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Turkey Triple Down

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Nov 17, 2016
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N.C. and elsewhere
After three frustrating days of trying to get a gobble on our ranch, I threw my hands up in the air. The birds just haven't taken up visiting our property yet. A relative's property around an hour away is usually good, so I headed down there for the last part of the day. First, I took the UTV out to the 4-corners of the property and let loose with the call. Nada. I was thinking about calling it a day and heading home, another 3+ hours. My son was there for a 4 day visit, so I encouraged him to take a quick walk with me to try again for a Tom. We headed North from the house second guessing the whole idea. At over 80-degrees and dry, my son had just taken a shower to end his day and the dirt was quickly settling on him and I. We followed a cow trail for about 5-minutes and found a spot that appealed to me. Even though I did not expect to get a response to my calling, I wanted to pause here. There were yellow flowers of some sort making a "J" in the sand. On either side were determined patches of blue-bonnets that were struggling for moisture. Just behind us were some sort of red and yellow wildflowers and two cactus with yellow flowers, both structured in a posture that made it look like they were waving. Snapping out of it for a moment, I let loose with the call. "Gobble" my son said. "You want me to gobble"? No, he heard one. He says its not far off and moving our way. He plants the decoy and backs off. I cluck and purr and now I hear the gobble too. He comes in all puffed up. When he sees the decoy it looks like he deflates himself, like someone let the air out of a balloon, and he sticks his neck up which looks like a magic trick as it goes from nothing to a foot long. I could have shot him, maybe should have. I over-thought it. I figured he was around 30-yards and I just felt like I wanted him closer. He circled the decoy and backed off. We exchanged greeting a few more times over the next 15-minutes, but he wasn't coming any closer. Discouraged and second-guessing letting him go, we moved to another point in the ranch. When I called my son said there were birds responding but I didn't hear any. We waited and I called again. This time I heard the response. De Ja Vu, we set up the decoy, my son backs off and I find a spot. I purr, and get a gobble in return. I cluck and get a gobble right back at me. He's moving closer so I am timing my calling to the best of my experience. There are several long moments of silence where I wonder if the bird is still there. Suddenly, a bird steps out from behind a bush to my left. My brain does into high-gear. It is amazing how many thoughts we can process in micro-seconds and also remember them. I thought this bird is a bit further than the first one I let go. I've also been kicking myself for not shooting the first bird. I know I can shoot 30-yards. This bird is a bit over 30-yards. I have the bead on the base of his neck. Should I hold a tad high due to range? The bird turns facing away and I figure he's gonna leave so I press the trigger. I can't see the bird due to smoke, but I hear thumping and see feathers scattered under the black powder cloud. I get up and hustle over there, and I can hear my son running in to meet me. This bird is down, but two of his friends decide they've had enough and they take off for the opposite side of the ranch. These Tom's tripled down on us! This is the first time my son and I turkey hunted together so its a special bird. The sun was hanging low in the sky as we gave thanks and then headed back to the house. This was my first bird with this gun and load. It's a 1974 Pedersoli with M/IM choke. I used the left barrel with IM for the shot. I loaded 1 1/4 ounce scoop of Goex 3F, 2 hard cards, a 1 3/8 ounce scoop of #4 shot and an over-shot card. The shot ended up being at 33-yards. I loaded this gun on March 14th. 25 days or so later, it fired without hesitation and got the job done.


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I enjoy your story telling, Sparkitoff. Though I love to hunt I've not caught the turkey hunting bug. You make it fun to follow along. Glad your Son was there to boot.
Awesome story!! Glad you were able to make this memory with your son!!
Great hunt! Interesting to read your comment about how long your gun was loaded, as I just stumbled into a YouTube video on that topic yesterday. When I shot my flintlock turkey this year, the gun had been loaded for about 11 months. I'd loaded it to hunt one day near the end of our season last year, then stored it in a wool sleeve indoors ever since. I'll admit I was just too darn lazy to shoot and clean it, or to even pull the load. I was taking a chance when I hunted with it this year but it went off with only the slightest delay. I don't plan on being that lazy again, but it certainly was a test. Some years ago I hunted in NY with my flinter and after two days of dreary weather and having to keep wiping the barrel off with Ballistol to prevent rust, I thought I'd better shoot the gun and clean/reload before our third day of hunting. To my surprise, the gun went off without any hesitation at all. In neither case had I plugged or picked the flash hole. Not sure I I just have an exception gun, or if I'm just lucky. lol