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Walker’s 2022 Turkey Season Thread (Updated 5/13)

CurtisWalker

Moderator
Figured I’d compile my season into one thread so if people want to follow along they can, if they don’t I won’t be filling the forum with threads. My goal this wear was to be on hunts to kill 20 turkeys. Unfortunately this fell sideways when the youth hunters I planned on taking couldn’t go.

First season
I took Matt out on opening day to a piece I can hunt. Opening morning we got in and the birds were kinda where I thought they’d be. We snuck within 75 yards of the roost. I figured the turkeys would go uphill after fly down like they tend to do so I placed the decoys in the field uphill from the timber. I picked a tree for Matt and unfortunately it was a honey locust so he had to pick another one and I snuck further into the timber. Before we knew it I could see/hear turkeys flying down. Matt could see a tom strutting 50ish yards from him. Perfect he should come straight into the decoys. Wrong he tucked into the timber where I could finally see him and disappeared out of sight. Where I was sitting I could see the bottom field and before I knew it I was watching turkey after turkey file into the bottom field some 20 yards away from me. Unfortunately I was between Matt and the turkeys. So I’m watching 8 or so toms strutting in the field below us with a pile of hens when we start to hear wing beats like turkeys fighting. It escalates so loud that it ended up being white noise with purrs, wing beats, and whatever other noise a group of angry turkeys make. It was the loudest thing I’ve probably ever heard in the turkey woods. Pure chaos. Unfortunately it was just over the ridge and we couldn’t witness what was happening. After the turkeys cleared off we tried to make a move on them and struck out the rest of the morning. No worries though we had the perfect game plan for the next morning. Or so we thought…. Tuesday morning we walk in and not a single gobble. We sat up anyways thinking maybe they were just quiet on the roost. Where 30+ turkeys were roosted the morning before was completely empty. Not even a hen. We finally hear a gobble on the other side of the farm so we take off after it. We stop short of the cornfield we thought the turkey was in and set up Matt about 20 yards ahead of me closer to the field and me behind calling. The tom gobbles again but at this point it sounds like he has made it to the neighbors so we just wait. Matt turns to me and says he can see a hen walking so I softly call and next thing we know we can see a group of turkeys. I look in my binos and it turns out it was a group of jakes. Now if you know Matt a legal bird is a legal bird so I knew it was going to go down. I call a little more and they start working on a string. Matt had one branch obstructing a shot but eventually a bird cleared and he shot one. I couldn’t tell what happened so when he turned back too me I slowly raised a thumbs up. He returned the signal assuring me it was a success.

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Second Season/Nebraska
I tend to always go to Nebraska for their shotgun opener. This year I didn’t think it was going to happen especially with it being Easter weekend. Well things fell through and me and my buddy decided to leave on Friday. I have a good idea of the areas and where the turkeys are going to be at so when we got there Friday we just drove around to confirm things haven’t changed. Watched birds roost in one of my favorite locations because I know no one is going to walk far enough to get to them. Then we went back to another roost tree and we’re met by gobbles. So we just parked the car in the parking lot and slept. Opening morning comes and we start walking in way early with the bright full moon. We get to where we thought the gobbles were coming from and just wait. As the sun comes up the gobbles start and we realize they are a little further than we thought. Of course on a normal year this wouldn’t be a problem but this year the water was high and we had a mile walk to get around the cove that you can usually walk across. We get to about 150 yards from the roost and set up. As soon as the birds hit the ground they go quiet. So we are sitting there and I here something in the grass behind us I look over to see two toms running parallel to us. Weird I thought. When they got out of sight we figured we’d move on them and get in front of them. Well when we stood up we could see two hunters walking in. Made sense now that the turkeys were running from them. We spend the rest of the morning trying to strike a gobble. 5 miles later not a bird. At this point I’m stressed because I’m usually on birds at this point and I’ve usually seen plenty of strutters. I wanted my buddy’s first trip west to be a good one. So I made the plan to go to the other roost spot where we watched the turkeys fly up during legal shooting light the night before. I figured we could get in early and close to where they were roosted and kill em when they come back to bed. So we hike in the 2 miles of hell and set up. 5 hours left in the day. The time passes slowly and not a sound. About 30 min left in light a hen starts yelping right behind us. Yes!! This is going to work. 20 minutes left nothing else yet. 10 minutes left GOBBLE!!!! Here he comes…..5 minutes still no sight of him. Legal light ends and still no turkey. So we pack our stuff back up and walk the walk of shame back to the car. With the way things were going at this piece I figured I’d drive an hour and hit up another piece I’ve had great hunts on. We get there at 11pm and a car is sleeping in the parking lot. I’m now stumped but figured we’d just go down the road a bit sleep and listen for gobbles in the morning as I’ve heard turkeys there before. Sunday morning comes and we get out and listen with no luck. We planned on leaving at noon so I drove around the piece to the other side to where I killed a tom a few years ago. I was nervous our luck was out because I hadn’t heard a gobble in this area for two years. We get out and walk in anyways. I get to the edge of the timber and Yelp. Gobble, omg this is actually going to work for my buddy. So we rush to set up and start working this bird. An hour later we realize he isn’t budging. So we start making short moves getting closer to him and setting up and working that spot for a half hour or so. He wouldn’t respond to the call but would gobble consistently so we got to a point where we thought if we would go much further he’d bust us so we just sit next to the tree and call. No response still. Next thing you know we can hear steps in front of us but out of view due to 3 big cottonwoods. The steps stop and we wonder where they went. We stay silent and wait. We have been working this bird for 3.5 hours at this point. After another 30 minutes I call and I hear steps running towards us. I think they are coming from the west and the last steps we heard were to our SW so I figured it had to be the Tom and he looked around us. The steps get louder and louder and I realize they are directly behind us and think dang it’s just a deer but I slowly look anyways and notice a red head pop out from behind the tree I’m on at 5 yards, and another, and another. Ope they are jakes! I tell Chase “they are jakes” he responds “let them come around the tree” so I do and they are still mostly on my side so he told me to shoot first then he’d shoot second so I could cover my ears before he shot. I shoot and kill mine and he misses his first shot but connects on the second two. Turns out this was both of our first jakes ever. 11:30am just in time for photos and to walk out and get home in time for Easter Supper.

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Matthewfox_45

Active Member
I love following your turkey stories, even before I got to be a part of them. Good to see you joined the short beard club with me! Lol! Thanks again for taking me first season! Looking forward to hunting with you again soon.
 

CurtisWalker

Moderator
Third Season

Many of you may remember last year I took my wife out for her first turkey hunts and unfortunately she just couldn’t get on them well until they had moved out to a further range. Well this year we decided we’d get her a 3rd season tag and keep a farm fresh for her in hopes the turkeys would do it right for her. Friday night we drove down to Skip’s to deliver him some decoys and a call for him to take his boy and nephews. We spent the night down there and drove to another buddy’s farm in the morning. We get there at 5 and begin our half mile trek in. Ashlyn is a tiny thing so she can’t carry much so I gave her a decoy, the gun, and my turkey vest. I had the blind, two decoys, chairs, tripod and other miscellaneous things. We get a half mile in and set up where I thought the turkeys would go with the wind blowing 30-50mph. As we are preparing I go to load the gun to realize I forgot the shells in the car. I rush back to the car to get back to the blind as the turkeys begin to gobble. I get the gun loaded and do a soft yelp close to fly down. I look out the blind window to see a coyote barreling in. With no time to react it grabs one of the decoys and takes off with it. I’m softly yelling at it in hopes it drops the decoy in which it does. So I try to carefully crawl out to the decoy grab it and bring it back to the stake. In doing so I can see the turkeys roosted plain as day. I sneak back to the blind and we thought we could hear them fly down. We heard a gobble behind us about an hour later. I look behind and can see the tom and I thought for sure it was going to work out for us. A few minutes later he left the opposite direction. We had a hen show up strutting and putting on a show. I thought perfect a live decoy. Then another hen shows. They fade off after awhile and we were met by three jakes soon after. Ashlyn loved the show they put on she was giggling as they pecked and fought the decoy. They left about an hour later and we decided to pack up and head home as we had a house showing and storms were brewing.
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Sunday morning came way too fast and we drove back down to the same farm. The wind was light in the morning so I thought we would set up where I always sit and have luck when they roost where they did the day before. We get in and set up quietly and can see the turkeys roosted from the blind. Ashlyn falls asleep per usual and I watch the 19 turkeys fly the opposite direction and hear the only gobble we’d hear for the next three hours. I pull up solitaire and begin playing after calling a half hour after last seeing them. I get through about 5 hands and I look up to see two toms strutting in the decoys. I try to gently wake Ashlyn up but she’s sound asleep. I finally wake her up. And she gets the gun up and aims. During this she has an emotional break down and decided she didn’t want to kill an innocent animal. So here we have two toms going to town on my DSDs and I’m stuck twiddling my thumbs and calmly reassuring her that it’s okay if she doesn’t kill one. Well they make a big circle around the blind and come back in. At this point 3 jakes and a bunch of hens join the party. So she decides she wants to try again. Welp the tears follow suit. And once again they leave out of sight. We are sitting there and I assure her it’s okay she didn’t shoot and when the jakes leave we can head home. She asked how I knew it was the animals time to die when I shoot them. I thought about it a little bit while sitting there and responded “if it wasn’t their time I wouldn’t be given the opportunity. Think about yesterday we saw the tom but he went the other direction.” She kind of nodded and sat in silence for a bit. I look over my shoulder to see the same two toms running back in to the decoys again. At this point the only decoy left standing is the jake so they go straight to it for a third time. I asked her if she wanted to try a third time. So she aims again and they lose interest and begin to walk to our left. I stop em and she let it fly and got him. I made deal with my buddy that if our wives got turkeys we’d mount them. Of course Ashlyn shot the beard rot bird but definitely getting mounted anyways. She shared with me that the whole time we were hunting she was praying for God to give her a sign that it was okay for her to harvest a bird and she took the third chance as the sign. I couldn’t be more proud of her and how she handled herself and emotions during the entire hunt.
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CurtisWalker

Moderator
Fourth Season:

Opening Day (4/27)
My buddy and I had a goal this year to try and kill our four turkeys in one day during fourth season. We decided we would hunt opening day with the forecast looking the best it had been for awhile and the best it would be for awhile. To our surprise his wife decided she wanted to go on Wednesday. Some may remember I got her on her first turkey last year. We all took the day off work and headed to the farm. I hunted it one time last year during 1st season and had a heck of a hunt other than missing my first turkey and starting my missing streak. We met at thiesen’s in Ames at 3:30 and I piled my stuff into the ole KIA. This car has 100% success rate when we take it. So off we go. We get down the the farm and I already had my spot picked. We are walking in and I’m watching this dark object moving with us across the hayfield. I stop to try to figure out what it was. Cedar tree!!! On the bright side when I stopped we could hear the first gobble of the morning. We walk about 75 more yards to where I wanted to set up and get the blind and decoys up. Before we know it we are listening to a gobble frenzy. Two birds to our SE and about 9 to our N and NE. I hear some wings fly down and softly yelp instantly met by a gobble. Perfect! We’ll get Connie her second turkey! As we wait we hear the gobbles closing in on us. I call one more time and a gobble erupts right next to us. I peak out the window and see a beard swinging at about 20 yards. I peak a little more just to watch and he begins strutting next to us. He never gets closer but drifts back. Staying in the field just claiming his area and working it.
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(You can watch the video of him strutting on the IW Instagram and FB)

As he struts around I can see a couple hens join him. My thought is they’ll take him away with them. A few minutes later I watch 3 jakes come into the field about the same area he came from. They marched right into the decoys ready to say who is boss. I’ve seen many videos of toms running in to jakes beating up decoys so I tell Connie to be ready because it could happen. I call softly one more time and two more gobbles erupt the same area the first tom came from. I look to see two strutters making their way right to the other.

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(Two new strutters on the right, first strutter on the left can barely see him)

They march over the rise to the other tom and the jakes take off after them. Next thing I know the three toms are chasing the jakes away from the hens. I yelp softly again and catch the curiosity of a hen and she begins her march back towards us. Then another hen and another. The first tom joins them and they are on a path to cross in front of us at 2 yards. The two middle hens break and cut to go behind us and the first tom goes with them. I’m assuming they’ll just make a half circle around us and get back in the field on the other side. I can hear the tom spitting and dragging his wings on his way around behind us. As this is happening the other two toms are making a straight line to our decoys. I tell Chase he can shoot after Connie if the opportunity presents itself. So they can double as husband and wife. The toms and first hen make their way into the decoys.
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Connie has a soft heart kind of like my wife not quite as bad but it’s up there so she isn’t going to shoot until it’s the perfect shot. Well it took what felt like forever for her to take a shot but in reality it was only 1.5 minutes. (Video soon to be posted on fb and IG) She smokes the tom perfectly in the head and drops it. Chase got his gun stuck on the blind but got it out just in time to shoot the other tom as it’s walking away quickly in the chaos I see a third tom and shoot him. Dropping him and he begins flopping. We rush out of the blind as the third tom was a bit further away than I usually shoot.. Well Chase makes it out of the blind quickly, I start going through the front double bull window and while Connie goes through the door. She falls and takes the blind with her causing me to be stuck one leg in and one leg out. Well in this mess my bird gets up and runs Chase tries to shoot it again. But it gets up and flies. We chase after and look for it. I still feel terrible about it. On the positive note Chase and Connie doubled.

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We have two more toms gobbling on the way back to the car. We pack everything up and make our way to the car hunting our way back. Unfortunately I pop over the last hill and see the tom strutting the same time he sees me and he takes off. We hunt the rest of the morning with no luck. So we head back towards home stopping at a farm on the way. We hunt the west side and work our way east with no luck. The wind was howling at this point which probably didn’t help so after the last stand we walk a bit further to the east and call again. We hear a faint gobble and we can see the tom 300 yards away. Here he comes! He’s a giant!! Ope there’s another with him. They are coming on a string. We are stuck behind a cedar tree and I hold the fan up for more cover. They continue to 100 yards before slowing up. Well I forgot there is a small ditch between us and them. Doing what turkeys do they didn’t cross it instead crossed another ditch and work a half circle around us. Chase and I slide down the hill when they go out of sight and crawl to the creek edge. I call and they gobble. I hold the fan up and they start coming back. Here we go!! Well they cut short and one flies across the creek to the same side as us. Well he decides once he crossed the creek he isn’t as tough any more and begins to walk away. I’m twisted awkwardly but felt like I was on him. I squeeze the trigger only to hit the dirt as his feet. It’s 2ish and that’s enough turkey hunting for me for the day so we headed home.


Typing up my weekend hunt now ;)
 
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CurtisWalker

Moderator
4/30
I was planning on hunting Friday 4/29 but the rain decided I should go to work and save my time for a better day. Saturday morning was supposed to be rainy til about 8 am but I decided why not turkey hunt with the limited amount of time we have left. So Chase and I left to head south once again. To our luck the rain was passing as we were driving. We were heading to a new farm we have never been to before, heck we didn’t even know if there were turkeys but we were gonna try anyways. We arrived to the farm and pack the blind and chairs we weren’t sure if we were going to need them or not but with the rain we figured it wouldn’t hurt to be comfy and out of the mud. We picked a spot on the map and began our mile trek in. About half way in I’m thinking to myself “man there isn’t many trees capable of roosting a turkey.” We continue walking to be met with a raging creek from the previous rains. Luckily I wore my muck boots and was able to barely cross. I drop my vest, blind chairs gun and go back to get Chase’s stuff then to grab him and piggy back him across. We are nearly where we want to be but now have to pick an actual spot where we want to sit. The field was on a ridge and ran down both sides into the bottoms. Well there was a shelf about halfway up the ridge where the field ran down both sides East and west but there was still a big uphill climb S of us. The wind was already blowing so we figured we’d sit on the shelf and see what happens. Still not seeing any trees capable of holding a turkey I had my doubts. The sun rises and not a gobble but around 6:30 a coyote crested the hill in front of us. Unfortunately he decided not to play any games. 7 o’clock hits and still nothing. I tell Chase. Let’s give it til 8 and we’ll head to the farm Ashlyn killed her turkey on and I missed my turkey on Wednesday. 7:30 hits and all of a sudden I see a hen cresting the hill right where the coyote did. Yes!! Then 2 more hens. There’s gotta be a tom behind them. They work their way to us then away out of sight to the west. They then come back to the decoys and hang out before heading north behind us. Right as the last hen about leaves sight sounds a gobble! And it’s not far. I let the hen get out of view and Yelp to be cut off by two toms. They are coming. “Chase here they are there’s two of them”. They strut right into the DSD mating pair. I try pulling my gun up but get it stuck on my chair. I finally get it up and take aim. I squeeze the trigger and watch the tom fold then aim to back Chase up on the second tom he gets it and we are on the board with another double. They were great birds too.
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(Double X did the trick, wad and filler went passed the turkey. Can’t imagine what XR would have done)

We hunt our way home with no other luck.


5/1

Hunted this morning on a farm Chase killed his bird on last year. Conditions were unfavorable with the wind blowing 25th with gusts 30+… we saw two hens later in the morning. I call the final series making sure nothing is close and with no response at 10:30 I said better luck next weekend. Just as we make it to the decoys to pick up a tom takes off 50 yards out and that sealed that the day wasn’t meant to be.
 
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CurtisWalker

Moderator
5/4- I hunted the morning of as the weather was supposed to be nice. Well that changed from the time I went to bed to when I woke up. Since we had already planned for it Matt and I headed south anyways. It was nice and calm and we thought for sure the birds would gobble like crazy since the rain finally stopped. I decided to set up on the side of the roost trees that the birds flew to first when Ashlyn shot her bird. We got in quietly thanks to the sloppy wet fields and set up. As the darkness faded we could hear gobbles on the neighbors to the north. I had my faith that once we could see a little more we’d be met by trees full of turkeys. And that we did. 15 turkeys in fact. Now we just gotta hope they do what they usually do. As fly down time drew nearer a Tom began gobbling in the tree. Even better they aren’t all hens. But with excitement came disappointment when the first hens lifted off and went the opposite direction soon followed by the tom. Then to our surprise 3 turkeys flew our direction. Unfortunately they were hens but they did keep us hopeful and entertained. For the next few hours we watched two toms strut back and forth on the field I usually hunt and have a history of killing birds. In fact, they walked right where Ashlyn killed her bird a few weeks ago. The rest of the morning was pretty unexciting until we arrived to a warmer stacked full of fresh food at Casey’s.

5/7- This morning Chase said he’d hunt with so he came along for the ride just to keep me company as he had tagged out last weekend. I chose to hunt the farm I hunted on 5/1. I don’t know if I mentioned this before but I’m cursed on this farm and I was determined to break it at some point. I’ve hunted the farm many times and never killed a bird yet the landowner always gets a good chuckle because every time he goes there there’s a toms. So to say I had my doubts was an understatement but I am always up for a challenge. So we arrived at the farm around 4:42am and began our trek in carrying blind, chairs, decoys, ect. Now before some of you wonder he’s hunting with a gun why does he take a blind. I don’t usually take a blind unless it’s for newer hunters, raining, or this farm specifically. The farm is a ridge top that runs north and south with secondary ridges shooting off both sides. Now here’s the issue. There’s very few trees, the trees that are there are in the valleys and imo it’s a no no to shoot the skyline when you can’t see what’s behind it. The farm was freshly burned a couple weeks ago as it’s mostly CRP with the neighbors to the West and North having big timber. So we walk all the way to the north side and set up about 160 yards from the north fence line and dead smack in the middle on the East West axis. Probably 150 yards to either fence line. As the sun rises Chase dozes off and I keep my attention focused for gobbles. My heart sinks as I don’t here a gobble all morning. Around 6:00 I finally here my first few gobbles but they sound a mile away. Here we go again another hunt with no toms. I call at 6:15 and I look up to see a two turkeys closing the distance fast from the north fence. Then three more. Unfortunately they were all hens and they hung out for awhile before venturing off. Well to make the morning better there were dog trials on the property to the West 600 yards away. Must of been a 7 o’clock start time because dogs were going nuts barking, atv running everywhere, and people yelling. Chase and I can only laugh. “Shoulda hunted the corn where the turkeys strutted Wednesday”. Well I give it til about 7:30 and call it enough. There’s no way there’s going to be turkeys with all this commotion happening. I tell Chase let’s go hit the other farm and hope for the best. Well as we discuss this I look up to see two big bodied turkeys walk out of the neighbors timber 620 yards to the North. I yelp on the pot call and one pops strut. Of course here comes the rub it in your face show. I even send a snap to my friends saying “If I kill one of these turkeys it’s going to be a miracle.” They seem to work their way semi on our direction so I call again and they stop and then turn more toward us. They cut the distance at a pretty quick pace and before we know it they are crossing the north fence. DIXIE!!!!!! Oh don’t mind that that’s just a guy yelling at his dog. I stopped calling before they crossed the fence thinking that they cut the distance that fast they’ll rush up to the decoys now that they are in the same field. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and they headed east. Down into a draw where we couldn’t see. So after about 5 min a call again and nothing. So it was a tease great. Well a few minutes go by an I see the head pop up from behind the ridge top to our east at about 75 yards. They seem to be working away so I call again and get a gobble back. I don’t know if there’s a name for it but when a turkey gobbles crazy quietly but it’s a full gobble is what it was. I like to call the ghost gobbles because they are faint and soft. Well anyways the one tom definitely likes to strut his stuff and was fired up because he kept ghost gobbling at every noise there was while the other just picked his morning meal. They’d sat at 75 yards for what had to be a good 30 min while the gun shots continued to fire to our west. I’d call sporadically because it seemed like they’d move a little closer every time I called. Well they ended up working their way to the right side of me, my gun still pointed out the front of the blind and they make it to what I thought was about 25 yards and hang up again. This is the downside to the blind. You can’t just swing and shoot because there is rods in the way. So I’m hoping that they make their way back to the front to the decoys. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and they turned and began to walk away. It was now or never so I pulled the gun out of the front and moved it to the side of the blind and steady on the strutter. Unfortunately they are now both eating and facing away so no shot. I try to Yelp with my mouth and that didn’t even get their attention. Finally the one turns to his right and lifts his head and I let the lead fly.. Turkey down!! When I shot Chase and I both thought the birds were about 30 yards but when we got out and weren’t looking through the sliver of window we were surprised. Stepped it off at 43 yards. YIKES.. Awesome ghost gobbling bird though with big ole hooks. Unfortunately I didn’t take any spur pics before I put him in the freezer as a cape donor for Ashlyn’s turkey mount. Probably 1 3/8”. We assumed they were just wise old birds. Also wondered if the gobble quietly like that to not attract other toms or jakes. Now that I’m tagged out I’m hoping to get south and help a few friends get their kids on birds before the season ends.

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CurtisWalker

Moderator
5/13- Friday the 13th. I began working 4 10s again this week so I told Matt if he could get off Friday I would take him out again. We headed to the same farm we hunted on the fourth and the turkeys flew to the opposite side of the draw so we thought we’d be one step ahead and put ourselves where the turkeys went the time before. Well to no surprise at all the turkeys flew down to where we had set up just over a week ago. We could see 5 big dark bodied birds but only one would strut however they were fired up when they hit the ground and gobbled for a good while before disappearing out of our sight to the southwest. We thought we would just stick it out awhile and see what happens. Well before we knew it we had three hens join us from our north but they didn’t stay long and disappeared the way they came soon after. Then it got quiet. I enjoyed the beautiful weather and the double rainbow as we waited just taking it all in as I knew it could be my last turkey hunt of 2022. At around 7:10 I decided to do a series of loud calls and was met by a super faint gobble to our WNW. About ten minutes later Matt spots the tom working our way. He was putting on a show gobbling like crazy and strutting. He comes in to 150 yards and I had a feeling it was going to be a tough one to kill. This bird wasn’t a fighter, at least not today. His head never reddened it remained white and blue his whole way to a hundred yards.
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Well that’s about where he stayed and made me wonder if the jake decoy was going to mess this one up. He put on a show for a good 45 minutes before a hen joined him in the field. She angled towards us for awhile and I hoped he’d be upset about that. I got the fan out of my vest but decided against using it as I figured if he was as close as he was and didn’t want to beat up the jake he’d most like leave thinking there’s a tom. He eventually moved off and out of our lives to the north with his hen around 8:30. We decided we should move and see if we can strike up a bird or get on the group of birds from the roost. We packed up the decoys and began walking to the west when I spotted a tom on the north fenceline about 400 yards away. I figured we could duck down the hill and make a loop on him and get into a better position. As we made the loop I called every fifty yards or so to try to reduce the odds of us bumping into another bird. Well I’m doing this I strike up a couple different birds to our west southwest. We decided to go after them since they were responsive to the calls. We weren’t sure how far they were so we sat up and called again and after they gobbled a few more times in the same spot I figured we could make up some distance on then so we make it to one of my favorite trees to sit on and set up again as we are under 200 yards and I call again for them to respond right back. As we are sitting waiting I think about the ditch to the south of us and to where the turkeys are gobbling and decided we should get on the other side of it so we are on the same side as them. We get across it and cut some more distance and set up again. I call to be cut off immediately. They sounded as though they were between 50-100 yards away. Hopefully close enough for them to come looking. Without calling they eventually go silent and we wait until Matt calls about ten minutes later they gobble but now sound like they are 300 yards away so we decide we might as well keep cutting the distance until the break. So we cross a creek they must have crossed and began working our way up the hill and I call about three quarters of the way up it and can hear a gobble on the other side so we wrap around the hill losing a little elevation for cover and call again when we get to the same draw I thought they were in. They gobble again to our south southwest. They seemed to be working west so I figured we would try to get even or a little bit in front of them. They seemed like they were on the ridge top so I figured if we used the elevation to our advantage we should be able to make up some good ground on them not that they were very far maybe 100 yards. So as we cut the side hill I call and they respond right back and it sounds like there’s three of them. Well there was a mowed trail going to another little green plot and there wasn’t much for trees around to sit against. So my second favorite option is the cedar tree shield. Find a cedar tree and put it between you and the bird. Well there were two medium cedar trees about 75 yards away to the west and the toms were probably 50-75 yards to our SSW. So we boogied to the two cedar trees. Well the good thing about the farm being burned this spring is it cleared a lot of the needles off the lower portion of the cedars so you could see through them pretty well once you got crouched down. So once we sat I called and cut at the birds, gobble madness occurred soon there after and they were no more than 40 yards away. The problem being the topography now restricted our view to see them as well. I yelp again answered by a gobble that made my right ear hurt (that’s when you know they are close). They hang out above us gobbling a few more times and it sounded almost like they were moving off again so I call and they cut me off again. Next thing I know I can see a red head crest the hill and begin to come our way at 25ish yards. Matt sees him soon after I do and I plug my ears as he pulls his gun up and the tom stops picks his head up looking for the hen and Matt laid the hammer down on him at 20 yards.

ff894d7f52b28c445500d5f9c4b04d4c.jpg



Tomorrow I’m taking a youth hunter out after his first turkey. Haven’t hunted the farm we are going to in a few years so we shall see how it goes. I know there’s turkeys it’s more of getting setup in a place I think we’ll have a chance at them.
 

Ishi

Bare Shelves Biden
5/13- Friday the 13th. I began working 4 10s again this week so I told Matt if he could get off Friday I would take him out again. We headed to the same farm we hunted on the fourth and the turkeys flew to the opposite side of the draw so we thought we’d be one step ahead and put ourselves where the turkeys went the time before. Well to no surprise at all the turkeys flew down to where we had set up just over a week ago. We could see 5 big dark bodied birds but only one would strut however they were fired up when they hit the ground and gobbled for a good while before disappearing out of our sight to the southwest. We thought we would just stick it out awhile and see what happens. Well before we knew it we had three hens join us from our north but they didn’t stay long and disappeared the way they came soon after. Then it got quiet. I enjoyed the beautiful weather and the double rainbow as we waited just taking it all in as I knew it could be my last turkey hunt of 2022. At around 7:10 I decided to do a series of loud calls and was met by a super faint gobble to our WNW. About ten minutes later Matt spots the tom working our way. He was putting on a show gobbling like crazy and strutting. He comes in to 150 yards and I had a feeling it was going to be a tough one to kill. This bird wasn’t a fighter, at least not today. His head never reddened it remained white and blue his whole way to a hundred yards.
a24ab793b75446f1f246f0b91e1f1858.jpg


Well that’s about where he stayed and made me wonder if the jake decoy was going to mess this one up. He put on a show for a good 45 minutes before a hen joined him in the field. She angled towards us for awhile and I hoped he’d be upset about that. I got the fan out of my vest but decided against using it as I figured if he was as close as he was and didn’t want to beat up the jake he’d most like leave thinking there’s a tom. He eventually moved off and out of our lives to the north with his hen around 8:30. We decided we should move and see if we can strike up a bird or get on the group of birds from the roost. We packed up the decoys and began walking to the west when I spotted a tom on the north fenceline about 400 yards away. I figured we could duck down the hill and make a loop on him and get into a better position. As we made the loop I called every fifty yards or so to try to reduce the odds of us bumping into another bird. Well I’m doing this I strike up a couple different birds to our west southwest. We decided to go after them since they were responsive to the calls. We weren’t sure how far they were so we sat up and called again and after they gobbled a few more times in the same spot I figured we could make up some distance on then so we make it to one of my favorite trees to sit on and set up again as we are under 200 yards and I call again for them to respond right back. As we are sitting waiting I think about the ditch to the south of us and to where the turkeys are gobbling and decided we should get on the other side of it so we are on the same side as them. We get across it and cut some more distance and set up again. I call to be cut off immediately. They sounded as though they were between 50-100 yards away. Hopefully close enough for them to come looking. Without calling they eventually go silent and we wait until Matt calls about ten minutes later they gobble but now sound like they are 300 yards away so we decide we might as well keep cutting the distance until the break. So we cross a creek they must have crossed and began working our way up the hill and I call about three quarters of the way up it and can hear a gobble on the other side so we wrap around the hill losing a little elevation for cover and call again when we get to the same draw I thought they were in. They gobble again to our south southwest. They seemed to be working west so I figured we would try to get even or a little bit in front of them. They seemed like they were on the ridge top so I figured if we used the elevation to our advantage we should be able to make up some good ground on them not that they were very far maybe 100 yards. So as we cut the side hill I call and they respond right back and it sounds like there’s three of them. Well there was a mowed trail going to another little green plot and there wasn’t much for trees around to sit against. So my second favorite option is the cedar tree shield. Find a cedar tree and put it between you and the bird. Well there were two medium cedar trees about 75 yards away to the west and the toms were probably 50-75 yards to our SSW. So we boogied to the two cedar trees. Well the good thing about the farm being burned this spring is it cleared a lot of the needles off the lower portion of the cedars so you could see through them pretty well once you got crouched down. So once we sat I called and cut at the birds, gobble madness occurred soon there after and they were no more than 40 yards away. The problem being the topography now restricted our view to see them as well. I yelp again answered by a gobble that made my right ear hurt (that’s when you know they are close). They hang out above us gobbling a few more times and it sounded almost like they were moving off again so I call and they cut me off again. Next thing I know I can see a red head crest the hill and begin to come our way at 25ish yards. Matt sees him soon after I do and I plug my ears as he pulls his gun up and the tom stops picks his head up looking for the hen and Matt laid the hammer down on him at 20 yards.

ff894d7f52b28c445500d5f9c4b04d4c.jpg



Tomorrow I’m taking a youth hunter out after his first turkey. Haven’t hunted the farm we are going to in a few years so we shall see how it goes. I know there’s turkeys it’s more of getting setup in a place I think we’ll have a chance at them.
Your new name is the turkey whisperer from here on out!
 
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