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  #1  
Old 06-02-2015, 02:50 PM
STUBBLE BUM's Avatar
STUBBLE BUM STUBBLE BUM is offline
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Default The least three days of 2015

The last three days of my 2015 season were stellar.

Our ON team meetings wrapped up early and it freed me to try and tag my second bird before running out of time. Friday morning I was up at 0300 and out the door by 0345.

It was a somewhat foggy mess and cool but not enough to really knock back the mosquitoes - they've been wicked this spring. I set out a pair of Avian X hens on the edge of a freshly planted rye field and cut a few limbs and boughs to break up my outline. I sat quietly and finally about 0500 the first bird sounded. I had done a little recon mission here the day before and knew there were three Toms and one Jake using the spot so I liked my odds.

I was set-up in a little neck down in a dead end corner and I took the time to range the corner fence post that divided the L shaped field between the west arm and the north arm I was in. The read out was 37 yards so I was quite comfortable with the shot.

First off the roost was a nice Tom that held about 125 yards from me. He wouldn't budge and it was soon obvious why as a coyote worked its way towards my decoys. I had just grabbed two shells for the gun and seriously debated shooting it but decided that I was running out of time and better shoot a bird or risk enjoying second tag soup. The coyote got within ten yards of me before spooking and thankfully he didn't spook the bird. Upon his exit another Tom flew down and then another with a Jake. The Tom with the Jake collected the single hen that flew down and walked into a poplar thicket. The other two Toms joined up and promptly went the other way into a cedar bush. Awesome start to my morning.

About 0600 I spied a single hen making her way to the rye field and at roughly the same time the two Toms sounded off in the cedar bush. I decided I'd try my L'il Heartbreaker Box Call and gave two short fast series of yelps ended with a couple cuts. I put the box back into my vest and waited. The hen was now in the rye field angling towards my two imposters. Within a minute or two the Toms appeared and gobbled and started slowly making their way towards me. It was a good ten minutes before they reached the tipping point and they both decided to go west at the fence post. I was lined up on the lead bird and was just about to shoot him when the second bird came into better view and I saw what I was sure was two beards. After a quick acquisition of my new target I sent a 2 oz load of 5's into his melon dropping him DRT. The other bird gave a couple clucks and then slowly walked away to the west after the live hen.

He did have two beards. One being a thick 10 inches even and the second a wispy 8.5 inches. He weighed in at 17 lbs exactly his and spurs were 1 inch and 1 1/8 inch. A great start to my three day plan



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Old 06-02-2015, 02:51 PM
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STUBBLE BUM STUBBLE BUM is offline
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May 30th; second last day. My wife is not a morning person, doesn't like the cold and hates mosquitoes. I somehow convinced her to come and we'd try for a bird and be home by 0830 at the latest. It was her first outing for the year. I had everything all set to go and we were out the door at 0330 and set by 0440.

I had hunted this spot twice before. One morning I had to call it early and get home for a conference call. As I was walking out I swore I heard a gobble but knew that I'd better get my butt in gear or I'd be late for the call. I hunted it again without decoys and worked in a Jake so I was hopeful that she would get a shot at least.

As the sun rose and the crows started it was very quiet; except for the annoying whine of the mosquitoes. Somehow I had left my Thermacell in the truck and despite generous soakings in Muskol we were being eaten. A breeze did provide some reprieve but I could tell very easily my hunting partner was not enjoying this. Around 0510 I thought I'd heard a very distant gobble but that was it. We sat quietly, my back against a poplar and hers against an apple tree waiting for something to show up.

I killed my biggest typical Eastern off this farm and we killed three birds off it last fall so it's a pretty consistent spot. We were set on a 90 degree bend in the field on a little spot that broke down hill in both directions. I had set a pair of Avian X hens about 8 yards from us in the newly planted corn field. I knew that even if a bird saw them from a good distance that as they approached they would lose sight of them and hopefully that would suck them in.

0620 I was pretty sure that I heard a gobble and relayed the info to my wife. She thought I was bs'ing so she'd stay longer. A minute later we both heard a gobble and another really soon after - birds were definitely on their way. I moved over beside her and repositioned the camo netting around us and told her to aim her little 20 ga just to the left of the rear decoy and wait.

First to show were a pair of Jakes and I heard the safety click off. I whispered to wait - there may be a Tom too. A second later a nice Tom rounds the corner and heads straight to the dekes. I jumped at the shot as I assumed we would enjoy a show - never assume; especially when you're hunting partner's been ravaged by mosquitoes for 90 minutes.

The jakes hung around a bit and we let them wander off as I notched her tag. She was very pleased with as I was reminded "her fourth bird" since starting to hunt nine seasons ago.

Dead in the dekes



I found some lilacs and cut them for this picture to add some colour. I think it's one of my favourites



She's a pretty good sport considering everything
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:52 PM
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STUBBLE BUM STUBBLE BUM is offline
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May 31 - last call

When I meet Al Gore I'm going to thank him for inventing the internet as if he hadn't I would never have met hound......lol

We've been friends for I'm guessing close to ten years but it's been a while since we had hunted together. He joined me the Saturday of the long weekend and he had a chance at a really nice Tom but settled for the consolation prize Jake. It is what it is.

Jeff arrived Saturday after supper and I told him we were going to hit the same farm where he has his close encounter two weeks prior as it hadn't been hunted since. 0300 came early and we headed to Tim's for a coffee and a cookie then off we went.

I'm a firm believer in arriving and being set when it's pitch black. No lights, no noise. We traversed the edge of a very tall, very wet hay field in the early morning rain then crossed a page wire fence and made our way along the outside edge of the sheep pasture. I motioned hound to wait for me as I set a single Avian X feeder hen about 12 yards straight in front of us.I had a blind already set so we put in the pair of camp chairs, adjusted the windows and sat silently in the dark.

As it started to get lighter the rain starts to beat a little harder and the wind picked up. It would be tough to hear this morning. I reassured hound that I'd shot my biggest turkeys in the rain. Simple physics - they weigh more when they're wet............he groaned at my old joke.

0520 and the darkness is hanging on late this morning. Finally a gobble directly to our left about 30 yards. hound spots a bird roosted close to the trunk of a poplar about 80 yards in front of us and it's strutting on the branch - game on.

I called softly and the bird beside us gobbled and the Tom in front repositioned on the branch and flew down directly in front of us about 70 yards away. Get you gun out the window.....lol. I called softly again then put the call in my vest. He was interested but cautious and it took about 15 minutes to slowly sneak into range. I introduced hound to my version of turkey math - every step is four inches - three steps is a foot, nine steps is a yard - wait until he's inside 30 yards. At 0537 we agreed that was close enough and hound whacked him at 26 yards.

Another dandy - sharp curved spurs just around an inch. Nice 9 3/4 inch beard and he weighed 19 lbs 2 oz. A perfect end to the 2015 spring season





And what season would be complete without a toast to the next. hound makes some damned fine Apple Pie Shine.......lol

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Old 06-03-2015, 06:15 AM
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chcltlabz chcltlabz is offline
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Very nice Andy. That's the way to close it out! Now the slow wait until March...
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:01 PM
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gooseaholic gooseaholic is offline
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Awesome finish!

All we have to do is get through dive season, dove season, deer season, and duck season!
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