Archive for the ‘2022 Spring Gobbler Season’ Category

I was walking down a township road with the intent of stopping at the landowner’s son’s place. He has an interesting hobby, and I had a piece to add to it. I was going to place it on his porch and head up over the hill and hopefully be at a good listening post in a handful of minutes. The time was about 5:15. Suddenly I thought I heard a gobble. I listened and indeed I did hear a gobbler. To continue walking down the road was a no-no for I would need to walk below where he was roosted.

I quickly backtracked and moved quietly along the lower side of a field. The gobbler would now be on my left. I set up about a hundred or so yards from the gobbler and called sparingly. The bird seemed interested.

All of a sudden, I heard another muffled gobble, but didn’t determine the distance with accuracy. I waited to hear another to pinpoint the direction.

The spot I chose to set up consisted of a couple of leaf-covered multiflora rose bramble patches. I was about fifteen feet or so in the woods where I could see the field. I expected, and hoped, the turkey would fly down and approach me in this field.

There they were! Two longbeards were in the field and coming from right to left. When I saw them the one was already past the brambles. I couldn’t effectively move so they walked by my position and were slightly alerted for they must have seen my glasses shining. They didn’t run, but they watched intently as they walked away.

After the two toms went out of view I began to call again. In a short time, I could see a gobbler coming towards me from the left. As the bird approached, I noticed I couldn’t see any beard. Was it a jake? Once it came into the opening, I could see a nice beard seemingly sticking tight to the bird’s breast’s feathers. However, the beard left loose. Maybe wet grasses caused the beard to initially hold tight against the breast feathers.

The gobbler walked behind the second brambles. I called and the bird strutted and drummed and gobbled. This was my chance to maneuver the shotgun to the right. I laid the gun partially upon a limb but couldn’t get the stock against my shoulder. I elected to hold the gun without that benefit. The shot pushed my knuckles against my jaw. Ouch…that smarted! It didn’t matter for the gobbler was down.

The shot was about 28-29 steps away.

Upon getting home, I weighed the turkey. He weighed twenty-two pounds. He sported a nine-and-a-half-inch beard and had spurs of one and an eighth and one and a sixteenth.

The time of the shot was 6:05 A.M.

Luckily, I got the bird early for Laurie called around seven-thirty explaining of her involvement in a wreck. That changed my morning plans tremendously. Fortunately, she is Ok, but the car isn’t well at all.

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May 3

I should do a short story on the third morning of the 2022 Pennsylvania Spring Gobbler Season. I hunted a different site closer to home for the weather people were talking of rain coming in towards eleven o’clock. I was still having cold symptoms although not too bad…just an occasional cough mostly. But I still thought getting soaked may not be a good idea. The season is young.

I failed to hear a single gobble all day. My buddy, Frank “Muskie” Maus shot early bagging a nice tom. I heard the shot and later texted him. I did see some gobblers way across a huge hollow in the field. This area is posted. I bumped into a turkey of unknown gender…maybe it was a trans turkey anyway.

Later, after calling, I continued a walk only to have a gobbler spot me. He was in a field.

Interestingly, as I left the parking area, I spotted a strutter with two hens along the wood line. They were close to a hundred yards or so from the road. I chose to not try circling around to call for him especially with the closing time not far off and thick multiflora Rose behind the birds and the fact of having two hens with him.

May 4

I didn’t go out early due to rain but once the weather changed, I headed for the woods. I hurried to the back side of the property calling periodically hoping for a response. Once I reached the site, I was originally heading for I called. I spoke to myself, “I think I heard a gobbler far off in posted property.” I called again and he gobbled a couple of more times before becoming silent. I took his silence as being a moving bird, so I set up where a grassy opening was next to the adjacent land.

Now the land between the two properties has lost of multiflora rose brambles. Would the gobbler come through this mess? Maybe. Another obstacle to overcome would be to convince the gobbler to walk off of a grassy gas well road. Typically, they like to strut and gobble on such places.

The next gobble was on that road. He continued walking the road eventually ending up at a strong right and behind me. I adjusted. Directly behind me was thick multiflora rose and the bird came off the gas well road and crossed through the brambles onto the property I was hunting.

A real hen began clucking and I watched her cross the grassy area. The gobbler was closing in on me but seeing him was difficult. Finally, I had the opportunity to adjust the 870 Remington at an opening. He stepped into the opening and the shot was sure. The bird was down. the distance for the shot was seventeen steps. Now the long walk back carrying the gobbler was the task at hand. I could tell he was a bigger than average bird.

Upon returning home the first step was to weigh the gobbler. I have an old brass scale that was my father’s scale. I was very much surprised to see the metal marker go below the 24 number. The scale only went to 24 pounds so how big was the gobbler? Could the weight reach twenty-five???? Possibly!

The beard was ten and half inches long. The spurs were one and a quarter inch on one side and one and three sixteenths’ inches on the other. It was a good day, and the obstacles were overcome. Hunting with obstacles often do not turn out with such success.

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