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Archive for May, 2016

Wednesday night it hit me with vengeance!   My last official bout with throwing up occurred Thursday afternoon. As I type this entry I have eaten very little as an experiment. So far all seems well! Needless to say I did not get out to chase turkeys this day. However, Wednesday’s hunt was enjoyable for me.

Fox Squirrel

Fox Squirrel

I heard his first gobble at 5:45 A.M. I quickly moved in towards the bird’s roosting site. A second gobbler greeted the morning. I was setup about a hundred to a hundred twenty yard. All seemed fairly good.  I wished I could have made my positioning on their side of this hollow, but with the woods being opened from lack of leaf cover I elected to try my luck from this setup. I feared the turkeys would spot me if I moved again.

DSC_0002 A hen entered the picture after fly down. I angled away, crossed the hollow before angling back. Whenever I would call the gobbler would answer me once. I would move. Finally he answered, and I knew moving any farther would be extremely dangerous.

The hen was moving in although I never was able to see her. I was caught among multiflora rose, and I was not able to see through the tangles. If only she, and the tom would drift downslope a little. The woods was open there. She led him away.

I went back to the orginal listening post to draw some pictures, and wait. A gobbler opened up clear across the big hollow. Off I went.                      DSC_0006

He answered a call, and I moved in. Finally, I called again and he exploded off to my left. Again, multiflora rose prevented any visual. Another hen began chirping heading towards us. She led him away. He answered my call once around 10:30. I had planned to get this turkey the next morning, but as you read I became very sick!

 

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http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2016/04/29/winners-chosen-in-marylands-black-bear-and-migratory-game-bird-stamp-design-contests/?utm_source=Copy+of+4-29-16+DNR+NEWS&utm_campaign=4-29-16+DNR+NEWS+&utm_medium=email

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DSC_0004  I stood in the gray of the pre-dawn hour. I was enjoying listening to some DSC_0025creatures getting ready for a nap, while others slowly began to wake up. A Whip-or-will sang non stop until dawn. A Great-horned Owl hooted a few times. The warblers began to chirp as a cardinal sang from high in a tree.

A vehicle drove slow past where my jeep was parked. He stopped, and executed a loud crow call, and shocked a gobbler into responding. This was the same person as yesterday repeating the same procedure.  I began touring the area, and listening, but failed to hear any other gobblers.

DSC_0017   I met up with my step-father, Bob about 7:15. He said he was going to work a ridge to try to stir something up.

I was, almost, to the road when a gobble rang out. I stopped, and heard another. I know where you are now! I crossed the road, and slowly circled around where the, now, silent gobbler may have gobbled from. I worked up a slope, and called. Immediately, I heard a loud response. I set up, and I felt the setup was not too bad. The contest began.

An open gulley was between the turkeys, and myself. I thought about crossing it, but the birds were close enough that I feared meeting them. The two longbeard birds emerged, and at forty yards, I believed the hunt was about over. I like to shoot at distances under 35 yards, and I believed a few more steps would seal the deal.                         DSC_0018

Suddenly, the two birds reacted, and began moving away. I believe they may have seen my glasses shining, for I was perfectly still.

I went to another place and began a tour of calling, and listening. At about 10: 50, I heard a hen, and gobbler. I moved in. There were, now, two gobblers! I continued moving because the season is over at noon, and time was not on my side.

Another gobbler to my left…and another!  They loved my calling. In moments, the two gobblers below me met up with the other two toms. A loud fight broke out. These birds were just out of my sight due to terrain.

DSC_0021 As the fight stopped, I began calling again, and immediately heard responses. They were coming in! The three gobblers to arrive looked beautiful as the sun caused their colors to shine. I wished I had the camera in hand.

I allowed the three turkeys to walk past me, and out of site. The shotgun went down, and the camera was prepared for action. I called them back in to enjoy quite a show. They were still gobbling as I turned away, and left.

I found one morel. The Scarlet Tanagers are back, too. I saw a lot of squirrels, and deer, too.

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Dogwood

Dogwood

I was surprised when the first morning of the 2016 spring gobbler season  DSC_0018began, and I failed to hear any gobbling from roosting turkeys. This proved to be, especially, accurate when I thought back over the last two weeks. I had heard birds every morning I scouted. I went out in the mid-morning on hikes and hear gobbling! Oh well…that is why this interest is called hunting!                                                 DSC_0014

I crossed from one hill to another early hoping to hear turkeys on the back side of the ridge. I called, and I heard a very distant gobbling. I thought could that bird have heard my calling? The rule is ..Go after the gobbling bird!  I took a few stesp and heard a shot. Was the shot where the bird was gobbling from?                                                                 DSC_0014

The second morning  was met with thunder, and lightning. I monitored the radar closely before deciding to the rain should be close to completion by starting time. Off I went!

I was walking up slope when I heard a vehicle moving slow on the road where I was

Ovenbird

Ovenbird

parked. A hunter emerged blowing a crow call hoping to stir up a gobbler. I continued moving up the hill.DSC_0003

DSC_0019  I heard a gobbler far off, and immediately moved towards the bird. I eased into the woods where he had gobbled. I called and was met with a thunderous gobble. I set up before calling again. Gil-obble-obble-obble. I was about a hundred yards from the bird. All was silent, and I heard the wings flying down. I waited. More silence.

The setup was textbook… close; open woods; a grassy old logging road to strut on, but the turkey failed to show. I, eventually, circled around to hear a hen.

I began a tour of the area. The vehicle hunter had left, but another hunter had three   DSC_0017decoys set up in a field. I returned to the site where I had heard the gobbler to search for morels, field sketch, and take photos.

DSC_0002 After some time I circled low along the side of the hill before angling towards the ridge. I was, now, farther down the same ridge where the gobbler may had went. I eased up slowly calling periodically. There it was… a gobble.

I moved and called again, and the big boy answered. He began gobbling occasionally on his own as I set up. All seemed to be going well, but he moved along another ridge in pastureland and away from me. This land was posted.

Maybe tomorrow morning???

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