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Thread: My 2018 Wild Turkey season

  1. #1
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    Default My 2018 Wild Turkey season

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    A recap of my wild turkey hunting season from 2018 .... I hunt with a small group of folks, including my dad (very fair weather hunter), brother in law (dedicated hunter, but working away from home at the moment), father in law (keen hunter), and a younger friend of mine who just began hunting in 2016 when I introduced him to it. We had a great season again this spring. My "newbie" younger friend was able to take his first ever hunting game on opening day and I was was able to take a mature longbeard in late May. I had many other opportunities to take a second longbeard, but sometimes hunting truly is a "game of inches". Unfortunately, my father in law and brother in law were not able to hunt very much at this spring. The stories for those who are interested ...

    My younger friend and I had roosted a flock of 10 birds (at least two longbeards) the night before opening day so we knew both where they were roosting and their preferred destination (He had been seeing the birds entering a certain field about 7:45 AM consistently.)

    We were sitting down and set up shortly after 5:00 AM. I took a conservative approach and we stayed about 100 meters off where the longbeards were roosting because I wasn't certain exactly where the hens were and didn't want to bust the roost in the dark. Turned out to be a good decision as one hen was roosted quite close to us and we probably would have busted her had we pursued a most aggressive setup. I set up a standing hen about 40 meters to our left and a submissive hen / jake about 15 meters to our left. The hope was to draw the birds across in front of us as they moved into the decoys. I had the jake closest as I was pretty sure the male birds would go to it first.

    Birds were very quiet in the morning, with the dominant longbeard only gobbling 3 or 4 times on the roost and the subordinate longbeard only once. They gobbled once to my tree yelp and I did not call again until the birds hit the ground. I simulated a fly down about 5:50 AM and shortly after the birds came down.

    They quickly regrouped into a flock about 80 meters out from our setup. I cut/yelped on the slate, but the response was muted so I shut down my aggressive calling. Two hens took a quick tour through our decoys and then moved off. Unfortunately the "boss gobbler" didn't come inside 45 meters.

    As the flock started moving toward the middle of the field around 6:10 AM, one bird broke from the year of the pack and began moving in. Sure enough, this was a jake. I did not call as he came in straight for the jake decoy. I purred/clucked to keep him interested while my friend positioned for the shot. He missed the first shot (probably 15 meter shot - not much margin for error at close range with tight full chokes) and the jake quickly moved off a bit. My calling slowed him down enough for him to rack the shotgun and drop him with authority at 35 meters. He was just elated - great hunt.



    Having spent the first few weeks of the season concentrating on calling for others and having a few "near things" myself with mature longbeards, I managed to notch my own tag in late May. A large flock consistently roosts on the edge of a woodlot before flying down to spend the majority of their day in relatively open fields. They are very difficult to hunt once in the open fields as they tend to be very reluctant to respond to calling/decoy setups. A strategy that has paid off for me in the past is what I call my "Delta Force" approach. I go solo, very early, and tuck in literally beside the roosting birds. With vegetation on the trees it allows me to slide in silently and be set up literally adjacent to their "bed room". Sure enough, I was able to accomplish this successfully and harvested a 19 lb longbeard (0.75 inch spurs, 9 inch beard) within the first few minutes of flydown.



    Another great season - felt awesome to help my friend take his first game and managed to extend my streak of taking a mature longbeard to six years. On to deer season!

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  3. #2
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    congrats nice birds. Did your computer break or something LOL its july.
    "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"

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom gobble View Post
    congrats nice birds. Did your computer break or something LOL its july.
    Gee give the guy a break can't you see he was suffering from Jaundice.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

  5. #4
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    Work finally wound down enough to allow the time to post it up ...

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckchaser View Post
    Work finally wound down enough to allow the time to post it up ...
    I was just joking with you LOL I love to hear stories after the season it fills the gap until the season starts again.
    "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"

  7. #6
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    All good. Stories help pass the time when it is 35 degrees and blazing hot ... bring on the fall woods.

  8. #7
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    nice job on the birds!
    Things that fly turn me on

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