Last day turkey-again

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okawbow

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Seems like I always go to the last day of the season before I shoot a turkey. It’s happened on the last 3 fall turkeys and the last 2 spring birds.
In Illinois, we have 5 short seasons, one after the other, in order for everyone to get a chance at the turkeys with fewer hunters in the woods. The permits are issued by lottery drawings. The first season ended Friday. I had hunted the first two days without a chance at a gobbler. They were around, but would not respond to calls. Friday I went out well before first light to set up. I really didn’t have much confidence the hunt would be any different, as for the past several years in my area, the gobblers had little interest in any of our attempts at calling or decoying them in.
Friday was the exception, however. The gobblers and hens were very vocal in the trees near my spot. I didn’t call at all at first, and I didn’t set up a decoy. I waited to see where the turkeys would go when they flew down. They gathered just below the ridge I was on, and were yelping and gobbling constantly. It sounded like there were at least 6 gobblers and several jakes.
When it appeared the flock was working away from me, I started calling softly with my homemade Osage orange box call. I got an immediate response from several gobblers and in minutes, I could see gobblers strutting-just out of range down the hillside. They just wouldn’t come close enough for my flintlock 12 gauge. I kept calling softly and a hen answered and came in close. She walked back and forth, putt-purring until a jake walked in to see what was going on. He hung up at 30 yards, which was at the limit of what I wanted to shoot. Also, by then, my arms were shaking from holding the gun in position for 10 minutes. I pulled the trigger and the bird rolled to the ground, with feathers flying from his neck and body. However, he flopped right up again and flew up into a tall tree. I quickly reloaded, and walked up to finish him off. In Illinois, we can’t shoot a turkey out of a tree before 7:30. I checked the time, and it was 7:37, so I dropped him out of the upper branches. He looked about to fall out anyway.
When I plucked him, it appeared my first shot had only put a few pellets in the neck and breast.
 

Britsmoothy

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Excellent okabow.

Not to criticize your integrity but if I knew I had wounded a bird there is no way I would be checking the time! That's a mute opinion and hence worthless.

You did well indeed.

B.
 

Brokennock

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Congratulations. Nice when it all comes together.
I've had decent luck luring in hung up birds by playing on their appetites. While one can over call with yelps and cackles and such, hens are rarely silent, I scratch at the leaf litter next to me and use a small slate call placed on the ground with a stick under one edge to give it an angle and some airspace under it, to softly purr and get the softest, quietest clucks I can out of it. If they responded to your help they know where you are. Add the sound of contented feeding to that and it helps to erase uncertainty. It also draws in the hens, which as you've seen, is a good way to get Tom or Jake to come too. Pushing off a hen works too, interrupt her each time she yelps, cutting her off with your help, then help again when she stops. Next time she helps, interrupt her again. She'll come looking for a fight, and bring the gobbler she was wooing with her.
 

okawbow

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Congratulations. Nice when it all comes together.
I've had decent luck luring in hung up birds by playing on their appetites. While one can over call with yelps and cackles and such, hens are rarely silent, I scratch at the leaf litter next to me and use a small slate call placed on the ground with a stick under one edge to give it an angle and some airspace under it, to softly purr and get the softest, quietest clucks I can out of it. If they responded to your help they know where you are. Add the sound of contented feeding to that and it helps to erase uncertainty. It also draws in the hens, which as you've seen, is a good way to get Tom or Jake to come too. Pushing off a hen works too, interrupt her each time she yelps, cutting her off with your help, then help again when she stops. Next time she helps, interrupt her again. She'll come looking for a fight, and bring the gobbler she was wooing with her.
Exactly right, Brockennock. I do soft putt-purrs with just my mouth when I get turkeys close. The scratching in the leaves also helps. I get lots of hens to come in close, but rarely, in the past few years, do the gobblers leave the other hens and come close enough for a shot. It seems to me, the turkeys in my area have changed from coming running to anything that even sounds like a turkey, to running away if I call too much or too loud. They rarely gobble once they hit the ground. Most turkeys killed by our group are shot by waiting for one to walk by.
 

Skychief

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Okawbow, you once again proven that good things come to those which wait. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your hunt with us.

Best regards, Skychief.
 

Rat

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Our season opens tomorrow, but I'll have to wait until the day after/Tuesday. This will give me great encouragement and inspiration! :)
 

Brokennock

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Exactly right, Brockennock. I do soft putt-purrs with just my mouth when I get turkeys close. The scratching in the leaves also helps. I get lots of hens to come in close, but rarely, in the past few years, do the gobblers leave the other hens and come close enough for a shot. It seems to me, the turkeys in my area have changed from coming running to anything that even sounds like a turkey, to running away if I call too much or too loud. They rarely gobble once they hit the ground. Most turkeys killed by our group are shot by waiting for one to walk by.
Sometimes our public land birds shut up once on the ground, but they're coming. And yes, too much load calling will move them away.

1st one I got with a bow, I got by stalking the hens softly talking in heavy cover. Was able to get close enough for one to eventually lead a Tom by within stickbow range.
 

wvbuckbuster

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Congrats! Once again you have stuck with them and put your tag on the bird. Dan.
 

jrmflintlock

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Tsaah Wookkuh Okawbow!!!

Turkey's are a challenge, and public land birds are even more of a challenge! Especially when they hear every call bass pro shops sells! I have found that they respond to home made calls better! It's been studied that they can distinguish different calls and recognize the ones that had danger waiting at the end!!

Thanks for sharing!!!!
 

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