Strike 2!!!

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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DeanoZ
 
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Strike 2!!!

Postby DeanoZ » May 4th, 2010, 7:02 am

Well got back in the woods this morning and for those that have been following my follies, I got caught off guard last week when a nice Tom and Jake cruised into my setup and the welcoming committee was not ready, lol! Needless to say it was a valuable lesson learned and I took steps to ensure I was ready...or so I thought...

...so this morning I decide to set my blind up in the hedgerow again...but this time right at the point.  I think I've got them patterened pretty good right now.  They roost in the private land and the public portion as well.  So I figured I would put myself in the middle...regardless where they pitch down, they will eventually see my decoy.  So I get setup...the blind is still a bit noisy but I went in extra early and gave the woods time to settle down.  0530 comes and boom I hear a gobble right of the bat...I waited before I responded because I was not sure what direction it came from, so when he gobbled again a minute or so later I followed with some soft clucks, purrs, and some scratching.  Based on the advice of Mark and a few others here I decided to ditch the yelps.  The gobbling went on for about a half hour..at some points it sounded closer and then started to fade, I would respond every so often ( I think that was a mistake) and finally after a half hour the woods were quiet again...so lesson number one...wait about 10 15 min before responding to the first gobble, and then call...if he responds  (which he did) then shut up!  A half hour goes by and I catch movement up the hill to my front about 70 yrds away.  its a hen...I look to see if a Tom is following...no tom, but then a second later I hear a soft gobble...ah there he is..its a jake chasing the hen and they are moving away from my setup, despite seeing my decoy.  Another half hour goes by i suddenly look to my left and there is my Gob...same one from last week..damn how did he get there and so close without me catching it..he is about 30 yards away from my blind, but to my left and behind...I don't have a shot and did not want to risk making noise to reposition myself so i figured I would wait him out and hope he gets closer...and a minute later he is joined by the same jake that was in tow last week as well.  So he is strutting his stuff but seems to be hung up and starting to move away slowly.  I quickly grab my call (mistake #2) and give a couple soft clucks and some purrs...this drives him further away, and eventually out of site!  I wait about another half hour in the hopes he returns...I don't see them, so I call it a hunt and as I'm getting out of the blind there he is in the other field...I quickly jump back in the blind and start more calling...the birds stop and start heading my way, but eventually veered off into the woods.

So lots of lessons learned today...for starters I'm still over doing the calling...I'll give him one and if he responds I'm shutting up...he'll find me.  Also, no more calling once they are about in range...they are call shy and I think this just makes them more nervous.  Lesson number 3, if I'm going to use a blind I need to be able to reposition myself and take the first good shot that I'm given...not the best shot...that tom should be dead and had I made the move from the moment I saw him, might have been a different outcome.  Lesson #4, I need to switch out my deke, i think he is getting wise to it.  And the last lesson (#5)  trust your gut...my gut told me to set up in that point...that the birds were roosting in several locations of which that tip of the hedgerow appears to be the crossroads.

This tom is not what I would consider a mature tom..his beard is probably 6", he's probably a 2 yr old bird I'm guessing?  But he is savvy and cautious for sure.  Tomorrow I'm deciding where to setup...I made him nervous but did not spook him.  There appears to be less pressure in the woods this week, so my thought was to setup in the hedgerow again..about 20-30 yards from the point...near the very first spot I saw him last week.  i'm hopeful by tomorrow morning I'll have pictures to post :)

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1Morgan
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby 1Morgan » May 4th, 2010, 1:27 pm

Keep after him!!
South Carolina Low Country

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby DeanoZ » May 4th, 2010, 3:08 pm

ORIGINAL: 1Morgan

Keep after him!!


Oh you bet I am...his days are numbered [;)]

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby DeanoZ » May 5th, 2010, 5:48 am

Well I was hoping to post some pics today, but the turkey gods were not smiling on me this morning...at least not totally, but what a great encounter and more lessons learned.  i set up in the hedgerow again, this time on the other side but still close to the point.  The blind went up easier today and with less noise, so that was a plus.  At 5:30 the show began, with a tom gobbling his head off on the roost about 75 yards from my setup!  This continued on for about a good half hour, and i waited about 10 minutes from the time he started gobbling to my first soft cluck and purr.  I was stoked and hoped he would pitch down near me or my decoy.  BTW Willow, I took your advice and had the hen deke's nose in the dirt and a** in the air, assuming the 'ready to be bred" position.  There appeared to be to gobblers going at it within close proximity of each other, although I only saw the one pitch down at 0600 on the dot.  He flew down midfield but further away from my position...and I noted at that time a lot of hen yelping and cutting, which sounded like it was coming from another hunter.  i thought to myself, dang that feller is going to pull him away from me...so i started in with a few soft clucks and more purrs...that grabbed hsi attention and he began to slowly make his way in my direction.  About that time a couple hens appeared just in front of him, but closer to me.  The yelping and cutting also stopped, so i wonder if it was these hens making the racket?  The hens would come closer to me, then move away..and the gob would do the same thing.  Soon they were abreast of me, but closer to the road that runs parallel with the field.  Eventually these hens were going to keep going past my position and take the gob with them...so if I was going to make a move it had to be now.  I judged the yardage to be roughly 45 yards +/- 5 yards, longer than what I'd patterned my gun with but felt comfortable that I'd be able to deliver a kill shot.  So once he was abreast of me and stuck his neck straight up, I shouldered my shotgun, took a deep breath, and took the shot...BOOM!  He did not flinch or move...missed him...so I pumped the 870 again, took another shot..BOOM...missed again!  This time the hens scattered and the Gob followed heading back for the far side of the field.

When all was said and done I went to the spot the turkey was standing...no sign of feathers, blood or anything..was a clean miss.  i took out my rangefinder and ranged the distance...60 YARDS!!!!  Wow my guesstimate was way off!  Hindsight being 20/20, I should have let him walk and hope that he returns...which he is known to do sometimes.  But in light of yesterdays encounter i told myself I would take the first good shot that came along, but in being honest with myself I think i tried to convince myself he was closer than he really was so i could try and close the deal.  in the process I've educated and probably made him skiddish.

So now the question is what to do going forward?  He's no dummy and I'm convinced this is nto the first time he's been shot at it, just based on his reaction.  Hell if the hens stayed I believe he'd of stayed as well.  So do i give this area rest for a day or just set up in the same area but different setup location (far side of the field closer to where he pitched down today).  Will he roost in a different location?  i have two days left on this tag so i need to make the best of it.  There may be another Gob in the area, but I have not seen him.

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 5th, 2010, 8:12 am

Your luck is as good as mine this morning. I had a good tom and 2 hens come into my dekes. The hens came in and feed and the tom stayed out about 30 yds but he was behind some small trees, he just would give me a clean shot. He was there about 15 min then 3 jakes came running out of the woods and chased the tom out into the center of the field, there they got into a fight and ran him off back into the woods. The hens stayed with the dekes for about a half hour then went looking for the tom. Dang jakes [:@].
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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby DeanoZ » May 5th, 2010, 9:05 am

ORIGINAL: WillowRidgeCalls

Your luck is as good as mine this morning. I had a good tom and 2 hens come into my dekes. The hens came in and feed and the tom stayed out about 30 yds but he was behind some small trees, he just would give me a clean shot. He was there about 15 min then 3 jakes came running out of the woods and chased the tom out into the center of the field, there they got into a fight and ran him off back into the woods. The hens stayed with the dekes for about a half hour then went looking for the tom. Dang jakes [:@].


Don't ya just hate it when they do that!!![:@]  I keep catching myself saying.."well hells bells, on the outdoor channel they come runing right into their dekes...WTH???" [8|].  Actually glad you chimed in Scott, because after thinking about this I thought to myself, i should have tried to pull the hens in closer...then the gob would have followed...then again the hens ain't yelping or clucking to begin with so would calling to the hens have worked anyway?  Any suggestions/ thoughts?

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 5th, 2010, 10:20 am

I always go after the hens, if they respond all the better. These two never shut up the whole time they were there. They were ckuckin and purrin, and then one would start screaming, then the other would. When they'd start screaming I'd start purring and they'd calm down and go back to feeding and purrin.
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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby DeanoZ » May 5th, 2010, 10:44 am

So soft clucks and purring are the order of the day then...got it, thanks.

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby Cut N Run » May 5th, 2010, 11:05 am

You ought to mark off the distance your gun performs the best and put a small stick in the ground that you can see from your blind. You'll know they're in range if they are between you & the stick.
 
Hold off calling to that gobbler (or any gobbler for that matter) until after he flies down.  Otherwise, he may stay on the limb longer and expect that hen to come to him, like they usually do. He has a good vantage point from up on the limb and if he hears a hen but doesn't see her, he may become wary.
 
You are getting an education from that gobbler. Remember what has worked and what hasn't & keep it filed away for the future.  You might not get the same reaction from other birds as this one, but you could.
 
Good luck. Get him.
 
Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

Gbln Fvr
 
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RE: Strike 2!!!

Postby Gbln Fvr » May 5th, 2010, 11:47 am

DeanoZ, I been following you every step of the way. I think it's great! You hang in there. I knew as soon as you started talking about how far the bird was, that not only were you going to shoot, but probably had misjudged to distance. Even at 45 yards that's a long poke. I killed one this morning and when I stepped it off I couldn't believe it was 40 yards. Glad to have gotten that bird. Only one suggestion I have is to watch how much calling your doing while the bird is on the roost. One soft tree yelp and he will know where your at. You don't really need him to respond to you. He'll come looking for you. Maybe try not using a deke. Although there are times when they are helpful, sometimes a Tom will look harder if he knows there's a hen around but doesn't see one. Hopefully you didn't educate him even more by blasting at him. Lol. Gosh I hope you get this bird! Can't wait for the posted pics!!!!!!!

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