Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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eggshell
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby eggshell » February 14th, 2010, 3:39 am

Opening day two years ago I set up on a  bird on the roost and hens flew down right below me and started moving to my left. Since the gobbler was to my right and on the bench below me I was in pretty good shape. I just needed to pull them all up the hill, a few calls later bingo here they all came. I first spotted the gobbler in full strut off my left shoulder, when he went behind a hump I tucked down and set my gun on just ahead of him on a spot 25 yards away. When I looked down the barrel my trueglo sights were gone, nothing but barrel. I had not even looked at my gun barrel when I sat down. I thought no problem I can still kill him. So here he comes and walks behind a Maple just about 5 steps from my gun barrel, all I need to do is wait. Well he stops behind that small maple (approx. 8-10" diameter) so smart ole turkey hunter me decides to get the shot sooner and moves my gun barrel to the edge of the tree.....putt putt, an 8" maple ain't big enough to hide movement. Well he turns and starts walking down the hill, in a normal case he's still dead, but as I readjusted I had no sight and could not pick him up as it distracted me so much trying to be disciplined with my sightless aim. You guessed it away he went and I never killed that gobbler, he gobbled all season, but would not come.  I had him dead if I'd only waited and let him take the 5 steps to my gun barrel! I think that falls in the impatience category with Mark Hay. Also, always do a quick gun check, everything attached, working and yes loaded.

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Fan Club
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Fan Club » February 14th, 2010, 5:07 am

Eventually I'll reveal some of my mistakes, but right now I'm enjoying everyone elses!
 
> When I looked down the barrel my tru glo sights were gone, nothing but barrel. <
 
That just reminded me of something that happened down at our Missouri Camp about 10 years ago. Jack is a retired co-worker of my father. He had the same model NWTF Mossberg 500 that I had for my first turkey gun. Fiber Optics were fairly new on the market back then and he really liked the set I put on my gun. He got a set and put them on his gun but remarked to me, "I got the same ones you have but they just don't look as good as your's do, I'm not sure I like them" I said let's take a look. He took his gun out of the case and started laughing. Jack said "What's so funny?"
 
He had installed them backwards with the single red dot down by his receiver and the two green dots at the end of his barrel! Well we fixed him up and he went out and killed a gobbler. He still gets reminded of that at least once each spring!
 
[:D]
 
 


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mark hay
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby mark hay » February 14th, 2010, 6:26 am

I put a plan together two years ago to try and trick a strutter that spent a lot of time in a hay field . The field is private ground , bordered on three side by public land . There is a small opening in the brushy fencerow that someone cleared for their 4 wheeler . I had been in their the afternoon before and scouted the area over , decided on my setup and left . Next morning I made the march in the dark , with my HEADLAMP on my cap . Once I reached the top of a ridge and the trees thinned out I could see well enough without the light so I turned it off , but left it mounted on my cap , you know , just in case I might need it again . I made it to my set up spot and stood around listening in the stillness . The gobbler began his morning ritual off to my left about 400 yards . Soon after he started I could hear jakes to my right about 100-150 yards . I sat down and got comfortable and waited . I could now tell that the gobbler was on the ground and moving away from me . I also heard the wingbeats of the jakes . I made a soft series of hen yelps and then stayed quiet . Out in the hayfield I spot a turkey walking . It's a jake and is around 50 yards . Even though I didn't want this jake I got rather excited and and my heart and breathing increased . Jake stops right in the middle of the fence opening . He stretched his neck and stood still for a while , then he just squatted in the dew soaked grass . What! What the heck is he doin' ? He remained there for about 5 minutes when two other jakes came running up to him , got hm up and they began chasing each other in circles . As they went about their dissagreements they moved off to where the fencerow brush hid my movement . My old knee was aching so I stood up . I reached up to pull down my net , and in doing so I moved my cap , which seemed awful heavy . That's when I discovered what jake had been staring at . My head lamp was not on , but it might as well have been , with it's chrome plated mounting catching the new light of morning . Had those other two rascals not come along for a sportin' fight , I may have been held hostage all morning.
 The gobbler did come around , with the jakes chasing hard ,,,,,,,and then he died .
 
REMOVE HEADLAMP !

Fargohunt
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Fargohunt » February 14th, 2010, 7:15 am

Now that's what I talking about!!  I knew you guys had it in you, especially ole Hooosh, I just knew you'd be good for a story.[;)]
 
This is great stuff and just what I had hoped for.
 
Last year when hunting with my cousin in Worthington Indiana...late season, fairly warm and a perfect day..quiet and all, we just couldn't seem to get a bird going.  We had a couple jakes in the am who simply wouldn't fly down and we figured they had taken a beating up to that point from the toms so they were hesitant, even if we sounded sweet to them.  Finally, around 10:30 we struck a bird, but we could tell he was 3-400 yds away.  The area is heavily wooded with fairly big ravines, alot of big rolls and mixed hay fields here and there, but most woods, give or take 350 acres.  I had never set foot on the land before that day.  So given the fact that he was far off we wanted to be sure he was responding to us to we moved toward him, maybe 100 yards.  We barked on a box call and he responded so we thought game on and we sat still for 15 minutes--nothing so we called just a little and he resonded, but casually and not immediately...humm, maybe he has a hen?  We moved closer again, but also laterally to mix it up and to stay on top of him since it sounded like he was down in a broad hollow.
 
We sat for about 15 minutes and called again, but on a pot, he responded, but casually again.  We sat for another 15-20 minutes and called, but nothing this time. so we moved again, not much, maybe 50 yards and sat and called and he sounded as though he had moved away so picked up and moved fast to try and keep pace and again stay on top, maybe 100 yards this time and stood for a minute and heard a cluck, oh crap! and all of a sudden he was in our lap, not 40 yards away and we had our pants down.
 
So while I loved the run and gun, something I hadn't done before, we had misjudged the land and how the sound can change quickly.  When we thought he had moved away, he was just down in a big ravine and the sound wasn't carrying like it was before--he must have been along one of the ridges earlier, but he had dropped down in a ravine slowly moving toward us.
 
I loved it, it was a blast, but I learned quickly to listen better, know the terrain first and of course to be a litle more patient before we move.

Duke0002
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Duke0002 » February 14th, 2010, 8:11 am

Happened this fall.  Late afternoon, sun was shining in the west and stiff wind blowing from the east.   I know some birds are to the south.  Do I sit with the lowering sun shining in my eyes and the wind at my back, or do I face into the wind with the sun at my back?

I chose to face the wind with the sun behind.  Put out some loud kee-kee runs.  About 10 mins later I notice movement off my right shoulder at about 5 feet.  2 gobblers had walked into the wind behind me.  I didn't hear a thing.   They saw me turn and bolted!  One flew into a tree about 30 yds away and tortured me. 

Lesson learned:  Put the wind at your back and the sun in your eyes.   I might have heard them coming if they had come in and I was down wind.

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mark hay
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby mark hay » February 14th, 2010, 11:41 am

Standing in the dark , in an area I had little experience in , a tom began to gobble over and over . I slowly and quietly moved about ten steps and set up . The gobbler was off at about 10 o'clock from my position . An overcast morning made light come slow , but soon enough I could see tom strutting on his limb . It was toward the end of season and the leaves were coming on strong, though mostly on the understory young stuff. It was also very dry , and warm ahead or a spring front .
 I missed seeing tom pitch off the limb , though I knew when it happened by the sudden silence . After maybe ten minutes he gobbled. He's still out there around 75-100 yards . My walnut is running in high gear trying to think of everything . Suddenly I hear a slow ,,,,,very slow mind you , movement to my immediate right. Now I don't want to risk the chance of moving and being seen by the gobbler , but, whatever it is that's moving, is moving so slow , and very close to the ground , and coming straight toward me. A continuous slow rattle of leaves . Now my walnut is downshiftin' into passin' gear . My breathing grew fast as I strained my eyeballs to the right in hope of makin' out this intruder . All I could think of was TIMBER RATTLER! Finally I tell myself that a willing gobbler ain't worth gettin' snakebit over . I eased my head as slow as possible to have a look . Da'gummit ! A tarapin ! Thank God!
 As I looked at the box turtle my fears vanished , my breathing calmed and I now am uncomfortable from being tensed up . Hadn't heard a peep from tom in a while now . Oh well , I thought , it ain't the first time I screwed up . Might as well get comfortable . I shifted my legs a little to relieve the pain , and of course , I rattled some leaves of my own . I hadn't finished my movement when tom gobbled ,,,,right out in front of me, down in an old road bed , out of sight . I jerked the 870 to where I HOPED tom would stick up his head , of course I was wrong. Instead of peekin' over the top he jumped up there , stretched his neck , putted one loud time , and jumped back into the road bed . What the ? Why ? I sat there talking to the tarapin in utter amazement , but the boxxy reptile offered no assistance as to what spooked that gobbler .
 Finally I started to get my legs under me . The tarapin withdrew his head and I discovered what spooked the turkey. I had pulled my generally too short camo pants right over my work clothes since I was only hunting to about 9 o'clock , and then drive 45 miles to work. My jeans were of the correct length for a skinny old man , and my wife had spillled some bleach on the cuff area . I knew this , but, never dreamed . My camo had climbed up my leg exposing that very white spot the size of a regulation softball .
 
One of many mistakes that WILL NOT happen to this feller again . Since then , I check all my gear over 'n'over 'n' over .
 
But , I kilt that rascal the next mornin'. SWEET,,,,VERY SWEET revenge on a pressured , public land bird .

swpatrkyhunter
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby swpatrkyhunter » February 14th, 2010, 3:22 pm

Well I might as well throw my hat into the ring as well!
 
  It was in South Western Pa. Fayette county, A couple years ago. It was the third day of the season and the weather was not the most pleasent. Opening day was met with wind, rain and overcast. The forcast for this day was promising, cloudy with possible showers ending early. So. I put on my rain gear and went out that morning with high hopes! Although the weather had been wet and nasty the birds were stiil moving around bussiness as usual. I sat next to a field were the birds had been coming out just about every morning. My first mistake was to assume that they would show up while I was there. As daylight approuched, I could hear the birds on the ridge to my left. Now it was just a waiting game. I threw out a couple soft yelps after they hit the ground. I had a tom gobbling back at me hot and heavy. He was so exicted that every call I put out was getting stomped on by him. It was then that I made my second mistake. At that moment in time I could envision the tom, tripping over his beard trying to get to me. "I got him now!" (Foolish thought!) Just when my head could not get any bigger a hen decided to join in the fun. Now the tom slowed down. Now it was a battle between me and the hen. Even then I knew it was a battle that I would lose. But my stubborn thinking got the best of me. That was mistake number three.
                                                 After it was over, and I sat there, Going over everything I could have done differently I decided that it was time to move to another location. The birds had moved on and I heard another tom on top of the next ridge while I was having my argument with the hen. I walked to my truck and drove to a spot about 200 yards from where I was headed. I got out, got my gear and looked around. It was about 9:30 a.m. and it had just got done raining. I pulled out my crow call and gave it a go. Sure enough I got a gobble back! About 250 yards in the woods. Because of the terrain I had to walk in as close as I could. There were too many things between us to hang him up.
                                                  As I slowly made my way to where I heard the gobble I hit my crow call again. Nothing. I moved a little more.Stopped. And hit it again. Nothing. I tried every locator call I had and got no response. Did I get spotted? I stood there for a couple minute the decided to throw out a couple soft yelps with my mouth call. THAT got his attention! I decded to take of my vest so I could move in closer more quitely. I only had to move about thirty yards to and opening in the woods which sat at a bend on the logging road I was walking on. As I moved closer I kept a sharp eye in the direction where I heard the tom gobble. Then out of the corner of my eye i cought movement. I froze. As I scanned the area of movement I saw a hens head peeking over a rise. She looked right at me. PUTT! Then she was gone. I could hear more birds moveing about in the woods. From the sound of it they were going to circle around and cross the logging road just ahead and above me. I made my way to where I could get a shot if the tom I heard was one of them. I gave a yelp. He gobbled back, but not with as much enthusiasum. He was ahead of me just over a small rise in the road. I only needed to move another ten yards to get into a good position. I got there and waited. Gun at the ready. Nothing. ANd here comes mistake.... Well At this point I think I stopped counting,LOL. I put my gun down and decided to give another yelp. Just as I was in mid yelp the tom burst out of the brush onto the logging road stopped and looked right at me. I got my gun up and fired a shot which at the time looked to be right on. After the shot I got a great veiw of the tom,Beard swinging back and forth, running down the road. I just stood there and watched. Figured there was no sense throwing more lead at him.
                                                 As I walked back to my truck I thought about my morning and had to shake my head. Don't know what it was that day. I had made some bonehead mistakes before but not often do I make a day of them. I learn some valuable lessons that dismal day. So. After all is said and done I guess the day was a success in the end.
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

Fargohunt
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Fargohunt » February 14th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Hey Mark...I see I blew the top off that bottle-o-mistakes for you huh mister!  All in good fun and great learning and thanks again for sharing--I know these and many more are in my own personal future as well[:(]
 
Wow, I had no idea this would open up as much as it has and the story telling is great stuff--thanks to everyone and feel free to jump in if you haven't already--there is plenty of humility to go around for everyone I'm sure.
 
swpatrkyhunter,  details, details... man there is so much to constantly think about.  This is nothing like bowhunting deer where you can get away with a whole lot more and still come out with a nice rack in your hands.

swpatrkyhunter
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby swpatrkyhunter » February 15th, 2010, 4:41 am

Oh beleive me Fargo! I know ALL about the details. At the time I was going through a messy divorce and my mind was not where it should have been at all. But. Being out there helped me out more then anything.
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

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Bobbyparks
 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Bobbyparks » February 15th, 2010, 10:37 am

I'd hate to crash T&TH's website with a complete list of my mistakes and I've got Dana (eggshell) beat by at least 9 mistakes[:)]

Some of the more common early ones were:

1: Walking too much when birds were quiet. ( I actually thought they had no choice but to shock gobble if I blew a crow call)

2: I called too much and too loud and had a number of birds hang up

3: I called to birds that were trying to come to me instead of just letting them come

4: I used to look down my barrel too soon and shoot at birds before they got in range because I just couldn't quite control myself

5: I didn't try and change calls on birds that gobbled at the first call and then got quiet

6: I made bad set ups without knowing what was around me like fences and creeks etc

7: I didn't stay with set ups long enough

8: I didn't get up and try and flank some birds that I should have.

9: I let hens come up from behind me and walk past and go straight to the gobbler and intercept him

10: I didn't set right next to the first person I took hunting and called for so that I could keep them calm and tell them when to shoot resul;ting in: (see line item # 4)

11: I'd stay tight when I was set up and heard a bird gobble from a distance thinking he might come all the way when I should have gotten up and moved towards him

12: I got caught chasing a bird out west with nothing but a box call and it started snowing and my call got wet and turned it into a dying rabbit predator call (Still got the bird though)

13: I tried to run to a bird in the dark in a swamp and water and took my second bath of the morning and wet everything I had to call with and set a new Mossberg record for how much mud can be crammed in a barrell.

14: I didn't push quite hard and close enough to some birds on the roost that I coulda shoulda have

15: Oh yea...I used to not always wait until a bird came out fo strutt to shoot him and trimmed a couple beards down to nubs

16: I shot a couple of birds fanned out facing me and kind of blew alot of tail feathers off

17: In Texas I left my first bird of the morning on the game carrier and then looked back with binoulars and watched cows lick and drool all over my bird. ( Then I made a deal with one of the other guys back at camp that if he'd clean my bird I'd cape his and then I told him my bird wasn't really wet from the morning dew afterwards)


18: I put a gobbler decoy 9-10 yards away one time and had a bird in my lap so fast I didn't know what to do so I just shot and missed him and called it a day.


I could go on and on but my phone is ringing
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