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Archive for the ‘2014 Spring Gobbler Season’ Category

Mu cousin Donnie and I stood along the field’s edge waiting for the music of gobbling turkeys. A very distant tom gobbled at 5:20 A.M. There was silence for ten minutes and we were wondering why the woods were so quiet with such a beautiful morning. DSC_0004   Suddenly, a gobbler erupted with his morning serenade soon to be joined by a couple of more. Donnie and I moved towards these birds and set up. We were close. I could see something white as I called and the birds gobbled. The white proved to be a skunk with more white on it’s body than black. Another gobbler opened up about way off. The close birds left the roost and thundered away. I called once more to await their next move and then I heard it…soft yelps from the direction of the gobblers. This hunt was over. I contacted Donnie asking if we should move towards the distant gobbler and we were in agreement. We jumped in our vehicles and headed the mile distance. I saw the gobblers and hen in a field below where we were calling from moments ago. Deer and squirrels were prevalent and we lucked out seeing a very young fawn with the mama. What a beautiful sight to see.                                                                             DSC_0007 As you may have guessed the bird that was gobbling his head off moments ago was now quiet. I mustered one “here I am”  gobble from him with a loud call as we walked about. Two hens were in the field. We heard another gobbler off to our right and we headed towards that bird and, it too, was quiet by the time we closed in. Another gobbler began gobbling way across a road and hollow. We began a tour along the ridge and calling. We heard a gobbler answer me down slope and he began gobbling on it’s own. This can be a good sign for the hunter. We set up and I heard hen talk again off in the woods. The tom shut up! I heard two other gobblers off in the distance. Donnie stood around listening and talking about our dad’s and uncle’s and their leaving us. I looked behind me and in the field was a gobbler. He may have seen us as we circled around the woods for a better position for he disappeared. We quit around 9:45 for the heat was becoming stifling. Later my allergies claimed me and made life miserable Oh well! I saw a nice longbeard on my way home.

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This morning I had the honor to have breakfast with two friends and makers of fine turkey calls. Lonnie Gilbert from Greenwich Ohio came to hunt with Kip Feroce. I have completed ink art for both of these fine men.

Kip Feroce on the left with Lonnie Gilbert

Kip Feroce on the left with Lonnie Gilbert

Their morning hunt was a good one. They worked a gobbler for some time. The big bird was close, but not visible. The hunt took a different turn when a coyote seeking out Kip’s calls came within five feet of  Kip. The coyote wanted turkey pot pie for it’s meal. The hunt would be over. Kip called me about 9:00 to meet them which I gladly accepted.

One of my personalized "Ferocious" Box Calls by Kip.

One of my personalized “Ferocious” Box Calls by Kip.

Kip is the owner of Ferocious Turkey Calls. He makes a mighty fine box call. He uses various woods of interest from cedar, walnut, sycamore, chestnut and many others. I have a cased set of many wood types from Kip.  His calls sound great!!!! Kip’s web site is: http://ferociouscalls.com Lonnie is another great call company. His calls have received awards from the National Wild Turkey Federation. They, too are beautifully made. I am the proud owner of one.  Lonnie’s company is called: Buckeye Boxes! His phone number is: 419-750-0104. His e-mail is: katidid4@verizon.net. Give him a call or check out Kip’s web site. You won’t be disappointed with their calls.

My personal Lonnie Gilbert Turkey call

My personal Lonnie Gilbert Turkey call

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A listening Bob!

A listening Bob!

Friday, May 24, my step father, Bob and I walked across the field early to be posted at a common roosting site. This area has seldom failed to produce gobbling, but it is a place difficult to set up on the birds without detection.                                                         DSC_0013

We waited and two birds in two different directions and far off. I held tight waiting a closer bird would sound off where I had hoped. Nothing happened here so we elected to move closer to the one bird.

Foggy Morn!

Foggy Morn!

We closed in until we could move no farther. The roosting bird was down over the hill near homes and a road and in unhuntable grounds. The only chance would be to pull him a distance. The gobbler seemed interested and he later came off the roost. He quit gobbling after a time when another gobbler gobbled from the point where we had just came from. He gobbled only once!

Great blue heron against the fog.

Great blue heron against the fog.

We moved back towards him when the previous gobbler started singing again. He seemed closer so we tried to see his next movements would be and moved back towards him again. Our feet were soaked from the dew-laden field. Unfortunately, he continued to move away and cross the road. We tried to stir up the other birds , but failed to do so.

Bob said my buddy was playing out and my allergies were beginning to irritate my eyes so we quit after 8. We saw some squirrels, two deer and a hen.

 

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Bob unloading his Remington.

Bob unloading his Remington.

My step father, Bob finally felt well enough to pursue gobblers. He had been suffering with cold-like symptoms and is taking antibiotics. We situated near to a favorite roosting area. We weren’t disappointed. Gobbling music began at 5:30 A.M. and lasted until 6:30.

Unfortunately,  for us we were forced to set up to call in a less than desirable place. The openness of the tree foliage and the high probability of being highlighted against the illumination of the eastern sky dictated out best course of action. Dense multiflora rose and honeysuckle were to our right and behind us position. Bob actually stood behind a tree to watch the open area between the birds and us.

Landowners had cut trees bordering a field and trail. The tops were allowed to remain. As you may have guessed, the turkeys were on the other side of this tangle. Three toms left the roost and approached my calling and “hung up” on the other sides of the tree tangles. They were about 50 to 60 yards away and gobbled very well in anticipation of the unseen hen…me!

They tired of waiting and became silent. After some time  I edged around and checked a field and could see three hens. Bob and I worked the area where the gobblers last were gobbling and I managed several replies, around 7:00, way down the hill and in posted property.  Bob was getting tired and we quit at 7:30 and were forced to go home and harass my mother some.

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Fog

Fog

I woke up to thunderous booms and bright lightning around 3:45 this morning. Wow, I thought this may place a damper with my turkey hunting plans.

After the morning's rain.

After the morning’s rain.

I watched the weather at 4:30 and the radar looked as if these storms should be passing through quickly. I hurriedly prepared and took off towards one of my hunting spots to listen.

IMG_1703   I arrived towards the top of the mountain by 5:35 A.M. and anxiously awaited that first gobble of the morning. Nothing!! At 6:15 I began searching for morels and I was pleased to find some. One can never have enough of these tasty mushrooms.

Dogwoods in bloom.

Dogwoods in bloom.

I crossed the hollow and made a listening and calling tour of the area and had one gobbler answer my calls. He was far down over the hill and I wasn’t sure of property boundaries and decided to head to the car and transport to another area to search for more morels and maybe call and listen for turkeys.

The humidity and temperatures made for some very warm woodland maneuvering. I called some as I walked and I received an answer shortly after nine o’clock. The bird was way off in distance. The morels would have to wait as I hurried towards where I believed the bird was. He started gobbling occasionally on his own now. This is always a good sign to the turkey hunter.

I edged around a slope and called and immediately heard his reply. He was below me in the wetland area. I set up and called a few more times. He would answer every few minutes. I waited. His approach was certain, but extremely slow.

I clucked a few times and he answered again and became silent again as did I.  I spotted some movement among the mayapples and a turkey head appeared. The gobbler was within range, but I couldn’t see a beard yet. A second gobbler appeared behind the first one. The lead bird stepped again and a nice beard was visible and the bird was down. The 32 yard shot was at 10:00 A.M. and I was over a mile away from my jeep. I would be shedding moisture as I walked!

Wood Turtle

Wood Turtle

IMG_1706   The walk back was, indeed, a hot one and I knew cleaning the bird would be a priority. At home I weighed the gobbler and he was almost 24 pounds. Another heavy bird! The beard was mostly at eleven inches, but six strands reached the thirteen inch mark. The spurs were, both, one inch each.                                                                        IMG_1718

My step-father, Bob is getting better and he hopes to hunt soon. Cousin Donny and I will get out together someday too.

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The dead cam was obvious as I walked up the hill to a listening point. A few warblers were already beginning to sing prior to the 5:30 A.M. time.

 

An  A.J. Cassette  call.

An A.J. Cassette call.

As it usually happens the first gobble was across a hollow and towards the top of the opposite hill.  I used diagonal maneuvering to approach. I set up farther than I would have preferred, but the open woodlands and the time of the morning forced me to a pause.

Garlic Mustard- a non-native and invasive flower.

Garlic Mustard- a non-native and invasive flower.

The bird left the roost prior to six o’clock and went opposite of me. I reevaluated his move and did likewise. I moved into a triangular section of woodlands with mowed cuts on both sides. if this gobbler moved along either site I close shot would be the result. He wouldn’t budge from an opening where these two mowed cuts intersected. I moved as close as I dare.

 

Coltsfoot flowers having gone to seeds.

Coltsfoot flowers having gone to seeds.

The gobbler after tiring moved back down into the woods and gobbled periodically as he moved farther away.  I changed positions as well, but I heard it…hen talk.

Later, I began a circle and spotted a hunter setting against a tree. I eased away and he never knew I was around. I later saw hunter tracks along the bottom too.

I walked and called for a time until the heat, humidity and allergies began to get the best of me.

I saw some deer, squirrels and many warblers.

I arrived home after 10:00 sneezing; sniffling and itching. A pill needed to be taken.

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DSC_0014  I had some things on my agenda this day! I was to meet a friend at the Armstrong County Historical Museum & Genealogical Society  Kittanning, Pennsylvania to replace an air conditioner. (The air conditioner was in the Mildred Lankerd-Thomas Genealogical  Library division of the museum.) My step father, Bob was feeling well enough to hunt so I thought I would go to a site near my old homestead and scout for turkeys prior to going for breakfast at mom’s home.

Antler shed

Antler shed

DSC_0024  I walked a long field to a listening point. At 5:30 A.M. the winds began to blow and the clouds rolled in. I didn’t hear any gobbling so I began a trek along a field’s edge and I heard a gobbler prior to six in the morning. The interesting aspect to this was that I spotted a turkey in a tree at the exact same time. This bird had its neck stretched out. I was busted. however, the bird close to this bird still gobbled. I backtracked hearing about ten gobbles.

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

I walked back across a field to check another hollow seeing a deer and a squirrel. I, also, saw my first Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting of the season. I looked for morels too while I was walking about. Shortly, I spotted a gobbler about fifty or sixty yards from me. he was strutting among the bottomland skunk cabbage. I didn’t try to call him in any closer. I just watched him do his thing for the hen.                        DSC_0027

I erected two bird houses along the field’s edge and was at the homestead by 7:35 to prepare for the bacon!!!!! I visited for a couple of hours before heading to Kittanning.

I think I may go fishing tomorrow and hit the turkey woods again next week.

White Trillium

White Trillium

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