Boy, when it surely does rain, it pours. But, I will persist....
Went to my normal deer haunt and, after a few texts with ducknfish, decided to hit the north end of the river bottom he was going to be working about a 1-1.5 miles south. I get inside the swamp at daylight, and I mean just in the edge, and wait. I find that I have an owl roosted over my head who obligingly takes care of the morning's locating calls - only problem was not the first bird within ear shot gobbled. I've got pretty decent hearing but with the current state of vegetative growth that's getting cut down considerably if they're not gobbling their heads off.
Anyway, daylight comes with not a peep so I work my way down the creek and cross from the wet east edge to the drier western edge (it's about 12-15" in the middle at spots). Find a spot and call...nothing. 8:30 comes and I decide to slip futher S only to find myself in a thicket. After 30 mintues of slipping and probably 300 yards I get out of it on the edge again and set up. Call about 9 and I'm sitting there around 9:30 when ducknfish sends me a message saying that he didn't go and asking if I got his message from 5:20A, which I didn't. So we're conversing back and forth for about 15 minutes, and no calling, when the woodpecker goes off and I hear a faint and distant gobble to the SE. So faint I wasn't really sure it was truly a gobble. I texted that and kept listening when a few minutes later he gobbles again to the woodpecker.
I break out the Supreme and purple heart striker and let it rip. GOBBLE! OK, he's responsive... Then it dongs on me, I'm on the west and there's 15" of water between us. Not that they won't walk through it but you guys know the drill...
I decide to put the odds in my favor and slip back slightly north and across the creek to the east side with him. Find the "perfect" hide, clip the few bushes out of the way that needed to be gone and sit down.
Yelp, Yelp, Yelp
Throw a hard cutting sequence at him
GOBBLE! And closer! He's coming! Gun off safety and pointed in his direction.
Less than 5 mins and I see a glowing white head and tail fan strutting 70 yards south of me. "Done Deal", I think to myself :facepalm
I watch as he gobbles and goes in and out of strut, only being able to see pieces of him. Then I hear it...yelp, yelp, yelp, yelp Hens She's looking for me but can't find me and I cannot see her. I give her a single soft cluck and that brings her out of the thick stuff and into the open about 30 yards. The second one comes out about 35 and they both walk north within 25-30 of me.
PERFECT! He's strutting following them, I know exactly where he's going to come out! They continue looking for me and I've lost sight of him but keep looking. Finally, I get a glimpse of his back about 35 yards out feeding where the cypress is the thickest. Then he disappears again for a few minutes, but that's OK. He's going to step out about 30 and I'll crush him there when he steps out where the hens did, who are now 20 yards off to my left in the bushes.
Next thing I know he steps out at what ended up being 45 yards. I went into "O CRAP! He's leaving!" mode and everything from there went downhill. If you shouldn't do it while shooting a gun, I did it. Rushed shot, snatched trigger, head not down...bird flys off But I will say, I shot the crap out of that oak tree about 10 yards in front and left of him! It was a dead tree What got me the most was he was strutting and following those hens the whole way with a glowing white head. Next thing I know it's blood red and he's walking off leaving them?!? What the heck!
So that makes bird #4 within range that I haven't killed. 2 I've shot at. 2 I never pulled the trigger. BUT, regardless of what you may think, I've had a pretty good season. I've had birds from 10-45 yards and in between and it's been fun chasing them with friends! Don't count me out just yet
With Sunday being Easter and us staying at my inlaws I decide to go scout a spot that I've killed a bird before, Line Dancer should have killed a bird, and KayakMacGyver killed his first. The sign was there so I headed out early to see what happens. Got there at 6, went to where the most sign I saw was and sat down. Of course, at daylight, the bird was on the other side of the creek from me so I go to him. Get within 150 yards and sat down in some oaks looking down the road. Shortly after daylight I hear him. We'll call him "Hootie".
2 years ago when KayakMacGyver killed that bird, we listened to a guy run circles around the block blowing on his owl call. Well, he's apparently still hunting in this manner. I hear him start off where he did 2 years ago.
bird gobbles back
Next, he's a little closer. HO, HO, HA,HO. HO, HO, HA, HOOOOOO. HOOOOOO.HOOOOO.HOOOOO.HOOOO.HOOOOO.
He finally gets the bird to gobble but I'm sitting there shaking my head at him. Then I hear the exhaust on the truck start around the block. He continues to do this until he gets to the end of the 2 rut that I'm on at the main road. In the meantime, the bird flew down and had started moving towards the road. That was until his truck got there. When he did, he turned the bird back into the block and when he hooted, he was headed back east So I get up to go cut him off, only to find a WIDE OPEN pine ridge I cannot cross to get in front of him without getting busted!
So I sit there for a few hoping I can pull him back north when I come to a realization. The bird is in the block. Hootie is south of the bird. I'm north of the bird. There's no way this bird is worth a face full of bird shot so I go back across the creek to another bird that gobbled once while they were driving (yes, I said they. Hootie is apparently teaching another the ways of the "Drive and Hoot" method of turkey hunting, or should I say Gobble Hunting?).
Long story short, they walked half way in (saw the tracks later), turned around, got in the truck and drove the whole way in - with their nice bubbly loud exhaust - and finally saw my truck and left, Thankfully. If I wouldn't have moved, they would have been staring down a 12Ga where they stopped at.
I hunted a little while longer and headed back to the in-laws to help with the baby while they got Easter dinner ready.
reel_buzz - please tell me that wasn't you this morning... :facepalm Whether it was or wasn't, shoot me an IM and I'll tell you where that bird's roosted and where to go kill him. I doubt I'll be back in there this season