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Old April 13, 2021, 06:53 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 7,466
season continues, 11 -12 April

Stagpanther, I'll keep the stories coming. We're not quite halfway through the season, and I think the latter half will have more gobbling activity than the first.

11April-church, family

12April- At dawn I'm standing on the N. rim of Arrowhead Hollow again. Despite a full days rest yesterday, I had trouble getting up and was a bit lethargic in getting away. I'd planned a different hunt, but Arrowhead is close and I know there's birds here. I float a series of owl hoots down and a bird gobbles about a 1/4mi away, down on the hollow floor, and it sounds very close to where I killed the bird on Sat PM. There's just enough light that I can drop down into the hollow and move that direction, and I start that way, steadily but with some care. I cross the serpentine creek in the bottom and stop in a mild thicket on opposite the creek bank, having covered about 300 yds. I better slow way down, get masked and gloved, and possibly check this gobbler. With the leaves out, he may well be closer than I thought. As I pull my stuff on, the bird obliges by gobbling on his own and he is close, like under 100 yds close. I drop to my knees, and carefully worm to an open spot about 30 ft away, where I can have some lanes to shoot through and there is a cluster of fence post sized saplings that will have to do for a seat and cover. As I swing my legs around to sit, I pop in a mouth call. There is no way I'll be able to manage the slate with the bird this close. As I begin to scan the skyline against the growing morning light, another gobble rings out followed by some yelps, and I spot a turkey on the roost, ....I mean just right there at about 50 yds. It's way up in a big white oak. As I watch, there's a gobble again, and it's clear, whatever this bird is that I've got eyes on, it did not gobble, so there's at least two here. When the next gobble sounds, it sounds different, slightly to the right, up high, again, not the bird I'm watching, and I'm beginning to think there's two gobblers and I'm looking at a hen. I make a couple of very soft tree yelps on the mouth call, and the one of the unseen toms gobbles, the other seems to give some coarse gobbler yelps. A jake and a tom maybe?

To add more drama, I hear wings off to the left as a turkey comes off the roost and lands in the hollow bottom. The gobblers respond accordingly. I call again and all goes quiet. In a minute or two I spot a black shape easing my way along the base of the hollow to the left. Turkey, but geez is it little, so much so that at first I thought it was a crow, smallest hen I've ever seen in the spring. The wee hen comes on, right at me along the hollow base. It likely has heard my calls from ground level and is coming over to check the new girl out. At first I'm hopeful, if the gobblers see this hen on the ground, they may helicopter down right here, in range, and I'll get a shot. But it doesn't work out that way. The tiny hen keeps coming and at 20 ft or so, finally realizes that the brown and green glob at the base of those saplings is odd. She clucks once, the toms gobble, but then she pivots, begins putting, the alarm call, and scoots up the wall of the hollow, clearly alarmed. All goes quiet again. Not good. I risk some soft yelps to try and convince the toms that all is really OK, but things have changed. The most distant of the toms, the one I believe is the mature bird, eventually pitches from his roost, and I see him briefly as he sails down and away about 100 yds. The bird I'm watching and believe is a hen follows in just a minute or so, and when she goes, the second, yelping gobbler (jake?) follows her from his perch, he was just right there too, out of sight.

On the ground, 100 yds plus now, the gobbling resumes, and there clearly moving away. I pick up and follow, but they move on as well. By 7:00AM, there well down the hollow. I hear the last gobble at about 8:00AM, there up in the dang private pasture and I'm likely done here. I stay for an hour, calling lightly, hoping for action but nothing happens. I feel pretty beat, even though I should be rested. I decide to call it, but I'll prowl the creek bank as I go, maybe I can find another point. And I do, not as pretty as the one last week, but enough to leave satisfied.

Alls not over though.....I get about 3/4 of the way out and realize my camo jacket, which I'd stuffed in my vest as it warmed, has pulled out. I retrace my steps all the way jacket. I retrace back to the point I discovered it was missing......30 yds prior, it's laying alongside a big rock I'd sat on to rest. . The whole episode led to alot of walking and it's now hot. I make it back to the Bronco about 1:00PM totally squashed.
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