Tagged out last evening guys,
Not going to win on the leaderboard by a long shot, but at least we’re participating and not eating tag soup.
Was able to get out to my wife’s family farm where I started turkey hunting in ’98 or ’99, can’t remember. Chased birds hard the first few years. Made too many mistakes to count while I learned “on the job”. Shot over a bunch, busted a bunch, set up in the wrong spot, moved at the wrong time, you name, I’ve done it. I’ve never been able to connect on a bird, any bird, on the farm, though there’s been lots of birds around.
Fast forward to this past Saturday night. Having a visit with the father in law, planning Mother’s Day the next day. He mentions that he’s seeing lots of birds on his fields and asks if I’ve tagged out yet. Of course, not yet, so a plan comes together for a Mother’s Day hunt. Patient wife asks no questions as I pack all the hunting gear into the Jeep for the trip west to home. Well, we have our visit and meal, and work out the details of where and when the birds appear and make plans for an ambush hunt as decoys and calls don’t seem to be working and only seem to spook them right now here locally. We have another stop to make this day though, my own Mother, so we make plans to come back after a meal with the other side and set up for an evening hunt prior to legal time running out.
We get back to the farm later than I had hoped. We drop my wife into the farmhouse for a visit with her parents and Wesley and I are off to the field. As we’re driving back we see birds in the field and they see us. As we’re getting closer they start bee-lining to the woods. We stop, disappointed and Wesley and I decide that it’s better to turn around and try another day rather than really busting them as we try to get into position and we’re good with that. We turn around and drive back to the house and settle in for a long distance scout with binos from the back yard. We decided right, within 20 minutes of us getting back the birds are back. We count about 8 going across the field, picking in the dirt as they go. So a new plan comes together.
We decided to drive back home again Monday night, get in earlier and get in a hunt.
We do arrive in good time and again, drop Wesley’s Mom into her parent’s house to visit while we boys head to the field. We park the Jeep in the far corner where the rolling hills hide it from the birds entry point. We then start marching with our gear to our “spot” to set up. Turkey seat, blind for the boy, his snacks, etc. and oh yeah, the shot gun. You’d think we were camping for a week up there. We do manage to bust a hen that was dusting herself in the dirt on route to our spot, she flies off, but no damage. We find out spot, set up his blind and settle in for a much anticipated hunt. Thermacell is humming along and thank goodness as the bugs were out in full force. After only a few minutes, I see a hen pop out of the woods at the point where the birds the night before arrived from. She pokes around for a bit, but doesn’t have anyone with her and pops back into the woods. No harm, we set up pointing in the direction she came and wait.
It can’t be any more than 20 minutes of waiting when out of the corner of my eye, on the other side, I see something. Sure enough, there’s four big Jakes with a couple of hens coming into the filed from the middle, not where we had expected them. So, with a bunch of brush in front of me, I’m able to get moved around. I tell Wesley that “They’re here” and try to sort out the largest and decide if I’m going to use my last tag on a Jake after a week of not seeing much. We do decide a bird in hand is better than none so I’m eyeing up the biggest of the bunch and waiting for a clear shot through the bush and the others to clear away. Couple of minutes later, he’s down and we’ve tagged out for the season. High fives and pictures ensue. Load him into the Jeep and we’ve broken the family farm curse that’s been dogging me for years. A great evening for sure all done by a little after 6.
Won’t break any records but at 16 lbs. 4 ½ inch beard and ¼ inch spurs, taken with my son, couldn’t make me any happier,
Hobby.....Is there anything other than turkey hunting??