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My Biggest gobbler ever!!


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What a morning for "A" week in the woods today!
Experiencing my 11 year old son harvest his 1st ever gobbler this past Saturday morning made my entire season.  What a thrill it was indeed, and I told my best friend that if I had the opportunity to shoot one myself, it didn't matter at this point as I am still on cloud nine for my boy.  Because this is my permit week, I decided to give it a shot and invited my friend and taxidermist (ASFTAX on this site) to tag along.  We ALWAYS have a great time together in the woods, whether we are bow hunting deer in the fall with our kids, or turkey hunting in the spring, it's all good. 
We got settled in the blind at 515 sharp and enjoyed the woods "wake up." Gobblers and jakes were hammering from 4 different directions and it was on! At fly down we watched as birds flew in the opposite direction from our setup. Numerous hens were keeping the Toms occupied for quite awhile, until.....................we broke out the Knight and Hale 'fighting purr" call to change things up a bit. No sooner was a sequence made with the call than I heard birds gobbling immediately towards our direction. Four long beards came into what I believed to be 60 yards away and began to spit, drum, and fan out, full display in effect. Earlier, I placed two jake decoys and a hen in front of us and it appeared that the gobblers wanted the "other birds" to go to them.....After 15 minutes of this stalemate, no call would bring them closer than 60 yards and they eventually walked up the hill out of sight.
The woods shortly thereafter became a "dead zone" with nothing heard for miles.  It was now approximately 0740 and we decided to "run and gun."  After several hundred yards of walking and calling we hear it!! A faint gobble answered approximately 700 yards away from us.  I said "it sounds like a jake", hoping for a mature long beard. Immediately Tony said, "who cares? It sounds like action to me!" I immediately agreed and we made a beeline for the nearest group of trees. We had no blind, no decoys, and the birds were coming fast! I activated the ION HD camera my buddy affixed to his head with the head strap mount, and we discussed several scenarios and shot possibilities. The woods were checked with binocs for the first sign of which direction they were coming from when I hear, "Jake on the left, hen in front, and GIANT behind them!!" With each call the hen became addicted to locating the "intruder" and was coming directly for us. We stopped all calls when the birds were under 60 yards from us as they were definitely headed our way.  I glanced to my right and notice the binocs still up to my buddy's face because he didn't want to move, lol! He said the big one's head is changing from a blood red color, to bright blue, to the color it was now in front of me at 50 yards, BRIGHT WHITE! SO COOL! The hen, now at only 12 yards was yelping quietly, searching the woods bringing the Jake and Tom in tow. I was settled on the gun long before she came so close and the tom cleared a downed tree, only 25 yards away from us in full strut. 


KA-BOOOOMMM! The Mossberg Ulti-Mag roared and the Federal 3 1/2" copper plated #5s did it's job dropping the bird where it stood. After finally being able to breathe, we gave a big high five and I collected my bird. I was literally amazed at the size of the gobbler when I walked up on it. The first thing I noticed was the width of the shoulders and chest, it appeared huge. One of the spurs was a true limb hanger but the other was obviously shorter which appeared odd.


Upon checking the bird in at the Hainesville General Store, we learned that the bird weighed 24 lbs! It is my heaviest bird to date as several years ago I took a bird that tipped the scales at 23 lbs. The one spur was 1 1/4" long and the other was 7/8" long. The thick paint brush beard measured 9 3/4". The tape measure supplied to me appears to have a small blotch of older paint on it (if noticed in the pics). A gentleman having breakfast commented that the bird was a "fighter" due to the shorter, worn down spur.when they were being measured.


Unsure if the camera was "switched on" in the heat of the moment, we hesitantly connected it the big screen....(After technical assistance from my wife with the HDMI cables and whatever was needed to view it, lol). I discovered that the hunt in its entirety was captured clear as day! Just icing on the cake for what turned out to be a great morning in the woods!


Best of luck to all headed out and be safe!


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2016-04-27 20.41.59.jpg

Edited by LPJR
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WOW, what an exciting morning for you !!! I hope you upload the video so we can watch it.  Congratulations on a truly fantastic gobbler :up:

"Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


NJ State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Member
NRA Life Member

NWTF Women In The Outdoors Member

UBNJ Member


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Great bird, congrats what a thrill!

Thanks partner! lol


Congrats to you as well, great bird and even sweeter with the BOW! :up:  :up:


Well done!

Edited by LPJR
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