Last shot...

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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DeanoZ
 
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Joined: January 14th, 2009, 9:47 am

RE: Last shot...

Postby DeanoZ » May 27th, 2010, 5:27 am

Well fellas thanks for the prayers...unfortunately the cards were not in my favor.  Joe, remember that piece of advice about going to your first setup that feels right...well of course I did not follow it, lol...and I paid for it too.  I'm getting pretty good at figuring out roosting sites without seeing them fly-up...so good in fact I managed to plop down not 10 yards from the tree those birds where roosting in.  In doing so I had to do a little cross country trekking so I was probably louder than I should of been and in being honest the reason why I did not go with my first setup was because it was uncomfortably close to the backyard property line.  Anyway, no sooner I find a suitable tree and sit down I start hearing this weird soft putting noise...I'm thinking to myself,,,what bird is making...UH OH...and the whooosh, flap, flap, flap...two birds fly off the roost headed for the adjacent farm property...BUSTED GAME OVER!!!  So then I had a decision to make...do I try to go after these birds, circle around and try to cut them off, or run and gun?  I chose to run and gun because they were spooked so trying to chase'em down and not knowing if there were other hunters in the woods was probably a bad idea...I could have circled around but I decided to try some running and gunning...if for no other reason than I've not really done it.  So i waited a few mins then got up and marched up the hill.  I won't say i was stealthy, but I was cautious and deliberate and mixed up my calling.  I got no responses, which is what I expected.  Then I doubled back to the original setup from last week and parked it there for a half hour...nothing.  Then I went across road thinking they may have headed that way...setup and went into an aggressive series of yelps, clucks, and purrs...no response.  At that point I ended the hunt because I had to go to work, but as I drove down the road a little further I saw a hen in the woods across the road and the area she crossed would have coincided with the area where I busted them off the roost.  So in hind sight I probably should have circled back around or as Joe calls it Hook and run, but the reality is they generally don't cross that side and get into that area until after 0900, and I'm on my way to work by then. 

This piece of public/private land these birds call home is a tricky piece and its no wonder this Tom has survived for so many years...its not easy to get back to, and their roost/strut zones are sandwiched in between private parcels, so taking into account the legal standoff required and other factors, it makes for a difficult hunt..and these birds know it!  Its going to take some special consideration and tactics to pull this guy from his hens and get him to come to you...in an area that is further away than he probably likes.

I may have a slim window of opportunity to get in there tomorrow, but I'm guessing since I spooked them off the roost, and this Tom is smart, he probably won't be roosting in the same spot...and if I do go it will probably be on the other side of the road and just in the treeline, so I can see them coming, at which point I could do a delay and defend type tactic...reality is though my season is over [:'(].

As I mentioned previously though, this season has been a huge learning curve for me, and one full of great memories and experiences.  I've learned something just about every time I'm out.  I had some great encounters, took a couple long shots (literally) that did not pay off, but for sure I'm a better hunter for it.  Most of all I've made some great friends here, and I can't thank you all enough for your patience, understanding, and willingess to help a stranger out...it speaks volumes about your character as hunters and decent human beings.  I'll probably spend the next month tweaking my setup and repatterning my shotgun...did not get a chance to resolve that issue fully and I don't want to wait until next spring for that.  Aside from that, its time to perform some needed maint on my gear, a deep cleaning on the shotgun, then pack it all away, ready to go at it next spring.  I'll keep a call or two handy though for practice [;)]

Fall Bow Season is around the corner, and the fish are biting...so you all won't see me as much here , but can catch me on D&DH...but I'll pop in from time to time.  You all are good people so I'm not sure I can stay away until next season anyway, lol[:D].  For anyone whose season has not ended, best of luck..keep at'em!!!

Semper Fidelis

D

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shad309
 
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RE: Last shot...

Postby shad309 » May 27th, 2010, 6:26 am

Dang it! That's not the post I wanted to read[:(] 
 

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JPH
 
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RE: Last shot...

Postby JPH » May 27th, 2010, 7:42 am

Deano, you are light years ahead of where I was for my first decade of turkey hunting! No, make that my first 15 years!
 
You ask all the right questions. You are smart, humble and eager to learn from others. None of those virtues come easily to me, but they are the makings of a great turkey hunter.
 
...and that's not just some flowery BS to improve the taste of tag soup. It is the truth.

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eggshell
 
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RE: Last shot...

Postby eggshell » May 27th, 2010, 10:58 am

To quote Ole Grizz in Jeremiah Johnson..."you done well pilgrim". I have been in this game 39 years and i still get my butt kicked at times. You learn and adapt so it won't be long until it will be a bad day for turk when you pull into their woods. It took me many years as well to feel comfortable about what I was doing. If only I had a forum like this it would have been a faster learning experience. One thing more: don't dwell on the mistakes of previous hunts, fear of screwing up is a bigger hindrance  than screwing up. In time those screw ups will build a database of facts and strategies that will automatically query into your hunting style and make you better.

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mark hay
 
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RE: Last shot...

Postby mark hay » May 27th, 2010, 12:10 pm

Well said , Dana,,,,well said .
 
Deano,,,,it ain't over ,,,it'll never be over ,,,,just the shootin' stops and of course the callin' in your huntin' woods . But!,,,the learning doesn't pause because the ''SEASON'' is over for a few months .
 
Best wishes feller.

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Joined: May 25th, 2009, 4:26 pm
Location: Reeseville Wisconsin

RE: Last shot...

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 27th, 2010, 12:27 pm

What they all said above [:)]. You've came a long ways in a short time. Everybody busts them once in a while, sometimes you get lucky and most times you don't. You've learned a lot. Well Done [;)].
WillowRidgeCalls
WI Youth & LTH Mentor
Dodge Co. NWTF
Scott

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Fan Club
 
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Joined: April 13th, 2008, 5:24 am
Location: Calhoun County, Michigan

RE: Last shot...

Postby Fan Club » May 27th, 2010, 1:08 pm

Deano-

Your dilligence and efforts will be rewarded in the future. You're a great student and your humble attitude will serve you well as mature gobblers have a way of humbling the best turkey hunters.

I'm fairly certain you're the only one posting aerial photos here!

Thanks for sharing your season with us and take care.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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DeanoZ
 
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Joined: January 14th, 2009, 9:47 am

RE: Last shot...

Postby DeanoZ » May 28th, 2010, 9:36 am

Thanks all for the kind words...when it comes to hunting, whether it be deer, turkey, or upland they and the experience kinda has a way of humbling ya.  But I've been bitten and bitten hard I tell ya!  Last year was a bit discouraging because I could not even locate the darn things...this year however more than made up for it, and while baggin one would have been the coups de grau, I feel blessed to have come this far.

In all honesty though I couldn't walk away...I had one day left (today) and despite my schedule I managed to fit a hunt in this morning (I just had to do it, lol).  This time I went across the street, figuring I scared the bejesus outta them yesterday and they'd be roosting somewhere else.  I set up in this lush grassy understory where I could see through the woods into the yard and crossing across the street.  I parked it about 100 yards in the woods and went low key...nothing but soft purrs and clucks and scratchings...did not hear a thing and did not see a thing, and by 0730 my season was officially over as I had to be on my way for work.  Guess thats why its called hunting right? [;)]  Thanks again fellas for the help, couldn't have done it without ya!

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Cut N Run
 
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Joined: April 12th, 2008, 2:32 pm
Location: central North Carolina

RE: Last shot...

Postby Cut N Run » May 29th, 2010, 6:52 pm

You gave it a good honest effort, DeanoZ.  I guarantee you'll be much more ready for 'em next time.  I'm embarassed to say how long it took for me to get my first.  I think you are on the right track and expect to be reading of you success here in the future. I'll see you on D&DH for sure.  Good luck on the deer. Don't forget to keep an eye and ear open for turkeys when you are hunting other game (or even fishing), something you find out then might lead you to a good gobbler or a great place to hunt.
 
Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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DeanoZ
 
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Joined: January 14th, 2009, 9:47 am

RE: Last shot...

Postby DeanoZ » May 29th, 2010, 7:09 pm

Hey Jim, thanks...I'll definately keep an eye out, but man I've been bit hard..almost harder than deer hunting, lol!  I'll be ready for next season and keep my eye out for turkeys in the fall...but I was always told where you see them in the off season is not a good indicator of where they will be in the spring?

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