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.....Skychief,
Going into DT’s?
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!
Whats the piece you using this season Skychief? Any load changes? Or are you using the twangy thing again?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.
Lovely photos . Shame about the decline. What is the cause, coyote?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.
I hear you. The UK has a constant battle with predation.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.