Author Topic: It all came down to the last two days.  (Read 331 times)

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Offline coyote101

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It all came down to the last two days.
« on: December 08, 2018, 02:20:46 PM »
Most years killing a turkey during the fall season is a pretty sure thing; this year, not so much. I hunted five days during the early gun season, eight days with my crossbow between gun seasons, and five more days during the late gun season, and only had one turkey within range in all that time. Some mornings I did not hear or even see a turkey.  :confused: The season was winding down fast and it looked like I might get skunked for the first time. So I went out late Thursday afternoon to see if I could watch where they went to roost and try to set up close to them in the morning.

I was in the woods and saw a couple of hens crossing a wheat field headed for the wood line about a hundred yards in front of me. I decided to try to circle through the woods, using terrain to get in front of them and see where they flew up to roost or maybe get a shot while they were still on the ground. I was able to get within about sixty yards of where I thought they entered the woods and could hear them but still could not see them.

I was in a slight depression and dropped down and crawled to a big tree in front of me so I could raise up to my knees to try to see them. As I did I heard a lot of cackling and knew that there were way more than just two turkeys close. When I looked around the tree I could see several heads moving through the under brush, but didn't have a clear shot, so I waited. I could hear a lot of turkeys moving through the woods now, and was worried that one would spot me and alert the flock. A few seconds later one of those to my front moved from behind the under brush and offered a clear shot, so I took it.

At the shot, she went down, and the woods EXPLODED with turkeys! There were dozens of them flying in all directions. Many of them went up into the trees close by, but when I walked over to get my trophy they took off. And I formulated a plan for the morning.  :eyebrow:

I've killed a lot of turkeys with the old Mossberg but none more satisfying than this late season hen:
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Fall turkey hunting advice usually goes something like this: scatter the flock, setup, call them back together and shoot one as they try to regroup. Sounds simple enough, but it's much easier said than done. In my experience, rather than scatter, the flock will just all run or fly off together. Besides, if you're close enough to scatter them, why not just shoot one?  :shrug: But in this case, they actually had scattered and it was getting dark fast, so they were unlikely to regroup before morning. I have a permanent blind built fairly close to where I killed the turkey and scattered the flock Thursday evening so I decided to set up there Friday morning.

I had my decoys out and was in the blind waiting an hour before sunrise. About 45 minutes later I started hearing the occasional cluck. And then a yelp or two. So I started answering, hoping the flock would see and gather around my decoys. A couple of minutes later a lone hen flew down in the field about a hundred and twenty yards to my right. I knew she could see the decoys and hear my calling, but she didn't seem to be in any hurry to come in. Eventually she started easing her way in my direction and closing the distance, but not heading straight to the decoys. I was hunting with my .410 handgun so I needed her within thirty yards before I would take a shot. She was on a sort of arc around the decoys when I first ranged her at fifty-seven yards. She continued around them, but was getting closer. When she got around to the left side of them, I ranged her at twenty-eight yards. That was close enough.

I got the gun up, cocked the hammer, put the bead on her neck, pulled the trigger and had my second turkey in fifteen hours.  :biggrin:

There she is to the left of the decoys:
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Twenty-eight yards back to the blind.
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The little Encore .410 got it done.
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I stayed in the blind and continued calling just to see if I could get more to come in. Some time later they started flying down into the wheat field and coming out of the woods by the dozens. Apparently they had done a better job of regrouping over night than I had anticipated. They were around a hundred and seventy-five yards away moving left to right but not in my direction. Eventually two broke off and headed my way, but they never got closer than about forty-five yards. They must have seen something they didn't like because they turned and made a bee line for the wood line to my left. That was it. None of the rest of the flock came close, they all went into the woods and I called it a day. 

The bulk of the flock that had scattered the evening before. They continued straight ahead into the woods and disappeared:
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Crossbow season is open until December 31st, and I am allowed two more turkeys, so we'll see how it goes.

Pat
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"On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died." - Sam Ewing

Offline pitw

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 04:03:08 PM »
Simply sensational. :yoyo: :yoyo:
I say what I think not think what I say.

Offline Okanagan

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 05:16:59 PM »
Simply sensational. :yoyo: :yoyo:

Yes!  Great read!

Man, there are a LOT of turkeys in that last pic.




Offline coyote101

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 05:34:56 PM »

Man, there are a LOT of turkeys in that last pic.

Clyde,

In past years I would routinely see flocks of sixty to seventy-five in the afternoon. This year, prior to Wednesday the most I saw together was twelve. Wednesday I saw twenty-six and Thursday too many to count in the seconds after I shot the hen. Honestly, I was worried most of my turkeys had absconded. Looks like they are still around.  :biggrin:

Pat
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"On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died." - Sam Ewing

Offline nastygunz

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 07:06:58 PM »
Awesome !  You need a Turkey dog to bust up the flocks,  they go at the flock so fast they don't have time to run off they have to flush.

https://www.realtree.com/turkey-hunting/articles/how-to-hunt-fall-turkeys-with-dogs

Offline nastygunz

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 07:10:58 PM »
Sure wish I could hunt with my Contender😡😡😡😡

Offline pitw

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 07:28:05 PM »
Sure wish I could hunt with my Contender😡😡😡😡

Get closer by sneaking as quiet as a thistle down on the wind.
I say what I think not think what I say.

Offline nastygunz

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 07:59:18 PM »
NH doesnt allow turkey hunting with a .410 grrrrrrrrr

Offline FinsnFur

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 08:19:59 PM »
Quiet as a thistle :laf: :laf:

Nice write up Pat. Thanks for sharing it. By the way that last pic looks like a Turkey farm :biggrin:
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Offline pitw

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 08:32:16 PM »
NH doesnt allow turkey hunting with a .410 grrrrrrrrr

They don't allow a lot of things I like doing here either.  Didn't stop me much though. :innocentwhistle:
I say what I think not think what I say.

Offline nastygunz

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2018, 08:39:31 PM »
 I am sure I would fit right in your neck of the woods 😇👍

Offline JohnP

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2018, 03:40:32 PM »
Enjoyed the read and the pictures Pat.  Is that the blind that was destroyed during the storm a year or so ago?
When they come for mine they better bring theirs

Offline coyote101

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2018, 04:00:31 PM »
Is that the blind that was destroyed during the storm a year or so ago?

No John, the tornado took that one out in February and I haven't rebuilt it yet. This is the second one I built, and it didn't suffer any damage in the storm. I have prepositioned all of the wood to rebuild the other one, but can't get to it now till the wheat is harvested in the spring.

Pat

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"On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died." - Sam Ewing

Offline Hawks Feather

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2018, 06:06:08 PM »
There aren't many left because YOU have killed them all.  Now the last one is gone.   :iroll:

Jerry

Offline HaMeR

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Re: It all came down to the last two days.
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2018, 06:35:14 AM »
Nice hunt Pat!! Glad you got a couple birds!! I'm surprised they haven't left your end of the State by now!!  :eyebrownod: :eyebrownod:
Glen

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