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Author Topic: Some of My most memorable over 45+ years  (Read 1099 times)

Online eggshell

  • The Boss Gobbler
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Re: Some of My most memorable over 45+ years
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2020, 06:40:12 AM »
A Fall of splendor and plenty

This story is about a fall hunt in Ky. Three of us, my best friend, my wife's uncle and myself headed to Kentucky for three days of fall gun hunting. We left home mid afternoon with the idea we'd just spread  out in our targeted valley for a couple hrs that evening and see if we could locate some birds to go in on the next morning. There is a stream that runs the length of this valley, so we always took a john boat to hunt both sides. On arrival, they dumped me out in the head of the valley and the other two took the truck and boat down stream in the valley.

I climbed a steep hill off the road and walked that for two hours and found no sign. There was still some shooting time left, but I decided to just go down to the road and sit and wait for the other two to come pick me up. I had barely sat down on a big rock along the road when I heard turkeys calling. They were across the stream. I made my way across a field and down to the river. I could hear the birds calling up on the opposite hillside. I called to them and they answered. I had no way to get too them so I just sat at the water's edge and kept them talking, with the thought I'd have them located for the next morning. They kept getting closer and closer,  then I could see some birds. Oh crap I better hide. So I scoot up to a tree and watch. One young gobbler was really interested in where that other turkey was and kept coming down this very steep bank towards the river. I started assessing how far it was across the river and decided I could kill him if he came all the way down. Well, he did and I shot him. When he went down, he flopped into the river and started to float away. I walked along and kept track of him until he hung up in a tree top. I went back up to the road and waited for my partners. It was pitch black when they pulled up. They both asked if I heard or seen anything, they hadn't. I told them I killed one and they instantly chided, "where is he"? I said, "floating in the river" and they laughed. They thought it was a joke. Finally my wife's uncle asked if I was serious and I said yes, we need the boat. He let me know if he helped drag the boat clear across that field and there was no dead turkey he was going to drown me. So we get the boat in the river and start to paddle to the last spot I saw the turkey and it was gone. Now my life was being threatened and I insisted he floated down stream. So off we took and about 100 yards later we found the birds and I had the last laugh. Man, they are sad looking creatures pulled from a river.

The next morning found us across the river sitting on the rest of the flock, as they had scattered when I shot the evening before. At first light they started calling and we started pleading our case. The old boss hen was above me and I wanted her gone, so when she came by me I shot her and signalled the other two to keep calling. Finally another bird showed up and ny buddy killed it. We decided that three out of a flock was enough and left. We drove to another area and took off with only my wife's uncle carrying a gun. We were about to round a bend when I got a cluck in response to my call and we sat down. We hadn't noticed, but there was a big blow down right in front of us. This flock came right to us, but he couldn't shoot for the blow down. The butt of the tree was about 3 feet off the ground and finally the flock worked that way and he decided to lay down in a prone position and shoot under the log. The birds spooked but he still got on one and killed it. Dang, 4 turkeys down and it wasn't even mid day of what was actually our first day.  The rest of the day we scouted and visited with local friends.

Day two found us back across the river in another favorite spot. I was tagged out and the other two had one tag each. We hunted hard and never found any birds. We decided to call it and move to another spot. On the way out we walked right into a flock and our only choice was to bust the flock. we done our best but it wasn't a good bust. The other two set up in the direction a couple of the birds went that separated the most from the flock. In about 20 minutes they started calling and luck was on our side as they met right in front of my friends and they doubled up on the two birds. We all just looked at each other in amazement at the way this trip unfolded. we had tagged out with 6 birds in one short evening and two short mornings. We were going home early. Needless to say it usually doesn't go this way, but this trip was a fall bounty.

Online eggshell

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Re: Some of My most memorable over 45+ years
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2020, 07:24:37 AM »
Four beards and a Butt chewing

This hunt was in the 1980s while I was working at the state fish hatchery. Spring was a very busy time at the hatchery and much of my turkey hunting consisted of a quick hour or maybe two before work. It was my good fortune the hatchery was located right in prime turkey country and there were usually birds right on the property.

I had spent a couple mornings in the valley just N.E. of our facility and messed with a group of gobblers that were being difficult. This valley was mostly state forest or paper company land under agreement for public hunting. A small piece of private transected the public grounds. We were hauling trout this day so I only had time for a quick hunt. One of the guys who worked fisheries at a local lake was helping us, but wanted to get a quick hunt in too. So, we agreed to go into the valley together and I'd hunt the west side and he the east side.

At gobble time birds opened up on  the east side and I knew Jim was on them and sat down to listen to his hunt. I could hear him calling and thought there would be a shot any time, but the shot never came. I decided to move up the hill and see if I could find a bird. For some reason I thought I would throw a call and see if I could get JIm's birds to answer and maybe give him a location. I got an answer but they were well below him on the hill. I listened for a moment and started my climb, then I heard a gobble and it came from below me. I thought, "what the heck, there was a bird on my side that I must have walked by on the way in". The next gobble was closer and I set up fast and made a call. I got an answer, but there was multiple birds. There they are, I see them coming and I get ready. At 40 yards the lead bird stops and starts flicking his wings and doing the "I'm about to leave dance". So I bead down on him and kill him. I tag my bird and head to the truck, not thinking much about what had actually happened, just happy with my bird.

When I arrive at my truck I am putting my gear away when I hear a pissed off voice say, you make a habit of trespassing? You were on my land when you shot that turkey. Here was the private landowner that lived just up the dead end lane. I explained I never trespassed and new exactly where I was on paper company land. I also explained I worked for ODNR fisheries and could be fired for a game violation. It never phased him as he explained he was an old marine and took no bullshot or prisoners and I should of thought of my career before I trespassed. I was now really worried, but I knew I was right and I was close to his line but still where I was legal. Still didn't need the investigation if he called the main office. Jim was still in the woods as I left.   

In about a half hour Jim showed up at the hatchery and said he wanted to see my bird. I showed it to him and he instantly said, "dang, how many beards that thing have?". I replied with what are you talking about and he said look. I did and discovered it had four beards totaling 23.5 inches. Then everyone had to start looking at it. I had been so distracted by my  chewing I hadn't even noticed. It wasn't a big bird and weighed 17.5 pounds and only had 1 1/8" spurs.  Jim told how he had sparred with the birds on his side, but all morning they wanted to drift down the hill towards my side. Finally they shut up and he could see them heading down to cross. He explained it was about that time I made my call and they took off practically running to me. I happened to be where they wanted to be. It was my good fortune and there was no hard feelings from Jim. Actually he went back two days later and killed one of the others and it  had a 13" beard, the longest I had ever seen, those birds had good beard genes I guess.

I waited all day for the call I knew was coming about my encounter with the landowner. I had decided I would just have to have a law investigator come out and show him I was legal. In the mean time my friends from Ky. showed up for a three day hunt and stopped by work to wait for me to get off. About that time I see a vehicle pulling in and it is the landowner. I tell my friends this is about to get ugly with this old marine. One of these friends is an ex-marine and wounded warrior. He said, I can handle a fellow marine. As this old gruff got out, my friend belts out a semper fi and the old marine stops in his tracks and says, what conflict and my buddy says Vietnam, two purple hearts. He laughs and they engage in war stories. Then he turns to me and I melt as I know the fun is over. He immediately says, " I came to apologize, I went up and found right where you sat and where the turkey fell and you were perfectly legal". He admitted he was wrong and I said it was an honest mistake and I understood a lot of hunters had trespassed. Then he says, "I want to make it up to you and give you permission to hunt my property, and your buddies can hunt too". He stated old marines stuck together and my friend was blood. It turns out we hunted that property for many years, until he died and killed a bunch of birds off it. Sometimes things that look really bad actually turn out  good.

Offline The Lung

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Re: Some of My most memorable over 45+ years
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2020, 11:18:08 PM »
Thanks for sharing your stories. I enjoy reading them.
"Dear Lord, may our will be pure and our aim be true. Amen"