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Getting schooled by zone 7 turkeys!


Matty
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So last night when I roosted, I only found one gobbler. He gobbled once at like 7:40 and again some time after 8, I don't recall the exact times, but I posted them last night.

 

Anywho....

 

Today my brother was able to go. He's looking for his first turkey, so I told him to meet me at 4am.

 

Getting into the spot, we ended up accidentally walking under a hen. She putted a few times but seemed to settle back down. Though she must have flown off while setting up because I never saw her again and I was diligently watching the tree she had been in.

 

 

5:15 the first gobble sounds off. He's down below us and to the right. With the crazy terrain undulations, it can be tough to pinpoint them in these woods without risking blowing them out of their roosts. Because of that, we were still about 100 or so yards from this bird.

 

It wasn't long before the real hens were joining  the conversation. A second gobbler that I never heard the night before also joined in from further down the ravine. Things are going great. I can hear the gobbles moving now, and they are getting closer every time. YES!!! Here come both gobblers...

 

This is when things get weird. It sounds like the real hens are intercepting the gobblers. So I get in a "hen fight". It works, I copied the mouthiest hen word for word and sometimes threw extra at her. Really gave her an attitude and she didn't like it. I swear you could hear in her tone she was getting angry! lol....I  end up drawing the hens right up to us.

 

The blind I have is too tight a squeeze for two people in comfy chairs, so I had my brother in the blind and I was laying on an ant hill or something, because something bit me in the ass and it's itchy as all get out. lol....But anyway, back to the story.

 

The hens are marching at me. I stop talking to the hens because they are now so close, one is almost standing on me. Love my ASAT leafy suit. I was afraid to breathe she was so close. I'm laying there between a log and a tree...She walks right behind me. My brother can't see any of the turkeys because of the way they came up from the ravine below us. His back windows are closed so he can't see any of this. He texts me while I have birds on top of me..."Are the turkeys right outside the blind??"

 

I can't even respond until after they scratch their way back into the ravine. YES THEY ARE!!! lol

 

As they move back down and in front he can finally see them. I think he said it was six all together. I never saw them all, I was afraid to move my eyes they were so close.

 

The weird thing is, the gobblers didn't stay with the hens, so we had a hen party. The gobblers actually left the hens, gobbling as they walked away. They gobbled until we couldn't hear them anymore.

 

With all the hens contently feeding below us, we just stayed put.

 

About an hour later, here comes a gobbler (one of the first ones maybe?) He loops in off to our left. I stay quiet. He loops in behind us. Gobbling all by himself, no hen talk, no sounds making him gobble...occasionally a pileated woodpecker sets him off, but he's just out looking for ladies.

 

Now he's getting really close. I can hear him booming 30 yards off to my 8 oclock...But I can't see him. I don't want to risk turning, so I wait.

 

He gobbles again, now he's down in the ravine where the hens still are. He doesn't go to them....He circles BACK around us. Now he's coming in from the front and he is maybe 40 yards away but neither of us can see him. His gobbles are booming through the air. This is it!!!

 

He's as good as dead as soon as he crests the small rise and sees the decoys.

 

ANTI CLIMAX!!!! He never comes in. He starts going away. Now the hens are talking to him, and they are leaving to meet him. I give in on the silent treatment and try to coax him back. It's a no go....He gobbles at my every call, but won't come back. He fades off with the hens.

 

Sit tight for a little while lobger...Nothing is happening, but my brother can occasionally hear that bird like 200 yards away or so..

 

Finally i say, pack up, we will move forward and I'll hang even further back.

 

So we move forward but he's not gobbling. Not wanting to bust him, I hit the woodpecker call, he gobbles. He's actually close 80 yds or so over a rise. I send my brother a little further forward and fall back. Hit the woodpecker one more time to make sure we're "lined up" right to pull him through and he answers again. I fall back a little more and start calling. He gobbles, but now he starts making his way away. What the frig man....He just goes away gobbling.

 

I tell my brother to sit tight, we'll just wait here in silence and hope he comes back.

 

Sure enough, he comes back about 40 minutes later.

 

This time I try silent treatment first, but it's clear he's not coming over the rise. So I drop even further back and try to make it sound like I'm going the other way, scratching, purring..It's working...he comes closer, but won't close the gap more than about 60 yards from my brother and over 100 from me. Now I get another bird answering me from way down the hill. Good! I'll pit them against each other.

 

I work back towards my brother, but on an angle away from both birds. They gobble their heads off at me but won't commit. Finally they meet each other and continue gobbling.

 

About this time some bikers come through on a very faint trail about 70 yards behind us. At this time the gobbling ceases. After the loud talking bikers disappear out of ear shot, gobbling resumes after I hit the call, but now they are way far away again. UGH!!!

 

 

We decide to move up to where they gobbled before. Call like crazy and then wait the last hour. Nothing. They faded off together in the midday sun. Gobbling..Last gobble was around 11. We sat until exactly noon...Oh well.

 

These birds are making me feel like I never turkey hunted before. They won't come to the hens at all, so far, not even to where the "hens" were. Because even an hour or more of silence isn't fooling these birds.

 

Toughest hunts I've ever done. Usually I can outsmart these suckers, but they are making me look like a fool. lol I think I have three choices...Just set up in a a possible strut location and never call or if my brother can go again, try to get them talking, figure out the direction they want to leave and run around out in front of them and setup silent. The third possibility is to curse and get frustrated, then sleep in. lol

 

Maybe tomorrow.

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Damn it! You're right Joe. Thanks!!! lol

 

Actually, this is the first year I'm using ONLY the calls I make. Maybe they are bad luck. lol

 

During the last hour, I sat there trying to figure out what new items are potential bad luck this year.

 

So far the list is:

 

New gun

1 new decoy

only using my calls

new brand of underwear

carrying one leftover shell from last year 

 

Then I also thought...Usually my seasons start off shooting blinds and messing up in general....and then get better as they go. So that's what I'm hoping for.

 

I've already lost one decoy stake, a pot call and my sanity. So I'm off to a great start. If it doesn't turn around I'll just run one over before the end of the season.

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Matty,

 

Great story!  Tomorrow, I suggest you bring a chainsaw after roosting them tonight.  First thing when you arrive, cut down the tree they're in and you should get one of the wily gobblers that has eluded you.  And change those new underwear as they clearly lack a certain mojo you'll need for success  :)  :)  

 

Most times out, I feel your pain.  Yesterday was one of those days when I got to win and the turkeys made me look good.  It's typically the other way around, so we all feel your pain!  Have fun out there.  Maybe the light rain will make the difference tomorrow morning.  Either way, you were in the thick of the action so it had to be fun even if frustrating.

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I chose option 3 this morning. lol

 

I never had a chance to get out and roost last night, and my other brother (fishes doesn't hunt anymore) was kind enough to roost one of my other spots that's down the street from his house. He heard nothing so I skipped the 3am wake up.

 

I might head out now, but I also have a lot of stuff to catch up on. Sitting in the woods from 4:30 to Noon every day is fun, but not very productive. lol

 

Gotta give those birds a rest anyway. I'll hit somewhere else if I go.

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lol Dan.... I've been thinking about elk but not as much as turkeys. You ready for your turkey hunt?

 

I ended up going out after I posted. hit a new spot and covered a bunch of ground. No gobbles so I went to another spot. Finally I struck up a gobble at about 10:45 using the pilleated woodpecker... But I couldn't tell where it came from so I just sat down waited a minute or so...called some...then waited silently the last hour plus. Nothing showed.

 

Tonight I went to roost but never heard anything. Wind was really honking tonight...Figured they'd try to get out of the wind in aa steep ravine..but nothing made a peep. hope the weather is better tomorrow

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Roosted again last night and didn't hear any birds again. Not good.

 

Went this morning to a different area. Zero gobbles. 

 

Around 9:30 I called in two hens, which proceeded to scratch around in front of me for about 20 minutes. When they went over a small rise my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to test out what happens when you blow a woodpecker call at them from close range. They were still within about 20 yards, but out of sight, so I could move. Blew the call and heard running....Not towards me either. LOL THEY GONE!  Works for making gobblers gobble, but damn if it didn't scare the pants off those hens. 

 

Hunted till noon. First day all week I didn't hear a single gobble.

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