Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Missed a Tom, Shot a Jake

  1. #1
    Has too much time on their hands

    User Info Menu

    Default Missed a Tom, Shot a Jake

    Since the first week of the season I haven't been able to get out again until yesterday morning. My neighbour and I met up at the property at 4:30 and headed in to the blinds. He was wise enough to put a bug net on before walking in, I stuck it out until I got the the blind and got the Thermacell started. My neighbour set up in first blind on the west end of the base of the ridge where the turkeys roost. I circled down below the ridge and came back up to settle in the blind on the east end. It was a hot and sticky morning and the walk across the plowed field got the sweat flowing along with the blood.

    Got through the usual predawn scramble without spilling my coffee this time and I sat back to enjoy it and the cool breeze coming through the blind windows while listening for gobbling. I then noticed some hornets had recently started taking up residence in the blind, but being dark they were still sleepy so we kept our respective distances.

    By legal light I still hadn't heard any gobbling so I gave a few soft yelps and got an immediate response from the ridge, followed by a fainter response further down the ridge. I typed out a text to see if John had heard and looked up from my phone and a tom had already flown down into the field between us, about 90 yards out. This was 5:15. We hadn't put any decoys out, in hindsight maybe one of us should have, but this tom was only interested in whatever was still roosted on the ridge. He would respond to us both, but he stayed put until he was joined by a couple of jakes and 5 or 6 hens.

    Over the next half hour or so they did what they do. Gobbling, pecking, strutting and generally staying just out of range.

    Not the best pic here (tried to zoom on the phone) but you get the idea. I was glad just to see so many birds, my Dad had already taken 2 nice toms from this property in the early season and my uncle just shot one on Thursday.




    They eventually got closer to my side and would pass a little closer to the blind each time they would meander by. We usually leave a tall tripod made of sticks in the field in front of the blinds at 40 yards for a marker, but the farmer had taken them off the field when he plowed. In my haste to get out of the heat and bugs on my way in I didn't put it back out. At one point the tom followed a hen to what I thought was about 45 yards from the blind but his fan was turned to me the entire time and if it wasn't, he was bunched with other birds. When I did shoot I think I just picked the wrong moment and took a shot that was too far, and didn't touch him at all. I've missed 2 toms from blinds now, for some reason I don't like shooting from blinds, I can't explain why.

    As it turns out the shot didn't spook the birds too badly, and they continued their field parade before exiting stage Northeast to a neighbouring corn stubble field a half hour later. Knowing that we could leave the blinds, head across the field we were in and take the trail north through the cedar swamp to gain ground on the birds, we decided to give it a try.

    The trail through the cedars allowed us to move quickly and quietly while remaining out of site from the corn stubble fields to the east. The turkeys tend to loosely follow the same pattern. Roost on the ridge, fly down to the field with the blinds, mill around, head east for part of the day, visit the cedar swamp/wetter areas in the afternoon before making it back to the roost. I hoped to call the birds off the corn stubble into the bush where we would set up an ambush.

    John stayed out closer to the corn stubble field on a bush trail, hoping to shoot one if they came down the trail when I started calling. I set up as backup in case they had gone farther north than we originally thought and was a little deeper in the bush. I could just see into the corn stubble field about 100 yards away.

    After the move, the stirred up mosquito clouds in the cedars were horrific, so I sat for a while and waited for the Thermacell to cast its spell on my little area and started calling. John texted shortly after that he could see some of the birds out across the corn stubble. I kept putting the binoculars on the field but couldn't see anything yet. Soon I could make out a few dark shapes and red heads out in the field, heads swiveling, gobbling back to my diaphragm calls. They were coming straight to me rather than making for the gaps in the rail fence between the field and the bush that the ambush was somewhat based around, and coming up on my bad side (my right was to the field). While they covered the last few yards between the field edge and the rail fence I was able to get turned more towards the birds but not entirely. One by one these 3 jakes hopped over the fence for a look but all eyes were looking my way and I couldn't turn that last bit to shoot. The first 2 turned and started to go back to the field but the 3rd lingered a bit and finally gave me a chance to turn around more to my right and drop him at under 20 yards.

    As it turned out, just before I shot the jake, John was busted by the tom sneaking along the trial while his attention was on the jakes in the field. It caught his movement and flew off into the swamp. That tom had quite a lucky morning!

    We took a pic back up at the field and you can see both blinds.



    Thanks for reading if you stayed until the end.

    Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk
    "where a man feels at home, outside of where he's born, is where he's meant to go"
    ​- Ernest Hemingway

  2. # ADS
    Advertisement
    ADVERTISEMENT
     

  3. #2
    Member for Life

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Congrats.....jakes are much better table fare !!
    “If you’re not a Liberal by twenty, you have no heart. If you’re not a Conservative by forty, you have no brain.”
    -Winston Churchill

  4. #3
    Leads by example

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Congrats. Good read till the end. Sucks missing but you redeemed yourself. Your lucky to have a big area that you can move around like that.
    "Only dead fish go with the flow."
    Proud Member: CCFR, CSSA, OFAH, NFA.

  5. #4
    Has too much time on their hands

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rick_iles View Post
    Congrats.....jakes are much better table fare !!
    Agreed! Although the tom would have been nice I'll gladly take jakes for the pot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deer Hunter View Post
    Congrats. Good read till the end. Sucks missing but you redeemed yourself. Your lucky to have a big area that you can move around like that.
    Definitely very lucky to have access to that property. The first step to being successful with turkeys is having a good place to hunt them. This is a very dependable place for always holding roosted birds.

    Thanks guys.

    Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk
    "where a man feels at home, outside of where he's born, is where he's meant to go"
    ​- Ernest Hemingway

  6. #5
    Loyal Member

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Great story and congrats . Good eats

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

  7. #6
    Member for Life

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Stayed to the end (finished the read)
    Thanks for sharing the great story and congrats on the bird. well done
    "Everything is easy when you know how"
    "Meat is not grown in stores"

  8. #7
    Has too much time on their hands

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Nothing wrong with a Jake, congrats
    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life"

  9. #8
    Just starting out

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Congrats. Great story. Thanks for sharing

  10. #9
    Borderline Spammer

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Congrats, thanks for sharing, enjoyed the story to the end.
    “Think safety first and then have a good hunt.”
    - Tom Knapp -

  11. #10
    Apprentice

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Congrats on the jake and a good read

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •