#3 - put on the sneak

catman529

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
29,472
Location
Franklin TN
started out in an area I scouted right before season. I get close to the river and there is at least one bird gobbling. turns out being 2 or more birds close by, but just on the other side of the river. I am hunting public land again and these birds are on private across the river. They gobble good on the tree and then on the ground. Responded to my calls. Hoping they might cross the river for me. Then.... the most strategic time for nature to call. Got my business done (always carry TP!) and no sooner had I shuffled back to my tree than I heard a shot right across the river where the birds were gobbling their heads off. Then Boom, boom, boom.... 4 or 5 shots total. Well I hope he at least got one in one of those shots. Ended up seeing the guy using his cell phone and then walking around looking, with no bird. Well, I know how it feels. but I was enjoying hearing those birds all fired up.

When he shot I saw a couple of birds flying downstream. Maybe they went to my side of the river. I slowly made my way through the woods, following the river. Eventually I would come to a field. On the way I kept an eye out for morels, but didn't find any yet.

Made it down to where I could almost see the field. Was looking at the ground and walked up on some red headed birds, which shuffled off but didn't completely spook. I stayed low for a while, found a big old oak tree. Suddenly, the sun came out and hens started yelping all over. Across the river and on my side, probably 3 hens or so, I don't remember. Then a bird gobbled not far through the woods where the nearest hen had started talking.

Fast forward, I sat there for a good while, dozed off only to be awaken by another gobble, and even saw some hens fly across the river to my side, and one of those hens walked past me at less than 10 yards.

Hens were yelping on and off, occasionally bird would gobble. I eventually figured out they were multiple jakes gobbling at the same time.

I tried aggressive calling, and calling and sitting quiet for a while, but no birds ever came to check me out. They were yelping like crazy sometimes, and I even heard some hens flogging each other.

So I slowly started the tedious task of sneaking through the undergrowth to close the distance. I'd stop under a tree for a while, call and listen, and when the birds came no closer, I'd move again.

Finally heard a real gobbler, farther in the woods but not too far. Big difference from the jakes gobble. Figured there had to be a longbeard with the hens.

Well I stalked close enough to stand up and see birds. Through the binocs I saw hens, jakes, and a strutting tom in the woods close to the field edge.

I tried smart talking the hens to see if I could make em mad and come my way, but nothing would come to any call.

So I kept sneaking... even had to crawl at one point... had the jakes looking at me too, almost got busted. The majority of the flock had slowly drifted towards the field.

I got to the corner of the field and sneaked through tall reeds around the edge, to get a look into the clean cut field. Finally saw the strutter out in the field with a hen or two.

I used the tall reeds to my advantage and began to close the distance along the edge of the field. Keep in mind there were hens and jakes in the woods and a strutter in the field, so I had to stick to the reeds as much as possible.

Then as I was getting closer, I bumped a hen.... putted and ran into the woods. Strutter kept strutting.

Got into position in a patch of reeds as the bird headed toward me. I thought he would come between the reeds and the woods but he stayed out in the field. So I crept to the field-facing side of the reeds and got my gun up. Here came the hen, with ol tom right behind, coming into strut. He was at half strut when I dropped the hammer. Somewhere between 35 and 40 yards. Hens exploded from the woods and took off flying across the field. On the way back into the woods with my bird, I bumped the jakes which ran off.

When I checked the time, it was almost 1:30 pm. I had completely lost track of time. Spent 5 or 6 hours hunting this flock of birds, and finally the waiting and stalking paid off.

22 lbs 14 oz
10.25" beard
1.25" spurs

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What is he, a 3 year old bird?

I got video of the hunt, but all you can see when I shot is reeds. Good footage, or should I say audio, of the hens going at it and the jakes gobbling. I'll put together a video soon but it won't be as good as the last one.

Thanks for reading. Not sure what to say about killing #3 this quickly other than to thank the lord again.
 

Outdoor life

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
887
Location
Jackson Co. TN
Awesome hunt man! Nice bird for sure. Even better story, you sure had to work for him.

On the side note, I too have been looking for morels (aka dry land fish) around here, but haven't seen the first one yet.
 

wlf89

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
2,465
Location
Lawrence County
congrats again and i have found around 15 morels so far at a spot i always find them earlier than other places. they should be coming up good by first to mid of next week
 

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