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Perfect hunt

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BEAR View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 May 2019 at 07:04

Every year it seems more difficult to drag out of bed at 3 am to go hunting.  After missing the first week of the spring turkey season, gopher hunting, My butt was stuck in bed this am.  But I had set the alarm across the room, making me get up.

I usually stop at McD’s for a 2fer egg muffin, one for breakfast one for lunch.  In Pennsylvania, you MUST call toms only.  NO Run-n-Gun allowed.   So that means a stationary portable blind, folding chair,  decoys, 3-8 calls.  Tired as I was I left my bow at home and grabbed my 12 ga.

Got to the site about 1 hour before sunrise, set up and sipped my coffee from thermos (stainless steel just to add some weight to my full pack).

5 minutes after opening hour I heard a Tom about ¾ mile off, sounded like he was still treed up.  No hens heard.  I gave some sexy clucks and instantly had 3 other toms answer, some even closer but all in different directions.  This is a time to just relax…don’t let the blood pressure go up and over call.

My 3 hen decoys were closely clustered in a small opening about 15 yards away,  with a jake tom decoy  which I hand painted BRIGHTLY,  hovering close by them.

I called and clucked for 10 minutes as all answers went calm.  This usually means they are walking in quietly to check thigs out, or you dummy you scared them off!  More time to just relax.

Breakin the dawn quiet, I heard a cluk/thump close on my left.  Turning slowly, there was a monster tom that was the first bird I heard: and he had flown across the valley and landed within 15 foot of me.  Told myself to freeze as he went into full strut and brushed his fan against the side of my camo blind…his eye looked to be 2” large, and his neck was stretched so far up he was above my seated position…just freeze.

After he had eyeballed this strange looking Bear, he staggered toward the hen decoys.  I eased the gun up (red dot was already turned on to medium bright), choke adjusted to super tight.  Just as I got the gun up he decided to circle the girls and went behind a small thick bush.

Well I figured, either he is going to come out the other side or he is going to go straight away back down the steep ravine he flew over, thereby denying me a shot, after having given me quite a show.

But he did come out the other side of the bush but was no longer in fan display but with his head tucked deep into his chest wings dragging ready for a quick thump or maybe the thought he could get all 3 hen decoys?????

Again, told my heart to relax and wait, he was still only 15 yards away, and I wanted a head shot.  In a long 5 seconds he again went into full fan display and his head slowly raised up.  In fact, it rose  up to my red dot, and my ancient 870 fired without my even thinking of pulling the trigger.

With a broken neck and stone dead he still thought it best to fly, so the powerful wings  took the final flight as his body lay dead.

One of my better birds, 21#,   12”+ beard, haven’t measured the spurs.

He was too heavy for me  to carry with my gear, so it was a double trip back to the Ford.   It was now just 20 minutes after opening hour and my turkey season was over.

Eating that second Egg McMuffin now with the remains of my thermos coffee. 

 



Edited by BEAR - 09 May 2019 at 07:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 08:23
Thumbs UpOUT STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap 
Remember: Four boxes keep us free ,the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, AND the cartridge box
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 09:52

Downside:

I usually don't drink anything with caffine.  So I am sensitive to that drug.  But to keep my eyes open for early mornign drive and to keep me from nodding on stand, I have a 1/5 cup of regular coffee.

Home now, and trying to grab a little nap...impossible too much caffine.

Also on the double walk out, must have dropped my glasses while trying to write/fill-in the turkey tag!  No big loss for a nice bird.  and a near perfect hunt.


Locals here do cheat, and illegally just walk back roads and call.  When they hear a bird answer they trot toward the bird and stop halfway, then call again.  illegal--stalk.       BUT, I much prefer to call the birds all the way into a well camo blind set up with my wind moving decoys ( 6# mono fishing line suspension).  For long distance I have a 'boat paddle' box call, and used it this morning.  But once close I just use my own voice calling hen.  seems to work and simpler than a diaphram mouth call.

Well, done with turkeys, on to 'otes and fishing next week; going to DC tomorrow early.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 11:10
Is the requirement to stay on stand and call, a safety issue or just a quirk in the law, like no Sunday hunting, no semi rules or to limit numbers taken, like the noon close, in many states?
I can see stalking, run and gun, could greatly increase chances of shooting, by sound or shooting at decoy and hitting hunter. I've only done couple turkey hunts, can't hear well enough, to get calling down, but have had "hunter" sneak into decoys couple times. I see them quite often around house, while I could shoot these, opportunity birds, I pass, it's not really hunting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 12:54
Spring Turkey hunting rules in PA.

Hunting is from 1/2 hour before sunrise to noon, MUST be out of woods by 1pm.  This is to let bird get some breeding time, lay eggs etc.   Toms only.  shotguns only with bird shot BB or smaller (safety).  crossbows  and archery are also allowed.

You can move, but  NOT  towards birds you have seen or heard; that is stalking.

After the first 3 weeks you can them hunt all day.  Same rules.

We have a lot of Turkeys (winged version) so you can buy a 2nd tag, a month before opening day.


My method is to 'scout' well before opening day to find flocks, especially to find roosting trees.  I go in in darkness and get close to roost (200 yards).  I set up deks, and then at 1/2 hour before sun rise, make some hen calls.  Let the guys know there are girls on the ground that want to play.  They tend to fly down when at first bright light, sunrise or later on cloudy days.  I often get a flock of hens fly down and walk right into the decoys.  If the girls don't come to my decoys, then seldom will the Toms.  But after the first breed, Tom's are still looking for receptive hens and can be called back.  Hens only seem to call when roosted in a tree, after that they cluck and make small stupid sounds.

In the early spring season I seldom shoot a bird after 10pm, but because the hunting is fun, I stay till the end of time.

Our season starts May 1 (unless it is a Sunday (blue laws).  The birds seem to be breeding earlier and our later breeding lets hens have laying nests already.  Walking out is my nest spoting time.  Hens don't stay on the nest till there are  6-10 eggs.  coons take a BIG toll on ground nesting turkeys; so I try to kill 30 or so coons befor april.

Overall, I like the rules and prefer they not change anything.  I would like to hwever hunt with a 22 rf rifle and take head shots.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 15:44
MT regs are pretty generous. Many areas only have turkeys on private land, so they're becoming too populated, with limited hunter access.

Limit – A turkey hunter may hold up to 12 wild turkey licenses per year. This may include:
• 1 General Turkey License valid statewide (except for a portion of Region 4) for male turkey in the spring and either-sex turkey in the fall;
• 1 Regional Turkey License in each of Regions 1, 2, 5 & 7 valid for male turkey in the spring and either-sex turkey in the fall (Region 5 license only valid in the spring);
• 1 Female or Beardless Turkey License in Region 1;
• 4 Female or Beardless Turkey Licenses valid in Missoula and Ravalli Counties;
• 1 Female or Beardless Turkey License valid in Missoula, Ravalli and Mineral Counties;
• 1 Spring Special Drawing Turkey License in Region 4.

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/regulations/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 16:28
It sounds like you had a great day Bear. Congratulations.

Wing master
I have always considered myself to be quite the bullshitter, But ocasionally it is nice to sit back and listen to a true professional......So, Carry on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 18:35
Robert....too complicated for me.


Well; as said lost my specs.  So before going to pick-up wife at airport revisited the secne of the 'harvest'.

Well, as I came into the clearing looking down for my glasses....there was a 8" bearded tom thumping a hen.  actually had to 'break them up'.

found the glasses, right were the blind had been.

Off to visit my tax $$$ in DC,  my favorite intelligence personel!

Back for mother's day, then maybe another turkey with 2nd tag....but with an arrow.

God darn it lots of ticks out there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 18:41
Did you use your horse spray ???
Remember: Four boxes keep us free ,the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, AND the cartridge box
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 19:01
I heavily coated in permethrin  for ticks. then sprayed my hat and face mask with 100% deet for sketoes!

When I get home, i shower in Tea Tree Oil...ticks jump off.

I hate those Bast#$rds
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2019 at 19:16
DeadThumbs DownCensored
Remember: Four boxes keep us free ,the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, AND the cartridge box
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2019 at 08:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 12:07
Since I shot that bird, it has been bothering me what shot size I used.  Since I usually hunt close, enjoying calling them in close, the size doesn't matter and a low brass 6 works fine.


But the shell I used is about 30 years old, and I can read 3" and 1 7/8 oz, but the shot size is worn off.  Going thru some shells yesterday when straightening up my magazine, I found  an old box of duck loads with only 3 shells left...they matched the shell case head perfectly.  #5

No wonder the 15 yard full choke head shot knocked him silly.


Edited by BEAR - 21 May 2019 at 14:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 18:07
YUP a 1 7/8 of #5 should do the trick.
Remember: Four boxes keep us free ,the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, AND the cartridge box
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 08:13
A three bladed mechanical broadhead at 12 yaards works good also.  Just shoot it thru the wing sockets; breaks both wings and kills in about 41 yards.  I expect the bird to die quickly; but still use a florsenct String Tracker.  16# test line is easy to follow, especially if it is dead only 53 yards from my blind.

Nice smack to the blades cutting the feathers going in and coming out.
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