuned around and walked away.  The next time I was in a pop up... basically the same thing happened. It was a Jake. Chief
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on June 27, 2011, 11:30:34 AM
Blocko, I was on the ground behind a camo sheet the first time . He was strutting within 3 yards of my shooting lane. When he saw the Jake and hen decoys he folded, tuned around and walked away.  The next time I was in a pop up... basically the same thing happened. It was a Jake. Chief

Sorry for taking so long to respond...I've been incredibly busy lately.

That's tough to figure out.  It sounds like in both cases, something minor happened that he didn't like, but didn't completely scare him.  I state that because he just walked away...he didn’t run away.  Therefore, I don't think it's anything you did behind the sheet or in the blind.  Most likely, if it's something that you did, he'd run away fast.

So, here are some thoughts: 
I suspect that it’s your decoys.  Is there something on the decoys that just doesn't look right?  If you are in a high hunting pressure area, the birds can get decoy shy…thus, if the decoys don’t look real, it might shy the birds away…especially once they get close enough to see them really good.  I don’t know this from personal experience…just from reading things.  Fortunately, for me, the birds here are not heavily hunted.  I’ve got about the cheapest decoys you can get…and they seem to work just fine.  But, if you are dealing with “schooled” birds, they may just walk away once they get a close look at your decoys.

Otherwise, could it be your setup?  Is your set up facing toward the sun...thus the sun is shining on you and your tent?  I try to locate my tent in a dark shady spot, but put my decoys in a sunny spot.  From the perspective of a bird standing near the decoys, the bright light contrasting with the shade where my tent is located, really reduces the visibility of movement…whether that movement is from the tent blowing in the wind or from my movement inside the tent…or any other movement that might occur.  The last thing you want is for the sun to be shining inside your tent while you are trying to maneuver.  Just like setting up a tree stand for deer hunting, I want the sun to be in my prey’s eyes while they are looking my direction.  I don’t want that big spotlight in the sky to be shining on me.

If your set up is affected by the sun, do you wear glasses?  I've had a tom abruptly run away on one of my past set ups because I hadn't paid enough attention to the angle of the sun.  After the tom disappeared, I decided to walk his route while my buddy stayed seated at his spot…in an attempt to see what the tom saw that caused him to suddenly turn and run away.  As I walked the tom’s route, I suddenly noticed a glint off my buddy’s glasses.  I concluded that glint was enough to scare off the bird…it just wasn’t natural.

Those are just some quick thoughts.  Let me know what you think.
Title: Re: Finally got it done!!
Post by: [Blocked] on June 29, 2011, 03:07:40 PM
Thank you Blocko, I was hunting on the game lands where you are allowed only 3 days a week. Throughout the season I never saw another hunter. So I am supposing that pressure wasn't an issue. I made sure to set up in the most covered and shaded areas.I don't think sunlight was a factor. Decoys look ok. As I think back , I think it was the same Jake both times. I was hunting in the same area within a 400 yd radius. I think I educated him the first time and he was too smart the second time. Man I really appreciate you taking the time to respond in such a thorough manner.Maybe next season Lord willing.
Chief