Unit 39 Update

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Unit 39 Update

Postby IDturkeyfool » May 6th, 2008, 11:02 am

IDAHO UPDATE .... Another Weekend - and a BIG BUST.[:@]

We hunted East of Idaho City, ID both Saturday and Sunday (5/3-4) - Hard, putting many miles trudging up and down through 700' of elevation change - I heard not a single cluck, putt or gobble.  Where have the birds gone?

Prior to last weekend, we have heard as many as five Toms in a single day in our hunt area.  We have seen hens - I spooked a Jake.  Where have they gone?  Do the move up as the snow mooves up?
I do not think we called too much and we believe we are the only hunters working the area (only our tracks to be seen.)

Saturday was overcast but temps climbed to 60 from the low 30's.  The air was VERY smokey due to a prescribed burn some 5-10 mile from where we hunt - Could that move the birds?  (I doubt it as we jumped a deer.)  The smoke blew out as breezes during the day progressed.  Sunday started cold (26F) but warmed to 60+ and was crystal clear and still.  My Daughter heard on bird - more than a mile off below us.

It did get windy earlier in the week - up to 35MPH gusts so we worked draws on creek bottoms bu saw no sign.

I spoke with many of the locals - They said Turkey numbers are WAY down, one said he usually would see 75-100 a day through past winters - this year the most he saw at one time was 14.

I spoke to local USFS Rangers, both from the Hunt unit and from the National forest offices.  They are not seeing birds - or hearing of sitings this year.

I spoke to a Idaho Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist - He believes our winter was too harsh on them this year - siting a similar winter several years back.  THERE IS STILL SNOW ON NORTH SLOPES TO 2+ FEET AS OF THIS PAST WEEKEND.  In years past the snow is gone in March.

He also stated he has been hearing similar low turkey sitings from other hunters.

I asked if the wet weather last spring could have resulted in low poult survival rates, weather preditors could be responsible (lots of Wolf signs and typical coyote bobcat track sitings.)  The Biologist feels that non of these factors compare to harsh winter and we had lots of snow this year.

I'm about out of season - - -

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RE: Unit 39 Update

Postby ljmelea » May 10th, 2008, 6:27 pm

perhaps the birds are following the snow line.Did you help the nwtf sack food for winter feeding in your area?do you support the local nwtf chapters in their efforts?these guys may have some knowledge of the habits of birds in the area.

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RE: Unit 39 Update

Postby hoosierhunter » June 2nd, 2008, 4:16 am

Sorry to hear about the rough season, and especially the reports of possible low numbers of birds. I did not hunt Id. this year, but had a wonderful time last year in 07 spring. Can't remember the unit #, but was hunting in the Lowell area just off U.S.12. I was hunting with my brother Dale,who fortunately for myself was a big game guide in the area for 15 yrs. We heard a lot of gobbles, but man , that was what I call an extreme turkey hunt! Elevation changes from 1500' to 3000', and the brush! My goodness, I've never seen anything like it before,and I grew up in W.Va. with sawbriars and honeysuckle. It was great! After 5 days of chasin em', using my box call, I finally found a drainage that was just loaded with toms, with a south facing clear cut. After I decided which one I wanted to go after my brother simply stated, " Good choice bro, cause I know where he wants to go and strut!",and with that we dove off over the mountain at a double time pace, stopping every 200 or so yrds. to check his attitude. Every time I would stop to check the tom and catch my breath, their would be one or two more gobblers answering, and by the time we had moved 1500 yards and was at the strut zone, there must have been at least 10 gobblers barking at my calls and they were closing fast. They were coming from every direction, and I mean fast. The one I eventually baptized with buckshot, came running from behind me so fast that I was lookin' to see if he was wearing track shoes! His speed through the brush didn't allow for a kill shot, but he headed straight for the original tom I had struck up, who was now in front of us at about 60 yds. No clear shot available, but was that a great fight to witness! After clearly establishing his dominance, the track star came running back to claim his hen, only to succumb to a 3" Winchester extreme at 15 yards. 24lbs. 11" beard and 11/4 hooks. I've been huntin' turks a long time, but that was the best hunt of my life thus far. Sorry so long winded fella's, hope ya enjoy the pic.  
                                                                   GOOD LUCK, GOD BLESS, AND STAY SAFE


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Joined: April 17th, 2008, 8:42 am

RE: Unit 39 Update

Postby ljmelea » June 2nd, 2008, 4:28 am

[:)]That was an exciting tale!great bird.
good luck

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RE: Unit 39 Update

Postby allaboutshooting » June 2nd, 2008, 4:35 am

Hey Larry,

Great story and great bird!

"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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