WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Whether you're a 10-year-old kid or a 40-year-old kid-at-heart, bagging that first bird is a thrill. This is the place to share photos and stories of your first harvest.
TURKEYBOSS
 
Posts: 26
Joined: January 14th, 2011, 11:16 am

WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby TURKEYBOSS » January 27th, 2011, 1:27 pm

WELL ILL START WITH MINE:
 
MY FIRST YEAR OF TURKEY HUNTING WAS NOT "SUCESSFULL" BUT I WAS HOOKED! AFTER HUNTING HARD FOR THE FIRST COUPLE DAYS MY BROTHER AND I ARE SETUP ON A PINE TREE FARM. SETUP IN THE ROWS OF TREES. IM IN FRONT AND MY BROTHER IS BEHIND ME CALLING. HE CALLS IN A GROUP OF BIRDS NOT SURE HOW MANY WERE IN THE GROUP CAUSE OF HOW THICK THE TREES WERE. SO IM SITTING UP AGAINST THE BASE OF ONE TREE. I CAN SEE DOWN THE ROW ABOUT 100 YARDS AND THE ROW IS ABOUT 10 YARDS WIDE. I COULD SEE THROUGH A COUPLE HOLES INTO THE ROWS NEXT TO US BUT NOTHING REALLY CLEAR. SO AS WE ARE SITTING THERE AND CALLING WE HERE A GOOBLE AND KEEP CALLING THE TOM CONTINUES TO GET CLOSER AND CLOSER BUT HE CAME DOWN THE ROW NEXT TO US AND NEVER OFFERED ME A CHANCE TO TAKE HIM. BUT HE WAS PROBABLY ONLY 10 YARDS AWAY FOR AWHILE AND HE WAS SCREAMING HIS HEAD OFF! EVERYTIME MY BROTHER WOULD CALL HE WOULD RESPOND. BUT WE FIGURED OUT WHY HE WOULDNT COME LATER. AFTER HE DECIDED TO LEAVE WE CRAWLED TO SEE WHERE HE WENT AND HE WAS IN A FIELD WITH ABOUT 10 HENS. HE DIDNT NEED TO COME TO US HE HAD HIS LADIES HE WAS TRYING TO GET US TO COME TO HIM.
 
AFTER WE WERE DONE HUNTING FOR THE DAY WE WENT TO MY PARENTS HOUSE FOR DINNER AND I ADMITTED TO MY BROTHER THAT I WAS GLAD HE DIDNT STEP OUT FOR ME TO SHOOT AND HE LIKE IM SURE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW ASKED Y NOT? WHEN HE WAS THAT CLOSE GOOBLING I WAS SHAKING SO BAD, IM NOT SURE I COULD HAVE EVEN SETTLED THE GUN TO GET THE SHOT OFF! SO AFTER HAVING NO LUCK THE REST OF THE YEAR I HAD TO HAVE TAG SOUP THAT YEAR BUT I WAS HOOKED!
 
NOW I LOOK FORWARD TO TURKEY HUNTING MORE THAN HUNT DEER WITH MY GUN!

User avatar
Cut N Run
 
Posts: 2142
Joined: April 12th, 2008, 2:32 pm
Location: central North Carolina

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby Cut N Run » February 2nd, 2011, 5:24 am

I've posted this here before, but will share it again.

In 1982 I had been seeing some turkey dusting marks on the logging road in the woods where I deer hunted. One early Spring morning I heard a couple of gobbles, but knew better than to investigate them at the risk of scaring the gobbler off. I already knew how nervous they were from how quickly turkeys would vanish after they saw me in a deer stand.

I had been reading about double teaming turkeys with a buddy where the caller would set up behind the shooter in hopes of bringing a gobbler into range even if he hung up. Along that same logging road there were some big rocks sticking up out of the ground and a few big downed trees that made for perfect cover if the turkey followed the road. I told my neighbor about the turkey and asked if he wanted to go hunt him with me. *error on my part* He was fired up to go and we made plans to hunt a couple of days later when the weather would be better.

That morning, I met my neighbor at his back porch and he was dressed head to toe in one of those Elmer Fudd-looking brown canvas hunting outfits (with matching hat!), which would have been fine, but it was faded and kind of glowed in the dark. I figured that I would put him right beside the rootball of one of the downed trees and that might help prevent him from looking as much like a sore thumb as he was looking to me and somewhat limit the possibility of the turkey seeing him before it got into range.

A little after dawn, the gobbler fired up from the roost about 100 yards down the logging road around the curve from us. I had read not to call back to him until he was on the ground, so I waited. I could hear my name being whispered coming from my neighbor's direction (like somehow I couldn't hear the gobbles but I could hear him whisper!?!). Out of the corner of my eye I could see my neighbor gesturing for me to call back as his lighthouse face shone in the dim light. I put a gloved finger up to my mask where my lips were to try to get him to be quiet, then I turned my palm toward him with a slight patting motion to get him to calm down & relax.

I could see down the logging road, but my neighbor couldn't because he was in the apex of the curve. By that time, I could tell the gobbler was on the ground. I feebly scratched out a few notes on my Lynch box call and the gobbler thundered back. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. He double gobbled again and was obviously headed our way. Then, he hit the logging road and I marveled how his colors would light up as he passed through the patches of mottled light filtering through the trees. This was going to happen! My heart was going a thousand miles an hour about to beat out of my chest. He pitched his head forward and gobbled our direction. My hands were shaking as I scratched out some strange not-very-turkey sounding notes on my Lynch and he hammered right back, still coming on. I shifted my eyes to check on my neighbor to make sure he had the gun up and ready to shoot. Once that gobbler rounded the curve he would be right in my neighbor's wheelhouse and should be toast. Instead, I see my neighbor's head bobbing like one of those bobble head dogs people used to put in their cars, as he was trying to "get a better look at the gobbler". Just then, I heard two staccatto PUTTs and watched the gobbler go from strut to scrambling off through the woods. *heavy sigh*

What's worse is that if I would have hunted that bird myself, he was almost in range of me and still coming forward where he broke strut & ran. Still worse was the fact that the bird was in easy range of my neighbor and if he'd been ready to shoot, it would have all be over but the plucking. Lesson learned, never hunt with anybody who isn't close to as serious about hunting as you are. I don't exactly remember how long it took me to quit shaking after the encounter, but I know it was a while & I was hooked!

I only ever asked my neighbor to go dove hunting with me again, because he couldn't screw that up too bad & I really didn't care if he did.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

User avatar
Longbeards
 
Posts: 89
Joined: January 26th, 2010, 4:35 pm

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby Longbeards » February 6th, 2011, 8:40 am

Great stories. Thanks for sharing those. I actually got started chasing those limb hangers in 2004. Jeff, one of the guys at our hunting camp, talked about how he couldn't wait until March so he could hunt these things we call turkeys. At the time, I did not understand why Jeff would pass up a chance to take a huge buck just to shoot a butterball. The last day of deer season, I took a wide racked 8pt which I was very proud of. While we were all taking photos and doing high fives, Jeff asked if I would like to try turkey hunting during the Spring season and I said "sure, why not."

I didn't think anything of it for a month until he called one evening around the first week in March. We agreed on a time and met at the hunting camp early on opening day the season. We made our way into an 80 acre clearcut and set up about halfway up on one side. He told me that he had seen several longbeards in this clearcut during deer season. I mentioned I had hunted it alot during deer season and never saw the first turkey. As night became day, the woods and everything in and around it came to life, something I don't think I noticed during deer season. A turkey gobbled a little ways off from us, and I thought this was going to be easy. We waited until daylight and he said let's move, and we did, and off flew our bird.

Throughout that day Jeff took me through everything he knew about turkeys, not just how to hunt them but, everything he knew, where they sleep, where they fly to roost, what they eat, what they do on the ground. We decided to meet again the next morning and try it again. Everything started the same, except that we set up in the back this time. Jeff sat down at base of a big pine and as I was halfway into a sitting position next to Jeff, the bird gobbled.

I tell you all of that to say this. There is a moment in a turkey hunters life that you become hooked and that moment was mine. Through what little moonlight was left I could see him on the limb. I watched this bird spread his wings and flap them as the sun come up so he could get the dew off of them. I listen and watched him gobble at the owls, the crows, and everything else that made a noise, just like Jeff said turkeys do. Jeff softly purred several times and he responded and looked into the clearcut. Jeff said he's coming. I had my gun pointed out into the clearcut as he flew down from the tree he was in. I could not for the life of me stop shaking, I didn't know my gun could or would make noise from shaking but, it did.

The gobbler walked straight at us and Jeff said to wait because he couldn't see him from where he was but, I could. I would have rather taken bamboo shoots under my nails than to have watched that bird walk to us, I was terrified. The day before Jeff told me
that if we get a bird in then he would putt so that he would stop and look up, then I would have about 2 to 3 seconds to shoot. The bird was 15 yards from us and I whispered for him to putt but, Jeff said he still couldn't see him because of the bushes in his way. I tried my best to steady my gun and I pulled the trigger.

The bird was so close I saw the wad hit him and he started flopping. Jeff jumped up and said, "You got your first bird." I couldn't move for several minutes. Once I got up, I did what every other turkey hunter does. My first bird was 23 lbs, had two 9.5 inch beards and 1.5 inch spurs. From that day on, I have been a turkey hunter everyday. I think about those things we call turkeys every single day. I have had the privilege of taking my sons with me and teaching them what I have learned. I was there when they took their first bird. I'm not able to hunt this season due to being deployed but, you can bet I will be thinking about it until next season.

Thanks for letting me share that.

User avatar
mark hay
 
Posts: 2880
Joined: August 19th, 2008, 1:59 pm

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby mark hay » February 6th, 2011, 11:15 am

That sir is a fine read. Congrats on your success and your NOW addiction .
 
Many thanks for your service to our country.

User avatar
kenturkey89
 
Posts: 682
Joined: March 22nd, 2010, 3:08 pm

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby kenturkey89 » February 10th, 2011, 10:49 am

Great stories fellas, I absolutely love reading personal stories like these from fellow hunters. My story goes as follows:

Back in the spring of 2003 was the first opportunity I had at chasing turkeys. I hunted opening weekend with a lot of exciting hunts but nothing to show for it. I hunted with a good buddy of mine who has turkey hunted for nearly 30 years, and the night before season opener we decided to put a few birds to bed. I hardly slept 3 hours that night because I was so excited for the morning hunt. I remember sitting in our brush blind that overlooked an open field with the birds roosted off about 100 yards to the right of us. I will never forget hearing that first gobble as the sky began to faintly lighten up in the east. After about a half hour or so on the roost a couple gobblers with hens flew down and headed off in the opposite direction of our setup. After sitting for another hour or so with no luck, we made a move and headed in the direction of where the turkeys roosted that morning. We went through a patch of hardwoods and heard a gobble so I immediately sat down, got my face mask on and had my gun ready for action. That same group of birds had come back in and the two gobblers strutted off at about 75 yards in the distance. They had 5 hens with them and one of the hens (I assume the boss) came in to take a closer look. This was my first ever turkey hunt and I know I was a little bit nervous. I think she caught a little bit of movement because she didn't hang around much longer before she took off back to the other birds and they went on about their business. After that encounter with that flock, I came down with what is known as severe adrenaline rush syndrome or SARS for short. It's characterized by increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and moderate to severe shaking. My doctor says it due to extremely close encounters with wild turkeys and that there's no cure for the disease[;)]. That was the first morning of my turkey hunting career.

My first harvest came a few weeks later on Easter Sunday. I almost didn't go because of church, but I decided I'd go out and if I couldn't kill one by 9 o'clock that I'd come on back in to give myself plenty of time to get ready for service. We heard a few gobbles from a bird off to our right but didn't hear much else from him after he hit the ground. I was looking off to my right when my buddy told me to look out in the decoys. I turned my head very slowly and saw a little black puff ball strutting out there with the hen. I could see his little "buck-toothed" fan and boy was he putting on a show. I already had my gun up, I just had to line up the beads in the middle of his neck. I waited for him to clear a small patch of tall grass and my Mossberg 500 20ga. finished the job. I had never been so happy to pack 16 pounds for about 1/2 mile in all my life. He sported a 4" beard and some nubbs for spurs, but at the time, you would have thought I shot the boss bird of the property. It is today, one of the best hunts I've ever been on and I'll never forget it for as long as I live. I have his fan and beard mounted on my wall right beside the biggest buck I've shot!
Brian

User avatar
Treerooster
 
Posts: 653
Joined: May 5th, 2008, 3:48 am
Location: Colorado

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby Treerooster » February 10th, 2011, 3:41 pm

Me and a buddy were "turkey" hunting on his MIL's place up near Valentine Neb. We had no idea what we were doing but we were trying to call to them. One afternoon I saw a flock about the same time they saw me. They ran up & over a steep hill. Well I wanted to see where they went so I ran up the hill too. They didn't go anywhere! They were all just standing there! A nice tom was about 20yds away and he was as surprised to see me as I was him. My grouse hunting instincts took over and he went down right now. I was happy, but I was not a turkey hunter...yet.

The next year it was the 5th day of a 5 day hunt on the S Platte river in Colo. I didn't have nothing going so about 9:00 I started calling every 200yds on my H S Strutt box call. The wildlife area I was hunting was 3 miles long and at about 2 miles I got a gobble...across the river. Now I usually hunt the river in LaCrosse hip boots but for some reason I only had on my LaCrosse knee highs. Well I backed down the river so the gobbler wouldn't see me cross and found a spot just shallow enough to make it across without getting wet. Barely made it.

I moved up and layed belly down on a small hump of dirt. Made a call and he ANSWERED!! Another call and he answered AGAIN!! I didn't know what to do so I got my gun ready. A few minutes later he gobbled again but he was going to far to the right. I called again and he answered. He gobbled a few more times and that last call I made brought him in front of me. Finally I see his head through some willows and at 18 steps he went down.

A beautiful jake! I was so excited I put him over my shoulder and headed back across the river, mostly walking on cloud 9. I came down off of cloud 9 right quick when the water came gushing in over my knee high boots. I was so excited I had forgotten I wasn't wearing my hip boots!

Started state hopping the next year and have hunted 2 to 5 states a year ever since.


Don't have a photo if the jake I got in Colo but here is a pic of the one I got in Nebraska.

As you can see I am definitely making a fashon statement. Not sure what I am saying tho.[:D]


Image
Image

User avatar
1Morgan
 
Posts: 665
Joined: June 20th, 2009, 9:57 am

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby 1Morgan » February 12th, 2011, 3:15 am

Spring 2009...

I had never had a hunting license in my life (I was 39) but something bit me this winter to go turkey hunting. I was warned by many to wait for deer season to begin my hunting career but this affliction, that is turkey hunting, was not fully explained to me.

I got my license, borrowed a shotgun, borrowed some shells, got some cheap cammo and a few calls. I was lucky enough to have a vet turkey hunter (my uncle) take me under his wing and teach me some sounds NOT to make. I really put a lot of time into mouth calling as i shake a bit to begin with and new i would never be able to hold a pot still if a turkey did present itself.

I didn't have any private land to hunt so I had to wait an extra 2 weeks for the public lands to open which was fine as it allowed me to get some extra scouting in with my uncle. I took a week off work to dedicate some time to hunting.

The week was interesting I learned a lot. I heard some gobbles, got some responses, busted an...orgy...had an alligator growl at me, a few deer snuck in on me, and some buzzards made me think i busted some more!!!

I was excited for Saturday my uncle was off and another friend was in town and they were both going to call for me. As we were leaving the house my uncle slipped on the steps and threw his back out but went anyway. He was miserable and we called it after an hour. On Easter Sunday he was still out of commission and i set out alone on the Savannah Wildlife Refuge.

I set up at first light near a pond across from where i had busted the group earlier in the week. As the sun came up behind me, I could see a clearer area in front of me and was debating moving up so I could see better. The morning had been quiet and I was getting a bit bored and restless.

I finally dropped my mask, put the gun and my slate down, and took care of a little business a few feet from my position. I came back and simply knelt down, had a smoke and contemplated moving again. I decided to call a little more. I put my camo back on and just stayed kneeling (w/o my gun in my hand) and made a few yelps with the slade and cutts with the mouth call. Then I saw a head about 30 yards in front of me coming from right to left with the palmettos behind. My heart stopped, I had not even heard a rustle in the leaves never mind a gobble.

I then saw 2 more heads as the first came into my shooting lane. The first had a beard, just a jake, but it had a beard. My heart started again then almost exploded with panic because the gun was on the ground to my right and i knew i couldn't move!! I could now see beards on the other two (jakes) and could see 3 more birds following them. As the third bird got into my lane I decided to move on the gun. I don't think i was even breathing. I moved fast (bad, I know) as i brought the gun up the bird heard the safety "click"...he stopped in the middle of my lane, stuck his head up just in time to get a face full of #6s!!! The swamp was filled of the sounds of flapping wings and putts and a broke neck flop. The last few birds flew over head and the first couple ran off only to come clucking back to see where their friend was.

I spoke their sounds and got them to come in and out a few times but I never go to see their beards again so I didn't take another. My uncle said it would be ok to take a jake the 1st time and he was in my head telling me not to shoot again. I had done the job.

It was only a 14lb jake with a 5" beard but I did it alone, on my first hunting season ever. Now I have your disease.
South Carolina Low Country

TURKEYBOSS
 
Posts: 26
Joined: January 14th, 2011, 11:16 am

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby TURKEYBOSS » March 18th, 2011, 11:32 pm

NICE STORY 1MORGAN!
 
BUT THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "JUST A JAKE!" BE PROUD OF EVERY ANIMAL YOU HARVEST! YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN IT WILL BE YOUR LAST!
 
ABOUT A MONTH TILL MY SEASON STARTS! STARTING TO GET REALLY EXCITED!

Ruttinbull
 
Posts: 90
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:29 am

RE: WANT TO HEAR UR FIRST TURKEY HUNTING STORY!

Postby Ruttinbull » March 19th, 2011, 8:25 am

Oregon is not native to turkeys, therefore turkey hunting is relatively new to a lot of us including me. When I received a transfer to The Dalles I was quite excited about trying turkey hunting. This area is about an hour away from Oregons largest city and unfortunately is the most heavily hunted public turkey area in the state. I did not have anyone to show me the ropes so I relied on a borrowed turkey video from a local sporting goods store. Like many others made all the mistakes for nearly three years; calling too loud, calling too much, getting to close to the roost, moving when I should have stayed, etc. Finally one morning I started up a very ridge. About a third of the way up I had to stop and catch my breath. While there I thought why not try to call. I hit the primos power crystal and nothing. I tried again and was blown away by three hearty gobbles to my left, right and above right. Right there I made my stand and attempted to call. After a few moments it was clear that all birds were slowly working their way up hill. I decided to attempt to get up hill and above or at least on the same level as the birds. I knew it would be risky but did just that. I got near the top and knew the birds should be somewhere near. I gave out a little call and immediately there was a response. I frantically looked around for a place to sit. I gave another call and the birds erupted again but much closer and as I was sitting saw bits and pieces of two black forms coming at me fast. I set up and moments later a huge tom stuck his head up between the trucks of two scrub oaks just yards away. I was so flabbergasted that I didnt shoot. The tom moved his head and was gone. I was kicking myself for not shooting when the second tom stuck his head in the same spot. I was so busy kicking myself that I forgot to shoot again and the tom moved on. Now I was incredibly flustered. Apparently about that time the two toms got concerned about not finding the object of their love and decided to go out the way they came. On his way out, one tom perfectly framed his head again between to the scrub oaks and I fired. The bird rolled and the other groups of birds around me shock gobbled. After three years my first bird was down.
After that first bird, something clicked because I killed another the very next day. I have been having fun ever since.


Return to First Time Turkeys

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest