WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Your place to talk about anything and everything hunting-related!
User avatar
mark hay
 
Posts: 2880
Joined: August 19th, 2008, 1:59 pm

WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby mark hay » December 12th, 2008, 12:49 pm

WELL some of you people are still FALL hunting , and i'd like to be , just can't afford out of state. so i'm gonna make the shift into spring .
what are you watchin' or focused on as you watch a spring gobbler come in to your set up ?
 

zipperman351
 
Posts: 162
Joined: May 16th, 2008, 3:17 pm

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby zipperman351 » December 12th, 2008, 3:28 pm

Hi Mark today I was thinking about the set ups in KY and ohio..ill visit landowners and give them there Christmas HAM....the new hat makes them happy toooo...zipperman

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

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby mark hay » December 13th, 2008, 12:23 am

mornin' Russ
looks like things are slowin' down on the forum. everyone that has finished their season or tagged out are probably slippin' into the '' BETWEEN SEASONS DEPRESSION''.
i just found out this week what the INBOX is. sorry 'bout that. i seen your PM from back in october.
well it's so cold out this morn' there ain't no point in tryin ' to sneak in somewhere and call in a songdog. they no doubt could hear me comin' for a mile . think i'll cut some firewood today and wait for the ground to soften up this afternoon and try to get out and HOWL one up this evenin'.
breedin' season is nearly on us and them dogs will be vocal. my Cz 527 has been neglected since fall turkey opened. if i can do my part , maybe she will BARK this evenin'.                  later

NEbeardhunter21
 
Posts: 99
Joined: November 17th, 2008, 7:22 am

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby NEbeardhunter21 » December 13th, 2008, 4:37 am

mornin Mark,
          These next 4 1/2 months are gonna be BRUTAL! Since buying my gun in Sept. i've had something to shoot at, doves, grouse, turkeys. Now I have to put it away for a while.[:(] I have started looking for new private ground to hunt. Being in construction I've had the opportunity to work for a farmer and rancher who have given me permission to hunt their lands. All together about 1800 acres. Both have never been hunted for turkeys! I saw a group of toms on the one place a couple of months ago so I'm "giddy as a skool girl". lol      later
May your shells be live and your Toms be monsters

User avatar
Gobblerman
 
Posts: 927
Joined: April 8th, 2008, 12:47 pm

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby Gobblerman » December 13th, 2008, 1:05 pm

Another good hypothetical question, Mark.  What do I look for and concentrate on when a gobbler is in view and coming? 

First thing I'm doing after I see him on the way is trying to get my heart out of my throat!  That moment when a gobbler pops into view is absolutely exhilarating.  It's like somebody has stuck me in the chest with one of those adrenalin-filled syringes, or something.  You would think I would have gotten better at handling that moment after all these years, but I haven't.  Most of the time, I get it under control pretty quickly and start focusing on the things that we all should be concentrating on.  But before I begin to think about the hunt, I want to make sure to savor this moment. 

I look at the bird.  If he is strutting, gobbling, or otherwise, I try to take it all in.  This doesn't happen every time I go out, often not for days, or sometimes weeks, at a time.  I admire the bird, his coloration, stature, and wariness.  I will consciously try to soak up every bit of it....like a sponge, I want to hold onto the moment as long as I am able.  At some point, though, I will realize that I am here to try to kill this bird, and I will snap out of the trance and get to the task at hand.

At this point, I switch into the practical mode.  First of all, are there any safety or ethical issues involved?  Have I chosen my set-up wisely, and am I positioned correctly for a shot.  If not, is there an opportunity to re-position at some point?  Where is my optimum opportunity for a shot?  What's the gobbler's demeanor? Is he at all suspicious, or is he just coming on head-over-heels to me like a love-struck teenager?  Can I enjoy the show for awhile?  ....or should I be looking to end this encounter at the first opportunity?  When will he be in range?  Am I seeing all of the birds involved?  Does he have other turkeys with him?....and if so, are they going to be a factor when it's time for a shot?  Will I be able to make a clean, ethical shot on the gobbler? 

Having done this many times, there are other questions that enter the picture, too.  If there is more than one gobbler, which is the best bird to take?  Does one have better spurs? ...Beard?  How long is the season, and how many more hunts do I get to go on?  Do I want to end my season here and now, with this gobbler? ....or would I rather continue to hunt for another, bigger bird, ...knowing that I might end up without tying my tag on a gobblers leg if I pass this one up? 

All of these things, and others more subtle, come into play at that moment of truth when that gobbler finally commits to your calling and shows himself.  Here, in the midst of winter, ....with several months to pass before these things can become reality, if we are lucky,... it's a good time to ponder them.  ....Good Question, Mark Hay!   Thanks for asking!

Jim

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

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby mark hay » December 14th, 2008, 12:19 am

MISTER
you have surely hit the NAILS on the head ! with the heart up in the throat , restricting blood and oxygen to the brain, sometimes it's a chore to remain sitting upright, let alone trying to read the bird ,manipulate a call or SHOOT. and those cold mornings when the FOG is coming out of your net like coal smoke at a power plant.
you said it well.                      I LOVE IT TOO!!!

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

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby mark hay » December 15th, 2008, 2:11 pm

evenin' Gobblerman,
just finished reading your previous reply and enjoyed it more than the first time. you used the word TRANCE and made me recall one of my most memorable hunts .
opening day on private land with my father in law. called up a WHISPERING jake. my father in law was shakin all over and kept asking NOW? NOW?.
i tried to keep him calm and assured him i'd tell him when to shoot. well i misjudged the yardage by 5 yrds and he knocked the jake down and as it flew off i hit him , but my 20ga , 3 inch didn't have the STUFF at well over 40 yrds. i was sick.
later in the season , and still tormented by my mistake , i heard a gobble. i was on public land and had yet to take a spring gobbler there. i eased in as close as i dared to and set up. made a few faint calls , which got a responce but not as urgent as i would prefer. i held my seat and kept telling myself to be patient. finally i see the bird strutting at about 80 yrds and surrounded by deer . the sun was bright and the light continued to improveto the point that i could tell when his back was to me and obstructed his view. with his back to me i slid my hand down and scratched in the leaf litter. he cutt my call this time . the deer kept feeding and slowly moved off and down into the holler. the next time he turned his back to me i got my hand back on the gun. some time went by with him strutting and gobbling his head off. i just sat quiet . then he folded up and started my way . my gun was trained on him as he closed the gap. i picked a spot in the brush and told myself that he must be on my side of that brush to make a clean kill. he reached the brush and began to gobble and strut again. after a few minutes of that and no hen reply he folded up again and started to circle. he nevercame on to my side of that brush. right there i recall as if it were this morning, I AIN'T GONNA TRY TO SHOOT THIS TOM. his circling ended quickly and he started right toward me again. my 20 ga was about 30 degrees off line. i recalled my opening day blunder and didn't want to ruin this bird so i decided to watch the show.that's where the TRANCE started. i don't know how long the show lasted or what really spooked the bird. i do know this ! I AIN'T BEEN THE SAME SINCE. the display of strutting , spit n drum ,and gobbling at 15 yards was absolutely amazing. over and over he did the same thing. and then the SNOOD went from probably 4 inches to about 3/4 in a fraction of a second. his feathers folded up nearly as fast and he started emmitting ear piercing PUTTS.  i just sat there and smiled . my very first fully successful turkey hunt!
i'll never know what spooked the ol' boy , but i've often wondered if i didn't start smiling before he putted.
 been turkey hunting for 10 years running at that same public land and some private,and killed many turkeys, but i just detailed my most memorable hunt,,,,,,and smile  every time i think of it.
 

User avatar
Gobblerman
 
Posts: 927
Joined: April 8th, 2008, 12:47 pm

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby Gobblerman » December 15th, 2008, 4:45 pm

Howdy, Mark....Enjoyed your reminiscing about the hunt that hooked you.   Mine was very similar, as I am sure many of the others here will attest were their's.  Mine occurred in the spring of 1975 in the Gila Wilderness of southwestern New Mexico.  I was very lucky back then, in that there were good populations of Merriams turkeys in the mountains of southern NM, unlike many other areas of the country that had either few or no birds whatsoever.  I had been hunting spring birds since the mid-sixties, on and off, and had never called a gobbler in, but must admit that I hadn't put in the effort that was really needed.

Those of you that were around back during those days will nod your heads in agreement when I say that there wasn't much information to be had about spring gobbler hunting back then.  The "big three" outdoor magazines at that time, Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, and Field and Stream, always had an article or two prior to the spring hunt from contributors like Col. Dave Harbour and Charlie Elliot, which I read with increasing interest and dedication each passing spring.  From their annual tales of strutting gobblers coming to the call, my interest continued to mount until finally, I was determined to stick with it until I called in a gobbler. 

That fateful day finally occurred on the final day of the NM spring hunt in '75.  As I recall, I had hunted several days during the season without success, and on that final morning, I awoke two hours before daylight to a howling wind, which resigned me to the notion that I would certainly go home empty-handed again.  I struck out well before daylight, heading towards a major canyon several miles into the wilderness.  Two hours, and no sight or sound of a gobbler later, I had worked my way about three miles down into one of the spectacular canyons that are typical of the western mountains.  The wind was whistling through the Pondersosa pine forest at such a velocity it sounded like a freight train.  I was whipped and ready to return to my vehicle and head home, but nevertheless, every hundred yards or so, I would scratch out a series of loud yelps on my old Penns Woods Roger Latham box call. 

Imagine my surprise when, after another series of seemingly futile calls, I heard the faintest of noises from high up on the south ridge of the canyon that I thought might have been a gobble.  I wasn't convinced, and in fact, was honestly thinking that it was my wishful and desperate mental state playing tricks on me, but still I lingered at the spot and waited.  Several minutes later I again offered yelps from the box, and amazingly, was rewarded by a definite clear gobble from somewhere up on the ridge.

I could go into great detail about what transpired from that point, as I recall almost every second of it now, over thirty years later.  However, in the interest of maintaining some semblance of brevity here, it shall suffice for me to say that the gobbler eventually came down that ridge into the bottom where I hid under the limbs of a small fir tree, and put on a show similar to the one you related that, indeed, put me into a trance, fixated on the wild turkey gobbler, that I have not been able to escape from since. 

I remember walking up to that magnificent bird, stilled somehow by a shot that I thought would never come, and kneeling in awe next to him at he lay there, glistening in all his glory, feathers ablaze in more colors than I could have imagined.  It was nothing less than an awakening for me as a hunter, and there is never a spring morning afield that I do not thank God for those few moments I spent with that bird on that blustery spring morning.  ...And I too, smile every time I think of it!

Jim

User avatar
wordbird
 
Posts: 322
Joined: August 19th, 2008, 3:51 pm

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby wordbird » December 16th, 2008, 4:24 am

Some very good stories there boys. I too enjoy all the splendor of watching a gobbler strut and drum and I enjoy all the things going on around me as I wait on him to come. But deep down when I get one nearing shooting range, I am concentrating on the first opportunity to unlease the 3 1/2 835 on him. I have had too many hunts go bad after watching one too long and not taking the first available shot. As much as I love all the things that are associated with the hunt, my mission and my focus is to, as Eddie Salter says, give him a ride in my truck.
"The only absolute in turkey hunting is that there are no absolutes."

rbewilson
 
Posts: 529
Joined: April 27th, 2008, 1:36 pm

RE: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHIN?

Postby rbewilson » December 16th, 2008, 4:30 pm

Hey Gobblerman, Welcome back where have you been.

Next

Return to Talkin' Turkey • General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests