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#3249236 - 05/18/13 01:34 AM 2013 Season in Review (pics)
16 Point

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17592
Loc: Franklin TN

Had an unexpected but very successful season this year. 3rd year turkey hunting.

Started by scouting two roosting areas on public land before season, and those areas looked good.

Opening Day - March 30

I hit Spot #1 on public land where I had seen and heard some toms fresh off the roost. Along a river and near private land. The birds were roosted on the edge of private and stayed in the private field most of the morning. Around 9:30, they had drifted to the left away from the river and out of sight, and I snuck around and walked up on the whole flock - toms, jakes and hens - just inside the woods on public. I took 2 shots at 2 different longbeards, and missed both. I had just patterned my gun 3 days before and it was shooting good as ever. I just shot terribly. Somewhat depressed, I started the hike toward the truck to check out Spot #2. Before I even made it to the truck, I heard one gobbling off toward the river. Not sure what side he was on, I went into the woods, calling, and found he was on my side. I set up and called him in and shot him at 25 yd 11:00 AM. 2 year old bird. First opening day turkey

Easter Sunday - March 31

I headed to another WMA which I had not scouted for turkey. I had deer hunted it last year so I knew some of the area. Started off listening to birds on the roost, closed some distance and watched a tom strut after a hen across a field, but never could cut them off or call them in. Later in the morning, I had a bird gobbling for a good while on private land. I finally worked him long enough and patiently, and the gobbles got louder, he crossed the line and I saw him coming through the thick bottomland. He stopped with his neck stretched out, and I shot right over his head. 3 wasted shells in 2 days, and to make matters worse, I had lost my favorite homemade tube call earlier. I went back to the truck, drove away and got lunch, and some latex gloves to make a new tube call to get through the day. Cut the top off a Vitamin Water bottle, cut latex and stretched over the bottle, made a decent sounding call. I sat around, snoozed and listened and called through the afternoon. Got on 3 different gobbling birds that went quiet, and near sunset, came back to where I had heard one of them in a patch of woods. I was just outside the woods, made some cutting on my call, and got an answer. Walked into the woods quietly, sat down under a cedar, called him in strutting, spitting and drumming and shot him dead at 25 yards. Another 2 year old

I was psyched to have killed 2 birds in the first 2 days of season. Very blessed and got it all on video too -

Did not hunt again till the following Friday...

Hunt #3 - April 5

I started at Spot #2 that I had scouted. Had birds hammering across the river, on private land. They continued to gobble hard after flydown. Then, someone started shooting. 5 or 6 shots later, I saw bird flying down river and then saw the hunter across the river walking around, without recovering a bird.

So I made my way downriver on the WMA side. Walked up on red heads, sat down a while, called, ended up spending the next several hours calling and listening to a flock of hens sorting out pecking order, jake gobbles, and finally a big tom gobble. I tediously stalked my way closer through the woods until I could see some birds. I saw hens, jakes, and a strutting tom. After lots of fruitless calling and stalking, I made my way to the edge of a field and saw the tom strutting with a hen out in the field. I set up in some tall grass for an ambush, and shot him in half strut at 35-40 yards. 3 or 4 year old, 1 1/4" spurs. I worked harder for this one than any other bird this spring.

At 3 birds for 3 hunts, I was surprised and thought for sure that the next hunt would be a reality check and I would come home empty handed.

Hunt #4 - April 6

Started the morning with Bayou Buck in Spot #1. We heard a couple gobbling birds, bumped a couple roosted hens on the way, but all the gobblers were far into private land.

We then went to park at Spot #2, and heard one gobble a couple times across the road, also on WMA. We snuck into the woods and set up and called, and the bird went quiet. Then I heard someone screeching on a box call... Yes I am 99% sure that's what it was. The gobbler failed to respond any more, and I didn't want to mess up the other hunter.

So we went back across the road to Spot #2 and walked a good long ways, checking the fields where I killed yesterday's bird, with no luck. Finally around midday, Bayou Buck had to leave, and I took a good nap in the truck.

Around 2-something in the afternoon, I went back across the road on a hunch that maybe that tom was still there. I went in and called, and got a gobble not far off. Set up, called, and after getting some response, he made his way in quietly, and far to my right. I heard him coming, turned my head but did not turn my gun. He came in to about 15 yards, looked around, gobbled, and made his way off into the woods. A minute or two later, he gobbled again. I high tailed it through the woods, made a big loop and got ahead of him. Not far from the road, I sat where Bayou Buck and I had tried to call him in. Got him gobbling back at me, sat and waited, and then his head started to show over the edge of the slope to my left. I got my gun on all I could see - just the white part of his head - and killed him.

Could not believe I had tagged out in 4 hunts, in the first week of season. Got some video, but not as good as the first. Still documents the hunting pretty well -

I had to keep hunting, I had just caught the turkey bug pretty bad.

April 12

I hit the woods with calls, camera, and no gun. I was hunting with Chip aka in the dog house, on the WMA I had killed my 2nd bird. We walked up on some birds early, got on a couple of gobbling bird on private land later in the morning, then in the afternoon saw a big gobbler run across a dirt road and were not able to set up on him because he disappeared... We did manage to call in 2 hens in a row, in the same spot. No birds were killed that day, but it was a good time in the woods.

April 13

I hunted with another member, mnfishingbum, one of my dad's coworkers. We went to the same WMA, but a completely different area. Birds were gobbling on the limb on the nearest ridge, but his semi-auto shotgun was malfunctioning. Could not get the action to lock shut. It got lighter, birds kept gobbling, and we were losing hope, when he got his gun to hold a shell. We took off into the woods, got to the ridge top quietly, and in my haste proceeded to bump at least 2 different longbeards off the roost. So we sat there a while, hearing the occasional gobble on other ridges.

Throughout the morning we would move through the woods and set up, call an listen for a while. After moving a couple times, I called in a hen with my wingbone call. She saw us and flew off of course. We continued down a ridge line, and ran into some great squirrel territory. Heard a hen yelping, sat down and called. We never saw the hen, because I soon heard leaves rustling from the left. I told him to get ready for something to the left. Then here came the red head, appearing at 20-something yards. I said, "shoot him" and he dropped a jake in its tracks. His red headed buddy ran off. This was Brent's first spring turkey and an awesome hunt.

For the rest of April, I hunted morels, but kept a turkey call just to mess with birds when I got the chance -

Saturday, May 11

Second last day of the season, I hunted with Nimrod777 hoping to get his 3rd bird of the year. We had a great morning in the woods, at Spot #2 on the WMA. We saw 5 different toms and a few hens, but all of the toms stayed on private land the whole time. Watching them strut and hearing them gobble was worth going out anyway. Also worth going out was the 2 deer that we encountered, that ran away and came back to look at us 4 times in a row. The curious one was a buck growing his first rack.

To sum up my turkey season, it was my best one yet and also went quicker than expected. I almost did not like to tag out so early. I think next spring, I might pace myself more so I can enjoy more of the season with a gun in my hands. The birds just cooperated this year, I heard tons of gobbling, called in multiple birds, and somehow managed to tag out in the first week even with missing 3 different birds. Probably won't happen like that again in a long time, and I guess I hope it doesn't, because tagging out in one week is just a little to short of a turkey season if you really enjoy the hunt as much as the kill. I had hoped to hunt some turkey-infested private land, one of which being Hollar Hunter's place with Grizzly Johnson and Mrs. Grizzly, but I ran out of tags before that day came. Maybe next year. I enjoyed public land though, and surprisingly had very few encounters with other hunters at all. Even if I have the best of private land to hunt (I had the option to hunt Hollar Hunter's place opening day), I still will hunt public land at least some of the time, for a bit more challenge and because that is how I learned to turkey hunt.

thanks for reading if you made it this far. Now I am getting into the fishing mood, and already can't wait for deer season.

#3249261 - 05/18/13 05:56 AM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: catman529]
8 Point

Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 1930
Loc: MT. Juliet Tennessee

Very nice for only have hunted 3 yrs


#3249413 - 05/18/13 10:00 AM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: Lawrence]
Roost 1
10 Point

Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 4351
Loc: KY

Good read and once again congrats on a fine season.
VooDoo Mafia

Savage 10ML 2
Remington 700P .308

#3249473 - 05/18/13 01:13 PM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: Roost 1]
16 Point

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17592
Loc: Franklin TN


#3249581 - 05/18/13 04:21 PM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: catman529]
16 Point

Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 19786
Loc: Rutherford / Wilson County Lin...

Heckuva year. Congrats!
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

#3249756 - 05/18/13 08:53 PM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: Gravey]
4 Point

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 190
Loc: TN

Congatulations! Enjoyed the story.
#3250415 - 05/19/13 05:59 PM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: jumpmaster21]
16 Point

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 12924

awesome season
#3250809 - 05/20/13 06:37 AM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: ROUGH COUNTRY HUNTER]
8 Point

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 1928
Loc: Knoxville Tn

Great year for you!
Bowhunting is life, plain and simple

Genesis 27:3

#3257702 - 05/30/13 05:49 AM Re: 2013 Season in Review (pics) [Re: PinchPoint]
4 Point

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 190
Loc: Spring Hill, TN

AWESOME year catman! I enjoy reading the recaps and checking out the pics. It was awesome you got out to help some fellow hunters once your tags were full. Keep up the solid work!
God Bless

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes

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