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gobble...gobble..

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gobble...gobble..

Postby SHOWBOAT » March 23rd, 2020, 10:38 am

anyone else chasing them? They aren't talking much yet, but they're moving.

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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby CalGarretson » March 23rd, 2020, 11:24 am

One of my favorites. I accomplished something I had always hoped to on Saturday. Two birds, one shot.

In the past few seasons I have gotten to where I usually pass on those suicidal two year old birds, it is just more fun to tangle with an older bird and I am blessed to be in some mighty fine turkey woods with an abundance of birds and a lack of pressure. As the sun began to rise Saturday morning, my listening post just happened to only be 250-300 yards from a few birds that were very vocal. I suspected they were young birds, but they were a close walk, it was an easy walk down the hill and I have been wrong before. I am thankful to get to play the game on opening morning of the season. As I am making my way closer to where the birds were roosted I am fairly certain they are about 100 yards or so to my left and I am scanning around developing a plan for where to set up, then I hear a hen begin yapping 50-60 yards on my right. I have been done wrong by too many hens in my day and the fact that I was between the hen and the gobblers was pure luck. I am not one to disregard the gift lady luck had given me, so I eased over in her direction and spooked her off in the direction from whence she came. I chuckle to myself as I tell her "you won't be complicating my situation this morning ma'am." Things don't happen this smoothly too often for me when dealing with a bird whose brain is the size of a peanut. I turn around to resume my search of a the perfect tree and voila' there it is no more than 5 yards away. It is perfect, wide enough to conceal my wide ass, and with some perfect thorny brush on my left, which happens to be the direction the gobblers should be coming from. Once again I find myself in the realization that this is just too perfect. How many times have I found myself scrambling to find the right spot with the necessary combo of cover and visibility from which to ambush a gobbler? I chuckle have a seat and give one little series of yelps, they sound off, still in the tree but close enough that they know where I am. So I just put everything down, get the gun on my knee and wait. Sure enough here they come, just like the textbook says they should walking down the firebreak and about to be 20 yards in front of me. I can tell at this point that they are all 2 year old birds and I am prepared to let them move on. But live practice getting a gobbler in range and on target is an opportunity that should not be passed up. So I put my head down on the gun, finger on the trigger and am prepared to just say BOOM in my mind and know that "I coulda!" Then it happened, two of the three get perfectly lined up and I noted to myself that "huh, I could have killed two in one shot. If them idiots do that again, I might just have to." Of course they did, and I did, and I will just say it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. I might be paying back the Turkey Hunting Gods the rest of the season, but I am ok with that. Things just don't line up that perfect and you don't turn down gifts that come so easily.
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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby bbb » March 23rd, 2020, 11:54 am

Had one gobbling Saturday that walked past me at 8, just out of sight. A couple hours later, Just as I was about to leave he came back by gobbling. Both times out of sight.

But I walked in and found the firebreak he was walking so I’ll be back soon.

Heard 4-5 birds in all gobble 40-50 times. Unfortunately most came from the neighbors property.
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gobble...gobble..

Postby onefishtwofish » March 23rd, 2020, 2:02 pm

I had a fun opener. Saturday morning, nothing at first light other than one gobbling like crazy, but he was closer to my nephew than me and I figured he would chase him. He did - called him in to 27 steps, gobbled 100 times and his dad missed him! My son and I were about 6-700 yards away and heard the shot - we fist bumped and then we heard the second shot. Oops! We figured the story.

So my son and I get up and start easing along. Hear a bird gobble and figure he is on the wrong side of the river, but we decided to move in and be sure. We get closer and hear him gobble again, now we are 90% he is on the wrong side. We ease up even closer, right across the river from him and creep to the bank. Another bird gobbles right near him. I yelp and they both answer. Then all heck breaks lose - I have watched longbeards tussle, but this was a sure enough battle royale. I could not believe how much ruckus they were making. We were 100 yards across the river from them and were listening to them just go at it. My son is videoing them to have the audio. We have crawled right up the the bank at this point. They stop, I yelp and nothing. So I kee kee run and they both gobble and go back at it. I turn to my son and say "The loser may just fly across this river". A few second later I see him on the far bank - a longbeard. I kee kee again and he turns towards the water, takes a few steps and takes flight, right at us. We could have shot him over water, but did not want to go swimming. He lands and comes up the bank - my son stays kneeling and I have crouched up. I say "Kill him" and my son says he has no shot. He is fast walking and I put the bead on him and squeeze. He had just cleared where my son could shoot and he shoots at nearly the same time. My nephew was only a few hundred yards away and said it sounded like BA-DOOM. He figured it was two shots it was so loud. We both realize too late that the other bird had flown across too, but he veered at the shot and never gave us a chance for a double. We were so focused on the bird in our laps we did not notice the winner following him until too late. I'll post the pic from my phone.

Calling a bird across the river on public land and shooting a bird with my son was just too much fun. A lifetime memory. Either of us could have killed him (and we both probably did), but both of us just reacted. As we were walking out, we talked about splitting the spurs-for the memory, I offered him both but he said it was cooler for us to each have one. He did say he wanted the beard since I have most of mine on a lanyard and he said it looks like moss on an oak tree!Image
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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby Danibeth » March 25th, 2020, 12:41 pm

This weekend I hunted a wildlife management area that is maybe 20 minutes from the house. I have been there just to drive around but had not hunted it except this past weekend. I know how to hunt swamp turkeys and this WMA is a whole lot of upland with some swampiness to it. So Saturday after my hunt, I drove the road I was on and found a much more open area of woods and swamp so I thought okay, I will try somewhere around here Sunday. I have seen hens running down that road before when I have driven through and my friend Steve's often repeated comment of "where there are hens, there will be gobblers" told me that this area was as good a place as any to start.

Sunday I got up and headed on out a little earlier than I had Saturday. The original spot on Saturday I wanted to start at was already taken. Once I got out to "my" road, I randomly picked a wide spot in the road to pull out on that was about two miles south of where I was Saturday. I got there at 6:15. Legal shooting was about 7:00. Having no desire to let my imagination run amok in the heavily canopied woods and no desire to feed the masses of mosquitoes that were beating themselves senseless against the truck windows, I sat in the truck until 7 when the inky blackness of the woods was being driven away by the coming sunrise.

I got out and quietly got my stuff ready and then stood in front of the truck just listening. An owl sounded off and down the road a ways, much to my surprise and pleasure, I heard a shock gobble. So off I went. I walked about half a mile, stopping from time to time to listen. He would shock every now and then so I knew I hadn't yet passed him. I came to an intersection and paused to see if there was a truck parked nearby (there wasn't) when a hawk started screaming and my turkey gobbled.

I was A LOT closer than I thought I was! I went on down the road about thirty more yards, picked a tree off the edge of the road that hid me but that I could see down the road and then sat down to see what happened.

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That gobbler gobbled probably 300 times at every hawk that sounded off. A few times to an owl but he gobbled at every hawk. Not once to any of my soft calling so I didn't continue with that. He had to be in a tree right off the road. He stayed up in that tree until probably 8:00 gobbling his head off. I sat on the side of the road thinking what a situation I am in. I drove down the road this morning wanting to hear a turkey so that I could find a turkey in a place that I have never hunted before. Now, I wouldn't mind if he was a bit quieter. I spent more time worrying about other hunters hearing him and trying to sneak up on him than I did wondering what I would do when the bird finally got off the tree. When he had enough of gobbling and drumming up in the tree, he flew deeper into the woods and I heard the hens that had been gathering around under him. They got into a squabble that let me know there were a good handful of the ladies. He gobbled when he hit the ground and I could hear his harem go running out after him.

I stood up and thought "Welllllll the worst I can do is screw it up." Off I went and I began making my way through the woods as quiet as I could. It sure wasn't easy given how thick it is but the gobbler gobbled a few times at some hawks so I knew I was still close. I got to where I could see a little tiny bit of the woods clearing up and I slowed down even more. It took me 40 minutes or so probably to go about 80 yards from the road and the last twenty yards of it was excruciating slow. But I had lots of palmettos between me and the gobbler, which I could then hear drumming. I hoped that my shield of palmettos would disguise my stalk.

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I yelped furiously one time after a while during the stalk because I hadn't heard anything and he shocked at me. There were lots of hens with him that responded as well so I shut up after that and continued my creeping. I cringed every time I stepped on a stick that cracked under me that I hadn't seen under all the grass. I was sure that that crack was going to be what spooked the birds off. I would look at where I was and think how far do I need to go still to get "close enough?" I still wasn't there. So, on I crept.

I got to where I had two clear shooting lanes into what I could see of a little bit of the clearing and I thought well, I probably can't get closer without screwing something up because the drumming was coming in my general direction. They were narrow lanes but at least I had options.

I was standing up (not an ideal shooting position for me at all), near a tree but just in front of it so I couldn't lean on it for support and I was afraid to move backwards any. The drumming was getting stronger. This would be my chance if I have some patience! I just stood there watching my shooting lanes.

Then I saw it.

A hen was feeding her way into my shooting lane on the right. The lane I had hoped for. Then another hen followed her. I still couldn't see the gobbler but I could feel the drumming deep in my chest. He was getting closer.

Down low at their vantage point, the hens could likely see more of me than I could see of them standing up and by that point I am sure I was vibrating a little. There was a large palmetto leaf that blocked a large part of me. I know they saw me and looked at me but they weren't super concerned initially. They just would poke around and then I would see their heads pop up and look at me. They would stare at me a little bit, turning their heads this way and that but they went back to feeding.

I thought "oooooooh pleeeease don't get spooked 'til after the gobbler comes out."

His drumming was even louder, my eardrums were vibrating and I still couldn't see him. My heart was in overtime at that point and it was all I could do to slow my breathing and breathe quietly.

FINALLY I saw his red head! He, of course, was all puffed up for the ladies. He wasn't quite to my shooting lane though. And I was getting a really bad case of turkey fever. As if it hadn't been bad before. There were two small trees that he had to move to the right of first before I was clear to take my shot. Patience I had to tell myself. Breathe.

At that point the hens were watching me more intently, one of them lightly putting. I had moved my gun a little bit I think. When he dropped his head and continued his way to his ladies I moved the gun all the way into position and the hens putted a little more, but still not in great alarm. I think the shakes became obvious to the hens at that point because there were some vines behind me that I think were vibrating with me and the hens didn't like that. The gobbler kept coming and cleared the two little trees but I couldn't see his head until their putting became insistent and he stopped, stood straight up and looked at me. I had to lean forward some since he was just on the edge of that big palmetto and risk scaring the birds to get a good shot but there he was at 35 yards so I leaned forward and took the shot.

And the world exploded in turkeys. There had to be ten hens with him!

At first I thought NOOOOOOOOOOOO I missed because he jumped up a bit and seemed to fly to the left a bit. Though he didn't jump high or far, I couldn't see if he ran off or not. He was no longer visible in my clear shooting lane. I didn't hear the thrashing that is often accompanied with shooting a turkey. I had a great shot! I KNOW I DID!! How could I have screwed it up?!?!?!? I hurried as fast as I could over to where they had been, trying not to trip over downed limbs and the clawing blackberry vines, my heart was pounding in dread and then a huge rush of relief came over me as I found I had hit him hard enough that when he hit the ground from his jump, he didn't so much as twitch. He had landed just outside of what I could see of my shooting lane!


I stood there, feeling the shakes really come over me and grinning like a fool!

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It was 8:45 in the morning, the heat hadn't ramped up to atrocious yet and I was thinking how it certainly is better to be lucky than good sometimes! I had to sit down for a bit and admire my trophy. He truly was a trophy. A very successful stalk through thick woods after getting lucky and parking in just the right spot. The sun and stars were all aligned for me and somehow, I managed to make it happen!

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There is still lots of turkey season left. Who knows what it will bring but the start of the season was outstanding!

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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby SHOWBOAT » March 25th, 2020, 2:05 pm

looks like nice work by all who have posted. Thanks for sharing your stories!
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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby onefishtwofish » March 25th, 2020, 9:06 pm

Sweet bird Danibeth. A real limbhanger for sure!
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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby GusMccrae » March 25th, 2020, 11:28 pm

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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby onefishtwofish » April 9th, 2020, 2:28 pm

Been off work for a week and been real busy. Turkey season has been good for my crew so far. I have heard the boom 4 times this year (3 of them I was either on the gun or sitting next to the shooter). Opening was the bird above. Then scored the next weekend when my nephew killed one with my muzzleloader. We called this bird in with a gobble tube! yelp yelp yelp GOBBLE. Drove him and his buddy crazy and they had to come see!
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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby onefishtwofish » April 9th, 2020, 2:29 pm

Fast forward 3 days and talked my brother into an afternoon hunt on private land. He scored. I was only a couple hundred yards from him when I heard the boom.
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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby onefishtwofish » April 9th, 2020, 2:33 pm

Then this past Saturday my son and I put the moves on a bird from a pretty long ways away. We had set up on one on the limb and heard this one in the distance. The near bird was called away by hens (we could hear them clucking as they left). But this one gobbled and we moved into the bottom he was in. He skirted our position and headed to our original set up, so I sent my son back there while I stayed in the bottom. He was also with hens and they were raising a ruckus. We got them all fired up, my son and I both calling from about 75 yards apart really got them going crazy. They came in to son with Mr. Tom in tow. Oddly enough he killed him within 5 steps of my nephews bird a week earlier. This was 3/4 mile from the truck on public ground. We posed him on the same dead log as my nephew's bird. Same muzzleloader did the work.
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Re: gobble...gobble..

Postby Red Beard » April 9th, 2020, 4:11 pm

That’s awesome congratulations. Memories that will last a lifetime. Thunderchickens are some good eating.


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