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Postby Mossberg835 » April 23rd, 2012, 1:33 am

Good luck Mark, i hope you guys knock the thunder right out of that old tom. in 3 hours you will be in the woods so shoot straight and be safe :D
Hunt for thunder chickens for months at a know that's right

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mark hay
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Postby mark hay » April 23rd, 2012, 11:56 am

Many thanks for all the well wishes , and right back at ya with the same .
We started out like I had planned . Staying in the gravel road till light enough to walk. No birds gobbling at this time we began a slow and quiet climb to the top . Once we reached a good set up spot we stopped to catch our wind and I then let out one of those long barred owl hoots . He gobbled before I finished . I turned to see Woodchucks eyes bugged out like the headlights on an old VW Beetle. Now Chuck is somewhat hearing impaired , but he slapped me on the back and said '' I heard him!'' Soon there was at least three jakes and an older SOUNDING bird all cranking out gobbles . Shortly I was doing some roost pitting and they liked that . Then they all went quiet . I looked at Chuck and he informed me he thought they were on the ground now . I nodded in the affirmative manner. So , we began looking for a better set up . The birds were gobbling again and were straight down the slope from us at around 150 yards , maybe a little more . We found a set up that suited me and never heard from the birds again . Either they were closer than I thought and they saw us , or someone or something else spooked 'em.
So , we wandered around all morning trying to strike a bird . We did hear seveal shots but they sounded to me to be outside the hunting area .
Tomorrow we'll try again . Never can say for sure what they'll do . May get run over by a drove of them at the first touch of the call.

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Postby dewey » April 23rd, 2012, 6:05 pm

Thanks for the updates and hopefully you guys have a little bit more luck on tomorrow's hunt.
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer


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mark hay
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Postby mark hay » April 24th, 2012, 11:57 am

Chuck and I went to the Far East ,,that is , east side of the hunting area . I began howling like a young and desperate coyote and received nothing for it. We moved toward a known roosting area and I changed hats and began owling along with several real owls . Again , nothing heard . No sign to be seen in the area so we backed out and came in from the southwest side . Pretty good sign but still could not raise a gobble . After more than an hour of light cluck n purr by Chuck , I opened up with some hot cuttin' and yelping . Nothing! We moved again . Now we are in a central location in the area where I have heard birds just this past weekend . We finished the morning there with no sound , but did see a nester on our way out .
We heard one gobble today which came from private property . Heard 3 shots today , none of which were on the public land by my estimation .

A hunter stepped out of the brush as we slipped down an interior road . He laid out the woeful sound of ''I think it's over''. We didn't have time to chat so we said our goodbey and as we drove away Chuck questioned me as to what the other hunter ment by that statement . So I told him that most likely that feller simply thinks the good hunting is over simply because they aint gobbling good the past 2 days . Then I relayed to Chuck that in my opinion the best hunting is probably 2 weeks away . This stuff of silent ,,,,seemingly extinct turkeys happens every spring ,,,at least in my neck of the woods . I'm no more concerned about it than I am about the with the grass needing cut . Of course I have seen it this way on the last two days of season .

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Postby homunculi » April 24th, 2012, 1:01 pm

do not feel bad mark monday i heard one gobbling over the side of the hill and would not respond at all to any of my calls .. then he got quiet for about 30 min and then i heard him down by the creek behind my blind then nothing the rest of the morning from him .. made me feel good that thid big hen came in right in front of me and i was ready to pop her head before i seen it was a hen thanks to some heavy ground cover all i could see was her head ...
i hesetated at the shot and when she came into less than 5 yards from my blind i just watched her hoping there was a gobbler in tow ...
she hung arouns my blind for 40 45 min walking in front of me but she was very quiet no yelping nothing ... i agree we have 3 1/2 more weeks to go and cannot judge the whole season by the first 2 days .... ( just hope it does not get as wet as last year )

good luck and hope you bag a good one :)

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Postby grizzly » April 24th, 2012, 3:32 pm

sounds like a it's been a trying season so far for you Mark but that's why we keep heading for the woods you just never know what the day going to bring and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else anyway....wayne

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Postby mark hay » April 25th, 2012, 11:49 am

And now , Ladies and Gentlemen,,,Todays update on ''Tomorrow''.

Day 3 and hunting alone . Decided to take the Recurve instead of the Double . Started out with a mixed age gang of gobblers way over on that far ridge . Hadn't seen another hunter nor heard one either . So I lit out in long ground eating strides for the top . Long before I got near the top they pitched and took up gobbling immediately . Then I heard why . Some hunter had no doubt heard them from the other side and was doing his best impression of a pitiful hen . You could set your watch by his spacing between his running of the call .Each and every series was absolutely identical . Oh , the jakes responded every time , but were headed south .
I backed out and left for the coffee at the truck . Egg sandwich and coffee consumed I started for the top of one of my favorite ridges . Just after I reach the top an old bird gobbled a long way off to the north. I began heading west to the property line . By the time I reached my destination the old bird was about 350 yards away , down by the creek . I had been toting the mouthcall since before sun up and it was well limbered up . So I let out two slow croaking yelps like a gobbler . The old bird didn't cut me of but he didn't miss by much . Within 2 minutes he's on top my ridge and gobbling regular . I played stubborn for a while then gave him 3 more gob yelps . He hammered back again . Aminute later he's across the top and on the S.W. side and circling . I remained still and quiet . At his next gobble he had done a 180degree on my position . Next gobble he's back on top . Next he's back down the slope to the S.W. again. After about 5 minutes of silence I made a faint hen yelp and followed it with 2 more gob yelps .Within 1 minute I encounter the wierdest thing . I could clearly and definately hear him ''SPIT'' . But , he made no ''DRUM''. Then he stepped into view at 15 yds. Top of his head snow white . From his eyeballs down he was the color of a freshly painted ''FARMALL model M''. I watched his body twitch with each spit , but he never drummed . He eyed me a good one for a moment then began another circling to my right . As he stepped behind a 2 foot thick cedar I made my first move with the recurve . I don't know if he saw my limb tips or heard my clothes moving or both . He simply turned straight away and kept that cedar between us as he trotted away. Another fine day in the woods .

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Postby charlie elk » April 25th, 2012, 12:49 pm

As an old turkey hunter once instructed-
"No matter what happens and no matter how it turns out just make sure you enjoy it"
It is all good Mark, Good Hunting.
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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mark hay
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Postby mark hay » April 26th, 2012, 1:04 pm

Chris pulled in at 5 and we were on the road by 5:15 . We received quite a gulley washer during the night. Plenty of thunder and lightning too .
Parked where I hunted yesterday and walked up to the ridgetop on the road . After a while with the light slowly increasing the birds began singing and Chris opened up with some owling . Nothing . I felt pretty sure there would still be at least one gobbler nearby so we hit the woods and climbed on up to the break . We stood quiet for several moments and then I made a long hoot and he gobbled . He was down low and at least 300 yards . We began settting up when a bird gobbled from the opposite side of the break . We sat tight and Chris began a little sweet talk with the first bird . Soon there were two birds gobbling from the other side .I asked Chris what he wanted to do ,,,stay on the first or go after the other two ? We moved of course . The two gobblers were together and gobbling hard . Before we reached our next setup there was a third bird gobbling from the same side as the two yet farther away. Each time number4 would gobble those two renegades would gobble . The first bird was still on the roost and gobbling too.
We made our set up and began calling . Soon the two were headed our way . Then stop and drift away. Then come back and a little closer . The fourth bird seemed to stay in one spot . The first bird stopped gobbling . Now the two are within 80 yards but still out of sight . Chris was doing the calling . Then they seemed to lose interest and began drifting back down the slope . I made a ground cackle followed by a jake yelp and they gobbled in fury as well as turned and advanced toward us again . About that time we hear turkey wings a flapping and I looked up in time to see a big turkey light in a oak about twenty yards from us . He sat up there silent during the rest of the show . The two held their ground but remained very vocal . Even the #4 bird was still gobbling 3 - 4 times each minute . Then off to our right a stick snapped . We couldn't see anything . The turkeys immediately turned downhill again . After they moved probably 40 -50 yards they gobbled the last time . Number 4 also shut down . We don't know if it was a hunter or predator . Upon standing I watched a longbeard fly out of the oaks .

We drove around and came in from the opposite side of those ridges . Found a lot of smoking hot coyote sign , but could not regain the birds .

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Postby Cut N Run » April 26th, 2012, 2:03 pm

Sounds like you're in the right spot Mark. Keep after 'em & Good luck.

Luck Counts, good or bad


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