My Opening

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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My Opening

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » April 30th, 2014, 4:33 pm

Well opening day of my season finally got here. Got up at 3am gathered all my stuff up and put in the truck and was out the door at 4am. Drove out to my go to spot, and as soon as I pulled into the parking lot the clouds opened up and started to pour. Sat in the truck till 5am waiting for the rain to let up, 5:20 season opens. Grabbed my gun and decoy bag and headed out down the field road and through the pines to the CRP fields, still darker then heck, just a mist of rain. As I come out of the pines and start across the CRP, something isn't right? As I get to my favorite tree and set up, it's finally starting to get a little lighter out and the drizzle quit. Looking over the CRP, it's as level as can be and completely black. Damn no more nesting area for this year. The morning was as quiet as a mouse, not a bird to be heard, except for the geese on the river. Nothing in the woods or across the road along the corn field edges, didn't really expect to hear much with it raining all night, but thought maybe a gobble off the roost somewhere? Had a rain shower come through about 7am and didn't last long, and as soon as that quit it got lighter and the sun tried peeking through. I dug my box caller out and my glass call back out of my vest and sent out a few sharp cutts followed by a gobble, waited a couple minutes and sent out a series of yelps and cutts. As I was setting my glass back down I caught movement to my left, and a red head pokes up through the brush, then more movement and two more pop up. They were out about 60yds and just stayed there looking the decoys over, all I could see was three heads, two red and one red/white. I gave them some soft purrs and whines as they stayed put. This went on about 15 minutes until Mr. red/white snuck through the brush and into the field, followed by his two buddies. Mr. red/white was quite a bit bigger then the other two, they came down the edge of the field headed straight for me, then angled out to the decoys. I eased my gun up as I was trying to peek through the brush around my tree as they were getting closer, at 30yds I couldn't see a beard on the biggest one? They made it out to my strutter and circled around behind him. I watched as they would walk up to him and back away, going from side to side. As they were scoping my strutter over two more birds came out of the brush the same place these three did and trotted over to them. These two were the smaller of the bunch, but had the longest breads, both about 5", the other two had beards about 3" and Mr. red/white had no beard at all, none what so ever. This went on about 10 minutes, until gravel started crackling and a truck pulled into the parking lot, a door slams and the birds busted for cover. A hunter walks out into the CPR and looks it over, turns around, gets back in his truck and leaves, he couldn't see my decoys because they were just behind the knoll in the field. About an hour later here come the Jake group back out and back over to the decoys. As they were getting close to them I gave them two soft yelps, they locked up and looked at the hens, turned and tore back across the field and into the woods. My guess is that, that bunch have been put in their place by one of the boss gobs around there, probably more than once. After about a couple hours later they came back out about a 100yds out and crossed the burnt field and headed up the edge of the woods towards the other woods on the other end. They were gone about a half hour, then they came running back across the field and back into the woods they came out of? I waited a couple minutes and sent out some sharp cutts and excited yelps, then went to some soft clucks and purrs. I gave it a couple more hours without seeing or hearing anything, and packed up and headed home. Before I left, I checked out the other end of the woods, and the CRP on that end wasn't burnt off, so I guessing that's where the hens headed and where the big boys are? Tomorrows another day, more rain expected through Sat.
WillowRidgeCalls
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Re: My Opening

Postby misoiltester » April 30th, 2014, 4:54 pm

Scott,
How far away was the spot here you hunt, that you didn't scope it out ahead of time :(

You'll git' em' tomorrow, fer' sure ;)
Ever wonder where the white goes when the snow melts????

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Gopherlongbeards
 
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Re: My Opening

Postby Gopherlongbeards » April 30th, 2014, 6:56 pm

There's no doubt in my mind you'll put a bird on the ground this season Scott ;)

It's a bummer finding your go-to habitat altered when you show up. One of our best public areas in SE MN had been burned this spring. all the nesting cover was gone, and consequently, so were most of the birds. It didn't make any sense to me because they had burned the exact same area 2 years ago and it hadn't really recovered from that burn yet....

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kygobbler
 
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Re: My Opening

Postby kygobbler » April 30th, 2014, 10:36 pm

Scott, I have no doubt you will pull a bird out. I'm more shocked that the gobbler that did show up didn't have a beard at all.
Is it turkey season yet?

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Re: My Opening

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 1st, 2014, 3:46 am

misoiltester wrote:Scott,
How far away was the spot here you hunt, that you didn't scope it out ahead of time :(

You'll git' em' tomorrow, fer' sure ;)

It's only about a half hour drive, I did, I was there 3 weeks ago and checked out my set up tree and added a few more limbs to my brush pile I sit by. Everything was fine then, it's a fresh burn that they did just before the turkey seasons opened.
WillowRidgeCalls
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Scott

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Re: My Opening

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 1st, 2014, 4:05 am

Gopherlongbeards wrote:There's no doubt in my mind you'll put a bird on the ground this season Scott ;)

It's a bummer finding your go-to habitat altered when you show up. One of our best public areas in SE MN had been burned this spring. all the nesting cover was gone, and consequently, so were most of the birds. It didn't make any sense to me because they had burned the exact same area 2 years ago and it hadn't really recovered from that burn yet....


Gopher,
They had burned this same area about 5 years ago also, the birds are still there or on the properties around it.

kygobbler,
So was I, because he was quite a bit bigger bird. If he'd of fanned out then at least you could of told if he was an adult bird?
WillowRidgeCalls
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Re: My Opening

Postby misoiltester » May 1st, 2014, 5:46 am

WillowRidgeCalls wrote:
misoiltester wrote:Scott,
How far away was the spot here you hunt, that you didn't scope it out ahead of time :(

You'll git' em' tomorrow, fer' sure ;)

It's only about a half hour drive, I did, I was there 3 weeks ago and checked out my set up tree and added a few more limbs to my brush pile I sit by. Everything was fine then, it's a fresh burn that they did just before the turkey seasons opened.


Golly, that sure iisn't good timing on their part, but was probably as early ae the weather permitted them to burn.
Are the hens starting to nest there yet??
Ever wonder where the white goes when the snow melts????

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Re: My Opening

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 1st, 2014, 6:34 am

Not that I've seen or heard of. As of last weekend the toms were just gathering their hens and still chasing, one hunter I talked to said he seen one hen being bred in a flock of a gobbler with 7/8 hens. Seems like up here we are about a week or so behind schedule, it looks like they are just getting started, at least in this area. If this weather would stabilize things would pick up quickly. Yesterday I didn't hear a gobble anywhere with in hearing distance of the area I hunted. I talked with a handicapped hunter that was hunting the other end of the public, and he asked if I saw or heard anything? Told him only a couple Jakes, no gobblers or hens, he said they saw or heard nothing, no birds at all. He has to hunt that area, because the DNR didn't remove the gate blocking the road, and he could still get around it using his wheel chair, up on my end they removed the gates and bulldozed the road, and put large rocks around the parking lot so you can't get a wheel chair through or around it anymore. It looked like the DNR used an atv or argo to get back in there to burn it, I could see 4wheeler tracks and a small set of track tracks, like a small backhoe or something like that? It only burnt the grasses, didn't even burn any of the small thumb size trees, it's still pretty wet back there, the ground would squish as you walked on it.
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Cut N Run
 
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Re: My Opening

Postby Cut N Run » May 1st, 2014, 9:07 am

Keep after 'em, Scott. This has been a strange season for me so far. The turkeys seem to be running a few weeks behind schedule. We were seeing gobblers behind flocks of 6-10 hens until late last week, when that is normally done by the start of the season. They gobble from the roost, then shut up because they're still busy with hens. The storms, tornado warnings, and work have kept me out of the woods this week. Getting after 'em tomorrow though. I hope this season works more normal for you. Good luck.

Jim
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notsure
 
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Re: My Opening

Postby notsure » May 1st, 2014, 11:50 am

Keep your head up and spirits high. I don't have to have hold a Ph.D. in turkey biology (ornithology?) to connect the dots between a brutal winter, cold/damp spring and delayed breeding activity. However, my guess is that as soon as decent weather moves in, breeding activity will skyrocket. Those boys will be gobbling their fool heads off trying to make up for lost time!

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