Caught with my pants down!

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DeanoZ
 
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Caught with my pants down!

Postby DeanoZ » April 28th, 2010, 5:42 am

Not literally, but I just knew when the moment of truth came I would not be ready for it.  So after 3 days of locating and stragizing I put myself in a setup close to where they were roosting.  At first light no flydown, so perhaps they were roosting somewhere else, but I knew they were close by.  Birds have been tight lipped too and I've only heard a few scant gobbles, so when they come up on you its quick.  I was tucked in a hedge row perpendicular to the treeline they were roosting in and set my deke in the field about 20 yards to my front.  Tucked in the hedgerow I did not have a good field of view to my sides just about a 30 meter frontage out into the field.  Started with some soft clucks and purrs at first light since I thought i was close to the roost and as the morning progressed I went into progressively louder yelps.  At about 0730 I notice a ground hog and the song birds in the field take off for the treeline...thought to myself hmmm, something scared'em could it be a Tom (don't know if a strutting Tom would cause them to run?) or a coyote?  Anyway, I readied myself and after a few minutes passed and nothing showed I made the mistake of letting my guard down, took my mask off for a moment and had my gun draped across my legs, call on the ground...and at that very moment I catch a Gob and Jake screaming into my deke!!!  The slowed just before reaching it, but by then it was to late, they caught a glimpse of me, were unsure what they saw and started running off!!!  I wish I could have seen the look on my face...it was one of those Homer Simpson Doh...moments, lol! However they held up to my right behind some cover so I quickly hit my mouth call with a few clucks and some purrs...he gobbled, so i yelped and then he and the jake started to come back over, but just shy of my right lateral limit and just out of range..I was tempted to take the shot but hoped they would come in.  They never did and instead wandered over to the treeline and eventually out of sight!!!  But all is not lost, that was my very first face to face encounter with a Gob.  On another thread I've been detailing my encounters and struggle to find this elusive Tom...well I found him, or he found me, lol!  I told myself I just want one encounter this season, I don't even need the kill and I can walk away with satisfaction.  Now after having the encounter, I may have to rethink that, lol.  Truthfully though I'm happy and if that's as good as it gets this season at least I have a better story than last.  So my season is not over yet, and I have until Friday to get this guy.  So the big question I have is, can I or should I go back to the same spot?  I don't think I spooked them, just made them nervous enough that they decided not to play?  I can't help but keep singing to myself that song from that one American Idol contestant..."Pants on da ground, pants on da ground..looking like a fool wit ya pants on da ground", lol.

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby Cut N Run » April 28th, 2010, 6:51 am

Tough break, Kon.  I might start looking for another set-up in the woods, because the next few times they pass the area where something spooked them in that hedgerow they're probably going to be a little leery, if they don't steer clear of it all together. It doesn't sound like you scared them badly & that's a good thing. They might be a little decoy-shy now though.
 
If you are turkey hunting, you have to be ready at all times, like a trap set to spring. Patience. Turkeys have an uncanny ability to come in when you least expect it.  The only time I don't have my gun on my knee close to ready is when I'm answering nature's call. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten up only to see or hear turkeys coming in. Keep your mask on until you're done hunting. I'm sorry that it cost you this time.  It's just one of those lessons turkeys teach that will make it harder to forget next time. I have been schooled too many times to say.
 
Good luck on that bird. I really hope you get him. You certainly have worked for him. Looking forward to seeing your picture with him posted here.
 
Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby DeanoZ » April 28th, 2010, 9:48 am

Hey Jim, yeah was a tough break, but goes with being a newbie I guess [;)]  Thanks for the feedback, I had a feeling they may be deke shy, and shy to that location.  I only have tomorrow and Friday left to bag this Tom, so I have two choices, try the same location and pray or move...normally i have no problem moving, but it would have to now be in the treeline adjacent to the hedgerow.  Only problem with that is there is no suitable trees to park against and the treeline would be directly in the morning sun.  In so much as I hate to do it I may just have to drag the blind out and set it up in that treeline [:'(]

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mark hay
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby mark hay » April 28th, 2010, 12:47 pm

I agree with Jim . They'll be at the least edgy near that spot . If you can get somewhere 30-40 yards on either side , crawl in and get as comfortable as possible you just might get it done . Trim away the lower branches to allow more lateral swing room of the gun .
 You don't have to be concealed in the cover ,,,,just blend in with the surroundings ,,,break up your outline .
 I'd recommend using a different call too.
 
 Hope ya get him DeanoZ

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby DeanoZ » April 28th, 2010, 1:55 pm

Thanks Mark...ok 30-40 yards on either side I can do.  I thought I might have to vacate the immediate area for at least a hundred yards or so...I'll use a different mouth call as well.  Just hope he shows himself again

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby DeanoZ » April 29th, 2010, 7:08 am

So day 4 came and went with no bird down. [:(]  but the pieces of the puzzle are coming together and becoming more clear.  There is an adjacent piece of private land 500 meters to the south east of the public piece I hunt.  It appears they are now roosting there and pitch into the farm field on that property.  When they've had their fill of hens there, they come looking west in the field I've been hunting.  Per Mark and Jim's recommendation i moved my location about 50 yards to the corner of the field where the hedgerow meets the treeline..I found a nice spot to tuck in my blind, yet give me visibility over most of the field.    Around 0630 I hear a gobble which appears to come from the top of the field about 200 meters away...I'm thinking great, he's going to come right in and I'll be done by 7am!   Not being one to make it easy for me the Tom had a different idea...he decides to veer right and go behind the hedge row![:@]  I threw a few yelps, he never responded directly but continued to gobble on and off sporadically for about 5 mins...each time his sound getting progressively softer, which told me he was moving away and it sounded as if he was headed towards my old position.  I threw the kitchen sink at him  mixed, cuts, yelps, fighting purrs, you name it...and then nothing but silence!!!  So now the question is what do i do?  They are becoming more vocal, and based on yesterdays encounter, they sometimes respond to my calls, but not always (finicky Jersey Toms!).  I have one more day left so I have to make the best of my positioning.  Options are to go to my very first spot since it appeared the Tom today headed that way 2) go back to my same spot today and hope he changes his mind...or a 3) third option I just thought of would be to position myself at the tip of hedgerow, this way if he decides to go left or right he'll see my decoy first and head that way?  WRT the tip of the hedgerow...I'm not sure its concealing enough and its pretty thick...so can't say for sure whether or not its a tenable position.  Recommendations are greatly appreciated :)

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mark hay
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby mark hay » April 29th, 2010, 8:06 am

Since you have offered him the kitchen sink ,,,,,I wouldn't try it again .
 
 Be little more subdued ,,,,soft purrs , once in a while ,,,some leaf scratchin'. I would not yelp ,,,,or call loudly at all.
,,,and he may be a sneaker next time .
 
 Patience,,,,don't make my mistakes , of tryin' to rush things along ,,,,wait him out ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,once your convinced he's heard some purrs , just give some scratchin' ,,,make him think she's feedin'.
 
Hope ya get him.

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby DeanoZ » April 29th, 2010, 8:42 am

ORIGINAL: mark hay

Since you have offered him the kitchen sink ,,,,,I wouldn't try it again .
 
 Be little more subdued ,,,,soft purrs , once in a while ,,,some leaf scratchin'. I would not yelp ,,,,or call loudly at all.
,,,and he may be a sneaker next time .
 
 Patience,,,,don't make my mistakes , of tryin' to rush things along ,,,,wait him out ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,once your convinced he's heard some purrs , just give some scratchin' ,,,make him think she's feedin'.
 
Hope ya get him.


Mark, no yelping at all?  To clarify, do you mean when I'm responding to a gobble don't yelp...or in  general no yelping?    How about the setup?  Stay put...move to the other two options?

Generally I've been calling (yelps and clucks) about once every half hour...if I hear a gobble, I'll yelp...if i don't get a response I'll yelp once more...if I get a response I wait and every once in a while throw in some soft purrs and clucks...is this good/bad?

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mark hay
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby mark hay » April 29th, 2010, 9:50 am

Is this public land ?
How long has season been in there?
Has there been a lot of hunters in this area?
 
If it is anything like the public land I hunt , I seriously doubt you'll kill that bird by using yelps . That bird has probably heard yelping and from every hunter in the area . Turkeys remember things . That bird didn't live this long because he didn't answer calls .He probably caught a few hunters moving when they should have been sitting still . They only need a couple hunters to make a mistake and then they become ''CALL SHY'','',EDUCATED'',,''GO AWAY BIRDS'' ''TOUGH'',,,,,,,,''STAND ON THE OTHER RIDGE AND GOBBLE HARD , BUT WON'T COME IN ,BIRDS''.
All the same thing ain't it ? They been spooked and boogered too many times , right after they reached what they thought was a hen calling to them . SOOOOOO!,, They start making the hens come to them .
 
 You'll need to give him something that doesn't sound threatening, from a spot where he hasn't been spooked from .
 Don't misunderstand me please . I don't want to come across like I know it all or like I could kill this bird . I'm just relaying to you some of the things I've learned from 13 seasons of hunting public land.
 
 Consider :
 faint whines
 very soft purrs & clucks
 leaf scratching
 if you want to yelp ,,,I'd do it as soft as possible ,,,3or4

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Caught with my pants down!

Postby DeanoZ » April 29th, 2010, 10:27 am

Mark thanks...and I don't think you come across as anything but an experienced hunter..just like Jim and the others who have generously shared their knowledge and experience, so feel free to interject and impart your wisdom...if you recall you got me started last year, so I value your advice.

Ok as for your questions: 

1. Yes, this is public land
2. This is the 4th day of the season...so still relatively early
3.  Its a small tract and up until today there were only two of us hunting it...the other guy being the one who took 2 shots at the birds on the adjacent private lot and missed!

So I would characterize it as very mild pressure, but on the upswing of getting heavier, especially as the season goes on (it goes through the end of May in NJ).  everything you said makes sense given the above, and although its not a heavily hunted piece, there are enough folks hunters and non running around that place that the birds are probably shy at this point.  would certainly explain why i have not heard anything other than a gobble and only a handful of those at best.  Even the hens that came by my setup Mon and tues did not say a peep.

So if they are call shy, and I have rolling terrain, how do I get them to come to my decoy (or me) that's in the low ground near the treeline that they can't see...unless I call?  Kind of a catch 22?

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