Sunday, June 3, 2018

More Turkey Time

With my tag filled (read about that here)it was a little easier to talk Weston into giving turkey hunting another shot. This time the plan was for his Wife and girls to hang out at our house while we hunted nearby. In addition to my neighbor's permission, I also had talked to a friend of mine at work who lives just up the road and reportedly had a flock of turkeys cutting through everyday.

Wes showed up in the afternoon so we walked up to where I got my turkey to try for a repeat. I should know by now that it never happens the same way twice, but you've got to try. There were a couple of guys working in the field adjacent to the spot and that put a hamper on the hunting. So we moved around where we could hunt, trying to locate a bird. A lot of walking and calling, but not really much to report. 

Before the birds headed for their roost we went to check out my friend's property. A short talk with my friend for the lay of the land and we made a game-plan for the next morning.

Early the next day we were set up overlooking a small stream and hoping the birds kept to their daily routine. In the next property there were some really curious horses that wanted to know what we were up to. It didn't take long before we spotted the turkeys working their way down the gully, but the horses stood between us and them. Our calls were ignored as the turkeys stole some feed from behind the horse's backs. When the horses realized their oats were being pilfered they chased the turkeys off, and away from us. It seemed like we were screwed, but played it slow and waited to see what would happen. Sure enough, the birds had just worked out and around the horses and crossed the fence about 100 yards from us. Unfortunately, they showed no interest in our calls or decoy. They worked their way further on to the property we could hunt and once all of them were out of sight we backed out and ran to try and get in front of them. Either we didn't go quite far enough or just picked a crappy spot to try and sneak closer to their route (depending on who you ask) but they busted us just before Wes would've had a great shot at a tom. A hail-mary run & gun attempt blew them off the property, but it was probably over anyway.

With the turkeys a little spooked and Weston's time running thin, we drove around trying to locate some more birds. We spotted a couple fo toms in the middle of an alfalfa field that weren't moving much. Once we confirmed that they weren't decoys (yes, it took a minute) we moved on since we didn't have permission on that land anyway. Driving around and looking at turkeys that you can't hunt is frustrating, but coming back and seeing two toms in the exact same spot you saw them a half-hour before is really frustrating. Frustrating enough for me to knock on the property owner's door. I tried to be polite and explain how it looked like the birds might be stuck in the fence, but he was pretty intent on being rude. Oh well, some people are just destined for hell.

We decided to head back to where I had shot my bird for the late-morning last ditch effort. This time, Weston wanted to just drive up the back road rather than walk in. Good news, we saw six turkeys from the truck all of which appeared to be males. Bad news, they were really close to the road and we weren't sure how receptive to our efforts they would be. We drove well past them, then snuck into position under the same tree that I had gotten my bird from and started to call. We got a response right away, which made it easier to be patient. The first turkeys that came into sight were two jakes feeding away from us. They were followed by a tom that really liked how our calls sounded. After gobbling and strutting he went all in and came running 100 yards across the meadow straight for us. If it wouldn't have been for the fence about 10 yards in front of us I'm convinced that he would've run all the way to our decoy. In order for us to shoot he needed to cross that fence but he couldn't seem to figure it out. Turkeys can fly, they just don't seem to like it. So this tom spent a few minutes trying to find a gap in the fence right in front of us. When he worked his way down the fence line and out of sight we were sure that he'd be back once he found a spot to get through.

Patience isn't our strong suit, but we did our best to wait him out. Once it seemed like all was lost we picked up our decoy and snuck down the road to try and see where he had gotten to. Weston then spotted the two jakes from earlier in the corner of the field trying to cross the fence. We set up kinda haphazardly and waited for the birds to figure out the crossing. We sat and watched them poking their heads through the fence, pacing back and forth, and looking really confused for an hour before they finally gave up and wandered off. We decided to follow their example and headed for home, ending Weston's hunt bird-less but we had definitely had a good time.

Hope you're as lucky,


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