Turkey Hunting Successes and Pics Please

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TGJaeger

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C’mon guys!
We can get Skychief thru this...but it’s gonna’ take all of us working together.
We need stories and pictures!!!!
 

TGJaeger

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Darren,
Great storytelling and pictures! You sure seem to have Sweet Rachael dialed into “Turkey“.

Betsy was my fathers rifles name. He truly loved that old Winchester. My great nephew has her now and seems as fond of her as Dad was.
 

Skychief

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Skychief,
Going into DT’s? :eek:
Just keep taking deep breaths and thinking about how much you’ll enjoy it when in a few more days, you will be out there chasing them on your own! You can do it!

:thumb:
Thanks TG. I'm doing so-so. Been spying on a gobbler that is down to one hen apparently, at least as I've watched him. Thinking that might help my impatience, it only served to excite me more for April 21st to arrive.....

Does one breath in the mouth and out the nose at times like this, or, through the nose and out the mouth?

Thanks for thinking of me, Skychief.
 

Britsmoothy

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Thanks TG. I'm doing so-so. Been spying on a gobbler that is down to one hen apparently, at least as I've watched him. Thinking that might help my impatience, it only served to excite me more for April 21st to arrive.....

Does one breath in the mouth and out the nose at times like this, or, through the nose and out the mouth?

Thanks for thinking of me, Skychief.
Whats the piece you using this season Skychief? Any load changes? Or are you using the twangy thing again?
 

hanshi

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Don't know if it helps but I'll say this about that grand bird. I've called in a few birds to 20 yds or less - my turkey hunting experience isn't at all extensive - but gremlins DO exist. Something weird or "karma like" always happened to foil the shot.

The most fun I recall was trying to get this tom to commit and react to my decoys. I was calling when a rather distant tom started answering and began moving my way: hope springs eternal. As I continued to call periodically he moseyed closer and closer to where I waited loaded and ready. I was using my .40 flintlock (legal) this time and knew just where to hit him with it. Suddenly he sounded again maybe 30 to 40 yards away, still in the bush and still not visible. I gave the box call a light "tickle", just enough to get him in range of my setup. One more gobble then silence. I waited a good while and called again but he answered from much farther away; he had girlfriends already. I went back to calling and once again I finally managed to draw the lunk in close only to have him lose interest and go back to his hens. This happened three or four times before he finally left for good. No shot that day but what an adventure!

Here's the only turkey photo I have available to post, such as it is.
 

dhaverstick

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Here's a story of woe and misery for you that happened to me yesterday on our opening day of the season.

I live in what could best be described as a "rural subdivision". All the lots are 5+ acres and we are outside of any city limits so gunfire and hunting is perfectly legal and acceptable. My house sits on top of a ridge with most of my property being hardwood forest. There is a steep hill on the east side and I do most of my hunting at the bottom of it when I hunt at home. Lots of deer and turkeys pass through my place and once in a while it all comes together and I pack one of them up the hill for supper. Yesterday, that did not happen.

I got down to my spot a little before daylight and set up my decoys. I heard one bird gobble on the roost but he was so far away that I ignored him. I figured it was going to be a long morning so I was turkey texting with a friend of mine and calling every 20 minutes or so. At around 6:50, I yelped on a mouth call and thought I heard a gobble down in a hay field a few hundred yards away. I waited a few minutes and then called again. He answered and, I'll be dang, he had closed the distance considerably! He was coming in! I couldn't believe my good fortune since I had very low expectations for the hunt that morning.

Soon I could hear him spitting and drumming on my nextdoor neighbor's property. There is a gully between our properties which varies in depth between Grand Canyon and shallow ditch. I figured the tom would cross at the shallow end and come into my setup from that direction. I am looking that way, just waiting to see his blue head bobbing, when he lets off a gobble and the dude is exactly behind me! Between him and me is 20 yards, a 4-foot deep ravine and brush so thick that I cannot see him. I know there is no way he will cross there so I sit quietly with hopes that he'll figure it out and cross where he is supposed to.

After a while, I just can't stand it so I softly putt to him. He gobbles three or four times and makes so much racket that I now hear Laura, my nextdoor neighbor, come out on their porch to see what the commotion is about. I can hear her talking to someone, either their dog or her husband, and I know that no good can come from this. I am rewarded with a cluck as the bird turns around and heads back the way he came. That's the direction I need him to go anyway to cross the gully so all may not be lost. I yelp and cut to him and he gobbles on my property now. I check the powder in my pan, cock the hammer back on Sweet Rachael, and wait for his arrival.

Minutes go by with no longbeard in my sights. Directly, he gobbles again and he is now in front of me on my other neighbor's property. The bird has circled completely around me! We go back and forth, yelping and gobbling, but he is making no effort to come to me. I finally just shut up, hoping that the silence will get the best of him. Nope! He gobbles again and he is now heading away from me to a hay field in that direction. The last I hear from him, he is completely on the other side of that field, about a quarter mile away, doing whatever it is that turkeys do. I give him, and all his relatives, a thoroughly good cussing and go back to texting my friend about what had just transpired. So close....but yet so far away. My only consolation was that I had called a bird in from long distance. It just hadn't worked out the way I had hoped. I also was enjoying a great morning in the woods and not at work. It certainly could have been worse!

Darren
 

MDHunter

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About the same load as above 80 grains FF and 1 1/2 # 5
Pedersoli 12 gauge with leather cheek pad as well as recoil pad. More so to project the stock when loading than for recoil purposes.
1A6DB56C-F543-4E75-8B75-D36AD1AA565E.jpeg
 

Darkhorse

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No turkey this year. In fact I never heard one. Nor seen a track or scratching. Statewide our turkey population is in a serious decline. Some areas have none at all. Sadly my property is one that no longer has the wild turkey. The state is working the issue but my hopes for my hunting are dim. By the time a cause is identified and fixed plus the time to build back the flocks I will be too old to pursue them.
But here are a couple from years past if I may. I built a .40 flintlock to hunt turkeys with some years back, it has a Rice barrel, LH Large Siler, Davis set triggers and browned steel furniture. My load is a .395 round ball, 60 grains of 3fg, and a .018 pillow ticking patch lubed with canola oil. BTW Muzzleloading rifles are legal weapons for turkeys in Georgia.

I left the house with plenty of time before daybreak, and there I was just driving in the dark, thinking about the hunt ahead when it ocurred to me I had left my turkey vest at home. I had made about 20 miles of a 25 mile trip but there was nothing to be done but turn around and go back home. So I finally got to my spot a little after 7 AM. I had heard nothing on the walk in so I settled in and got my stuff in order while the woods quieted down.
Over the years I had discovered a spot of higher ground where my calls carried a long way and I have a permanent blind here. Should of killed one here last year but I got impatient and he spotted my gun barrel moving and he was gone.
I have a routine here. First I let out a cluck or two just to see if one is close. Then using a box call that carries a long way I let out a series of yelps. Loud yelps, then I listen. After awhile I do it all over again. So that's what I was doing when I thought I heard a gobble right at the edge of my hearing. A few minutes later I heard it again, clearer, closer, he was coming. At this point I add some long distance yelps with a tube call. So I did and he gobbled right back. For this stage, the middle stage I call it, I use both the box and the tube and it seems to really fire them up. In the final stage I use a slate because I can control the volume better. He circled my hen decoy out of sight and suddenly gobbled to my left, he was close. This had taken an hour and a half.
I couldn't see him but I could hear him. He was gobbling and waiting for the hen to come to him. Now I could see him about 70 yards away strutting in a small area until finally he came on in. Over half an hour had gone by now when he went into a full strut and stayed that way. He looked huge. My target is the wing butt with this .40 caliber and I don't like to shoot one in full strut if I can help it. He came to the hen then made a circle around the decoy still in full strut so I made the best shot I could and he was DRT, and I mean Dead right there.
It was 21 steps to where I shot him.
He weighed 22 pounds with a 9 3/4" beard.


And a couple of photo's from previous years.



 

Britsmoothy

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No turkey this year. In fact I never heard one. Nor seen a track or scratching. Statewide our turkey population is in a serious decline. Some areas have none at all. Sadly my property is one that no longer has the wild turkey. The state is working the issue but my hopes for my hunting are dim. By the time a cause is identified and fixed plus the time to build back the flocks I will be too old to pursue them.
But here are a couple from years past if I may. I built a .40 flintlock to hunt turkeys with some years back, it has a Rice barrel, LH Large Siler, Davis set triggers and browned steel furniture. My load is a .395 round ball, 60 grains of 3fg, and a .018 pillow ticking patch lubed with canola oil. BTW Muzzleloading rifles are legal weapons for turkeys in Georgia.

I left the house with plenty of time before daybreak, and there I was just driving in the dark, thinking about the hunt ahead when it ocurred to me I had left my turkey vest at home. I had made about 20 miles of a 25 mile trip but there was nothing to be done but turn around and go back home. So I finally got to my spot a little after 7 AM. I had heard nothing on the walk in so I settled in and got my stuff in order while the woods quieted down.
Over the years I had discovered a spot of higher ground where my calls carried a long way and I have a permanent blind here. Should of killed one here last year but I got impatient and he spotted my gun barrel moving and he was gone.
I have a routine here. First I let out a cluck or two just to see if one is close. Then using a box call that carries a long way I let out a series of yelps. Loud yelps, then I listen. After awhile I do it all over again. So that's what I was doing when I thought I heard a gobble right at the edge of my hearing. A few minutes later I heard it again, clearer, closer, he was coming. At this point I add some long distance yelps with a tube call. So I did and he gobbled right back. For this stage, the middle stage I call it, I use both the box and the tube and it seems to really fire them up. In the final stage I use a slate because I can control the volume better. He circled my hen decoy out of sight and suddenly gobbled to my left, he was close. This had taken an hour and a half.
I couldn't see him but I could hear him. He was gobbling and waiting for the hen to come to him. Now I could see him about 70 yards away strutting in a small area until finally he came on in. Over half an hour had gone by now when he went into a full strut and stayed that way. He looked huge. My target is the wing butt with this .40 caliber and I don't like to shoot one in full strut if I can help it. He came to the hen then made a circle around the decoy still in full strut so I made the best shot I could and he was DRT, and I mean Dead right there.
It was 21 steps to where I shot him.
He weighed 22 pounds with a 9 3/4" beard.


And a couple of photo's from previous years.



Lovely photos . Shame about the decline. What is the cause, coyote?

I bet that .40 talks with 60gns.

B.
 

Darkhorse

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Lots of theory's but little evidence. I personally think the predators do more damage than people think. The property has a 10 acre pond and a ton of coons. I used to trap hogs there and ran cameras, at first dark the coons began to show up for dinner of corn, they will suck a turkey egg dry given the chance. There are more bobcats there than any place I've ever hunted and of course the coyotes. Several years ago I saw a coyote catch a gobbler in mid air, grabbed a leg and hauled him down.
A new theory is raptors do the most damage. Another one is the turkeys are catching disease from the chicken manure used as fertilizer on some fields.
I have seen something like this coming for several years just by observing the amount of birds. 10 years ago it wasn't nothing to take 2, sometimes 3 legal birds a year. But the last few years I've limited myself to only one.
I did not expect things to get this bad, this soon.

That .395 ball carries a lot power downrange, I've always got comeplete penetration. I shot this hardened steel gong with my turkey load the othere day. It put a deep dent in the plate and pushed up a ring of raised metal around the crater. I was surprised to see that amount of damage.

 

Britsmoothy

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Lots of theory's but little evidence. I personally think the predators do more damage than people think. The property has a 10 acre pond and a ton of coons. I used to trap hogs there and ran cameras, at first dark the coons began to show up for dinner of corn, they will suck a turkey egg dry given the chance. There are more bobcats there than any place I've ever hunted and of course the coyotes. Several years ago I saw a coyote catch a gobbler in mid air, grabbed a leg and hauled him down.
A new theory is raptors do the most damage. Another one is the turkeys are catching disease from the chicken manure used as fertilizer on some fields.
I have seen something like this coming for several years just by observing the amount of birds. 10 years ago it wasn't nothing to take 2, sometimes 3 legal birds a year. But the last few years I've limited myself to only one.
I did not expect things to get this bad, this soon.

That .395 ball carries a lot power downrange, I've always got comeplete penetration. I shot this hardened steel gong with my turkey load the othere day. It put a deep dent in the plate and pushed up a ring of raised metal around the crater. I was surprised to see that amount of damage.

I hear you. The UK has a constant battle with predation.
Never ending job for me.
20210716_220522~2.jpg
 

Robby

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Here the turkey population is way down along with squirrel's and rabbit's. The fox, coyote, raccoon, skunk, opossum, fisher cat, and birds of prey population's are soaring, literally and figuratively. Oh yeah, throw some barn cats into the mix as well, they range a lot further from the barn than people realize.
Robby
 
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