Ken

With much gratitude to the Association hunters such as Ken providing true turkey hunting accounts about how tough or easy it may be. In each case every turkey hunting account has a tidbit or two that surfaces keeping us aware of the differences turkey hunting has to offer.

Jon, John & everyone else at Mid-America,

Just wanted to take a minute and give you a quick summary on my turkey hunt while things are still fresh in my mind.

I arrived in [location deleted] County Friday night in the rain with a forecast of more of the same for the next several days, joy, joy.

Saturday April 29th:

Clock goes off at 4:30 AM; I look out side to see a steady rain. Go back to bed and get up at 6:30 AM. Still a light rain, but I didn’t come to sit in a hotel room so I grab my rain gear and head out to [location deleted]. Light rain continued through the mid-morning then quit leaving heavy overcast and steady winds. I mainly worked the field edges and did some calling without much success. I did spot turkey in the late morning and attempted to set up and work them without much luck. Saw a couple of hens from a distance and spooked several deer. Called it a day shortly after lunch and spent the rest of the day riding and glassing. Spent most of the afternoon up in [location deleted] looking over some of those properties and saw several turkey from the road or fence lines. Some very good looking land up there with several areas that will warrant more investigation for bow season this fall. Sun came out for awhile in the afternoon, but the rain started again about 5:30 PM or so and it rained most of the night.

Sunday April 30th:

Again clock goes off at 4:30 AM and I look out to very high winds (25 – 30 mph plus). Go back to bed and get up at 6:30 AM. Still windy, but it is not raining. Head out this morning to [location deleted]. I parked at the old barn and started working around the field edges glassing and doing some loud calling. I finally spotted a bird in strut just across the back property line toward the southeast corner. I backed off and started to circle around to approach from the wooded drain in the center of the property and see if I could attract their attention and call them back across the fence. However while I am circling through the drain I spotted 2 birds strutting for a hen on the other side of the drain and about 100 yards or so on our side of the fence. I immediately started working to get in position to call to them. The 2 gobblers wouldn’t give me the time of day, but the hen would raise her head and listen occasionally and started moving ever so slowly in my direction. This went on for about 30 to 45 minutes before they were in range and I could get a clean shot of about 35 yards. The bird was a 2-3 year old with ¾” spurs, a good thick 10 ½” inch beard and without a scale, my guess is 20 plus pounds. Not bad turkey hunting for the weather conditions. Pictures are attached.

I spent that afternoon really scouting the property for bow season and I am very pleased at what I saw. Also saw some encouraging sign on [location deleted] that should warrant a stand or two come bow season.

Monday May 1st:

Forgot to reset my clock and overslept to 5:30 AM. Drove hurriedly to [location deleted]. Hadn’t left the truck before I heard birds gobbling. Several turkeys on adjacent property to the west, 1 bird on [location deleted] not far from the road on the west side (I parked at the old cattle gap on the NW corner), and sounded like several birds toward the south end. The bird near the road didn’t gobble much before he hushed and I headed toward the south end. Turkeys to the west were really getting after it. As I approached the SW corner working down the fence line I jumped up a hen that was in the fence row and then I saw a deer watching something near the corner. When I got where I could see better it was several turkeys (5-6) coming out of the woods off the SW corner and crossing the fence on to our property. I really couldn’t move to a better position so I elected to stand in the old wild rose vines on the fence row and try and work the birds.

I hit a couple of yelps that got their attention and saw some of the turkeys heading toward my direction. I saw two of the birds cross the fence and come to my calling to investigate, but without seeing a hen they never got closer than about 60 yards. I didn’t want to cripple a bird so I passed on the shot. I re-patterned my gun after I got home at 62 yards (checked with a Bushnell range finder) with the #6 heavy shot that I have switched to, and either bird would have been dead. I had previously patterned out to 50 yards with good results, but not any farther as there aren’t many shots around here at that range. Oh well maybe next time with the open fields I’ll be ready. When they didn’t find a hen they took off across the field and I started working back to the north to try and get ahead of them. While in the process of doing this I spotted 2 birds up near the pond close to the east property line. I worked my way to the pond, but they beat me to the line so I head toward the SE corner to see if I could happen onto the earlier birds. Just off the corner around the pecan trees I hit a loud cut and got an immediate response from across the line in the SE corner. I set out some decoys and played with the bird about 45 minutes, but I was afraid that he wouldn’t cross that big drain there in the corner, and he wouldn’t. He finally got bored that the hens wouldn’t come and decided to look for better prospects. I worked my way back to the truck without getting on another bird.

Unfortunately at the truck I found that I had a missed call on my cell, which when I checked it I found that my trip was going to have to be cut short due to illness back home. That’s just my luck too; because Tuesday and Wednesday were suppose to be great weather days. I am not too terribly disappointed, I was able to take one bird in spite of the weather, saw a number of good birds (one with a double beard in the field near [landowner name deleted] house) and some very encouraging deer sign. Jon thanks for the opportunity to turkey hunt some great property and experience a really good time chasing those crazy gobblers and the anticipation of an upcoming bow season.

Ken

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