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Old May 3, 2023, 04:17 PM   #26
hikingman
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What a story, I enjoyed it.
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Old May 3, 2023, 11:04 PM   #27
bamaranger
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Oh no....not again!

3May-I 'm off to South Ridge this morning to hunt the little shelf where I heard birds and saw a good tom previously. A bit late, I never settle in on the shelf till 6:30, but I'm really careful about a stealthy approach. Too, the hollow is quite deep and shaded, and on a west slope, not really catching much morning light, and so the light is still very flat and dim when I set up.

Masked and gloved up, I yelp softly on the slate w/ a hardwood striker, then quickly switch strikers to a carbon fiber number and sort of answer myself. I'm in the process of tucking the call and strikers into loops on my vest, when a turkey powers out of a tree a mere 50-60-yds away! I ditch the calls and get my hands on my gun, but I cannot shoulder it....the turkey veers towards me and lands about 30 FEET away. I'm pinned!!!!!!!!! We stare at each other, it's trying to figure out what I am (clearly, I am not a hen!) and I'm trying to determine if it is a hen or a gobbler. The light is flat, everything is still dark like. I can clearly see there is not a long beard on the bird, but I cannot put any color or details on the head. I've about convinced myself it's a hen.

The bird takes a step or two in my direction, then hops up on a large down log. This perch puts enough morning light on the bird, now sideways to me, that I see a short, 1" or so beard and a red, raw meat colored head. That is a dang jake! I've had far too many gobblers get away, to feel too bad about shooting a yearling, and have no reservations about taking a jake. The young tom tightropes down the log and a medium sized tree blocks his head and I snap the gun up. He doesn't flush but he's seen enough! He hops off the log and begins to quick step off in the peculiar, head jerking motion that alerted turkeys adopt. He's not running, but he's not sticking around either.
I track him in the scope, trying to get his head/neck centered, and avoid a rather inconvenient screen of saplings between us. He changes his angle slightly, nearly dead away, and I trip a shot......the bird flushes and flies away..

A sapling about the thickness of a broomstick, 2-3 feet off the muzzle, unseen till that moment, flops over dramatically, cleanly shot in half! Maybe I ain't such a hot turkey hunter after all?
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Old May 6, 2023, 05:39 PM   #28
bamaranger
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3 more hunts

4May-This morning I go back to Middle Ridge and its gorgeous strut zone out on the far end. Totally gassed at this point in the season, I don't intend to cover much ground, and the ridge top is flat and easy walking. I tote the blind and a folding chair, along with a jake and hen decoy, and set up shop just at daylight in the center of the two flats where I killed gobbler #2. There were two together as you might recall, and ol'Slick gobbled one time that morning as well, so there may be two mature gobblers left in the general area, and the flats have been a strut zone and productive spot for years. But not this morning. I stay 'till 1:00PM, hoping to catch some midday activity but hear and see nothing.

5May-It rains and is overcast in the AM, and I try and catch some sleep. I run a couple of errands with a pal that needs a driver and am back home in time to beat it over to KP;s for an afternoon field hunt. I'm amazed how grown up the pasture is, my decoys are barely visible in the tall grass, but I find a thin spot and hunt till dusk, hearing a seeing nothing. On the way out I speak with KP, who claims to have heard a gobbler just the day before, so I may hunt it one more time.

6May-Based on KP's report, I go back and hunt the pasture one more time. I try and find a thin spot in the grass, plunk out the two dekes, and sit till 1:00PM, but hear and see nothing.
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Old May 9, 2023, 12:02 AM   #29
bamaranger
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all done

Well it's over. At best count, I hunted 22 days. I didn't count afternoon or evening roosting trips. Killed 2, shot at 2 (jeez) ran 1 off and spooked 1 unknown. Other than the fiasco on opening morning, I had no problem with other hunters or hunting pressure. The season was complicated by weather, difficult/access to one of my prime properties, an ATV that quit right before season , and two 4WD's that gave problems. I also had a wedding and a college graduation to attend that required travel.

I could have hunted a bit harder,.....maybe. By the end of the season I was totally gassed. Tomorrow, I head north to hunt in PA with an old pal and to visit my Mom on Mothers Day. I still intend to post a pic of bird #2 at some point. Thanks to all for the reads and positive comments. If you hunt spring turkey, I hope you get out as much as you want and have success.
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Old May 9, 2023, 05:59 AM   #30
sako2
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What part of PA will u be hunt? Weather here hasn't been good. Showers almost every day since the season opened. Good luck up here.
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Old May 11, 2023, 12:06 AM   #31
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Have 5-6 turkey wonder into my front yard daily this Spring. Last look 2 or 3 of are Jakes. Last Fall there were 17 of em with a huge Tom always watching his ladies. What a show he put on strut'in and fluff' in.
Around 7 am they show up and walk up the East side of our house lawn to the back yard & deck. Once there wife throws sweet kernel corn to them. These birds are trusting towards us but no doubt always on guard. What is surprising to me is how much ground they can cover in a short time just pecking the ground every now-and-then in their (browsing) about. No dog here just a couple of slow moving old folks willing to share a bit of corn w/them.
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Old May 25, 2023, 01:04 PM   #32
Jim Watson
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Bama reports seeing two good turkeys in Penn, but neither could be tempted into range.
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Old June 3, 2023, 07:40 PM   #33
bamaranger
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pic bird 2

Finally,.......the pic of bird 2 off of Middle Ridge.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg IMG_0094.jpeg (660.2 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by bamaranger; June 3, 2023 at 09:56 PM.
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Old June 3, 2023, 08:18 PM   #34
Colorado Redneck
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Thanks for posting that picture! Shows how beautiful the colors of the bird and also how nice your area is.
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Old June 3, 2023, 09:55 PM   #35
bamaranger
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pic

Bamaboy posted that for me over Mexican food tonight. On my screen here the pic looks a bit washed out, but still, it ain't bad. That's my old slate that has been the demise of about half my gobblers. One can also get a sense of how open and park like Middle Ridge is at that location and how mature the timber is grown. I took this pic at the base of the tree I was set up on!!
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