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Author Topic: 4 for 4 Iowa 2nd Season  (Read 1314 times)

Offline APRock

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4 for 4 Iowa 2nd Season
« on: April 23, 2008, 02:04:19 AM »
My buddy Leonard got me to go turkey hunting this Spring.  I am glad I did!  That was intense!  Leonard's sister and his brother in law Michael were our hosts.  Our buddy John, who was a well spring of turkey hunting knowledge, was also in the party.  The weather that we had been having the past few months and these days were going to make thing different I was told.

Didn't start out well though, for me.  The youngest had a Dr. appointment in the city so I didn't get up there 'til about 5:30pm on day one.  Leonard called me while I was on my way up and said to put my hunting clothes on and get out there, I could get a couple hours in.  I got to the place, changed my clothes, drove over to the hunting ground, geared up and walked out.  Just as I got off the farmstead and stepped on to the ground we were hunting, I hear a loud POP off to the west.  Well, now I know where those guys are at.  I'd better try to setup somewhere south.  Was out for about an hour and a half and never saw or heard a thing until I heard the horn honking.  So I pack up and walk out and meet Leonard and John at the lane.  I must have been Leonard's good luck charm.  That pop I heard was his old 16 SxS taking his 1st Tom.



We head into town, had some supper, back to the farm and planned on the morning.  Got up early and headed out to the ground blind.  It was a little crowded with 3 of us in there but what the heck.  It started getting light and we hear toms popping off all around us.  The excitement level goes way up!  John, who has been calling toms in for many, many years, starts his stuff.  We had 2 hens come with in a few yards, yelping at us then scooting off,  No toms showed up though.  We decided to move the blind at midday.  Seemed the birds liked to go to the bottoms in the morning and run the ridges in the evening.  Went for some lunch then John and I went out for the afternoon in the new spot.



Got busted on our way to the blind.  A tom and 3 jakes were in the field south of our blind.  They weren't too startled but were moving off anyway.  We backtracked and went the long way around to get to the blind.  Sat and waited, did some calling - Nothing, nothing, nothing.  Then we have to pee.  Step out, do our business, stretch, turn around and there they are or a different group on the ridge.  Sneak back into the blind and call.  The tom answers, another answers and this tom takes off after him, unfortunately away from us.  Nothing got within shooting range.  We were probably in the right place at the wrong time.   We left the blind and went in for supper at Michael and Dawns, elk steaks, elk brats and a bunch of other stuff  YUM!  Michael, who had been after turkeys quite a few times without scoring, was of the opinion that all the calling, the strutting, birds attacking jake dekes, humping hen dekes, the fights, all that "stuff" just happened on TV.  He was convinced to get a tag and John would take him out Sunday - the only day Michael could really hunt.  Leonard and I tried a different spot with his new blind.  Well, we only saw one lone tom, way, way off.  He did respond to some loud yelping, but once we figured out what was between us and him - corn field, the blacktop, no less than 4 fences and about 3/4 of a mile or more, it was no wonder he wouldn't come to us.  With the wind blowing, we missed out on stuff I guess.  Never heard it, but John and Michael got quite a show that happened a few hundred yards behind us, not to mention the show that went on in front of them.  I guess they had toms all over, fights going on, strutting and all that.  They said one started out about 50 yards out, put his head down, pointed his tail and sprinted full speed until he collided with the group that was neck fighting.  Finally one breaks away and comes to the dekes and Michael scored his first tom about 8:30 in the morning.  Dang thing flopped over into the creek and looked like a drowned rat!  It was nice big 3 or 4 year old bird.  Didn't get a picture before he cleaned it.  He was real stoked, definitely wants to hunt again, which is a good thing since his family owns the land we were hunting on and he can get us on neighboring land as well.....! 

That afternoon, Michael takes me over to a neighbors land and we set up.  Let things settle and do a couple of yelps to let them know a hen is here then left it quiet.  Had to step out and fix the blind since we weren't familiar with it and didn't know the stakes were stored in a little pocket by the door and our makeshift stakes had failed in the wind.  And we had to pee.  Of course while doing this we hear gobbles.  Duck back into the blind and start calling, they answer - well, maybe we got something going on here!  No such luck, they kept on walking about halfway up the ridge in the woods and wouldn't come down to the open.  Going to roost I guess and were asking us to join them.  Packed it in.  We had Michaels grilled turkey that evening for supper.

Monday morning, Michael had to work, and it was Leonard's anniversary so it was just me and John hunting and Michael and Dawns young boy to watch.  I decided to go back to the land I hunted yesterday and the run and gun approach without the pop up blinds - used Quik Stiks as cover and gunrest.  Walked in near where I had been before, hooted on an owl call, heard a gobble a ways a way.  Set out dekes about 20 yards or so from a blown down elm where I set myself up and waited.  Sun came up, robins started chirppin', cardinals singing, woodpeckers, frogs, cattle, everything making noise except TURKEYS!  Did they go to the top instead of the bottom this morning or what?  Did they stay to the west where they were moving last evening?  So I decide to move.  Used a crow call to try to get a shock gobble and finally got one.  Peeking up over the hill top, I can see a tom moving into the woods with a couple of hens in tow, feeding and purring.  They all move off to the woods and start up the ridge.  I figure I can head them off.  Get in place, dekes out and call, get a gobble in answer.  Call again, gobble closer.  Then the gobbles get further away and cease altogether.  It's about 10:00, clouds moving in, maybe they are heading to day roost.  I decide to pack it in.  Get about 100 yards check my phone, Johns got one and the boy got a great show.



About that time I hear 3 distinct gobbles.  Oh man!  Now what do I do?  John says get after 'em,  Might get lucky.  Stranger things have happened.  So I work my way around to another spot.  Gobbles ahead, to the right and to the left in front of me.  Crawl out and put out just the hen.  Do some calling.  There was a gobble competition going on!  There were 4 toms out in front of me some where seeing who could out gobble the other.  They were all moving to the right.  Out of the corner of my eye I see two black spots.  It's turkeys following the same path I crawled along to get where I was.  I hadn't covered myself on that side since all the noise was out front and to the right.  I was stuck!  They moved out in the field, spotted my deke, and started putting.  I tried purring but they would have none of it.  They moved off to the middle of the field gobbling the whole way, competing with the others.  Seemed like they all grouped up in the woods off to my right.  So I packed it in and went to lunch.

John had a nice big bird and had a long way to drive home so I was on my own for the afternoon.  Had to work Tuesday so this was my last chance.  We figured that with this rain coming they may come out of day roost early and their habits had been to dance around the tops in the afternoon.  So I decide to take Leonard's blind and set up right in the middle of that field.



About 1:00pm, I had been back out for an hour or so and I hear the first gobble, way, way off in the distance.  Of course, by this time I had to pee, bad!  Being right in the middle of that field there is no way to sneak out and take a leak.  So I zip open the door just wide enough and let fly.  I'll just have to remember the "puddle"!

Zip up, me and the door, and notice out a crack in the back window that I have a couple turkeys following that same path again.  (Are you noticing a trend here??  Every time somebody had to pee, turkeys showed up!  Kind of like fishing!)  Looked like they were going to head back into the woods so I did a cutt and yelp and 3 of them came out into the field a ways then turned towards me.  Figured out they were following the cattle trails.  They get up by the blind - 3 jakes.  They see my dekes and start towards them slowly.  These guys never made a noise and were grouped up tight.  They separate enough and I draw a bead, squeeze the trigger and forgot the safety.  I must have muttered a cuss word cuz all heads go up and looked right at the blind.  BOOM!  The one on the left go down.  The other two just stand there looking at their buddy flop around.  They didn't run off til I got out of the blind.

Not a tom, but for a first turkey, I'll take it!



So our group went 4 for 4 with 3 of getting our first bird, 2 of those toms.  I am hooked.  While using that blind in the middle of the field was the only way to go for that situation, I got to say that leaning against that tree, with a little bit of cover in front of me and having turkeys walk by checking my deke out really got my heart pounding.  Will definitely be trying both methods again.  Plans already in the works for next year.
I refuse to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Offline Gutpiles

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Re: 4 for 4 Iowa 2nd Season
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 07:21:34 AM »
Nice Birds and Nice Post APRock!!!   :twisted:   Way to go!
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Offline Big58cal

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Re: 4 for 4 Iowa 2nd Season
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2008, 09:03:39 AM »
Yep, he's hooked now.  Poor soul. :'(
The only purpose of bread is to hold meat!

John Andrews Is My Hero!

In all seriousness, the Marlin is a great rifle, too. I own a Model 60, one of the best rifles ever made.
Brownings are nice, but in terms of quality AND accuarcy AND ruggedness, it's hard to beat the Marlin.
California sucks that's it.

Offline John Andrews

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Re: 4 for 4 Iowa 2nd Season
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 10:58:21 AM »
good going, AP! As you fellas noticed, we have plenty of birds to go around. Where did you folks hunt?
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Offline APRock

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Re: 4 for 4 Iowa 2nd Season
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2008, 03:13:00 PM »
Northwest Iowa.  Peterson, Sutherland, Larabee area.
I refuse to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

 


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