...Its been pretty tough these past several days with little to no gobbling on roost and what little there is shutting down pretty much after fly-down. Years ago hunting with my kids I had to learn to sit still and wait on the birds as they couldn't keep up if I started chasing them around. Those lessons have paid off well these past few days as I've set up in locations I know the birds frequent and just waited them out...
...I set up in the middle of a large pasture just off a cattle trail/track running the length of the pasture and pretty much right down the middle. The nearest timber was 150 yards away but the landowner had fortuitously parked a large hay trailer loaded with several round bails just off this track. I knew the turkeys liked to use this particular pasture and I had killed my first gobbler along one edge of the same pasture during the first week. The turkeys continued to frequent the pasture and I and/or my daughter came close to filling tags on several occasions during the 2nd week of the season along one edge or the other but they really seemed to like traveling along the track
So...I set up in amongst the hay bales. No gobbles this morning but I got a bird fired up around 0620 and he came a long, long way but then hung up around 80 yards or so and would not budge. He gobbled and strutted for 1-1/2 hours without stepping a single foot closer. Finally, 4 jakes that had come into my decoys from the opposite direction headed his way and ran him off around 0800. The jakes came back but were then run off by two dogs running through the property. Most hunters, me included, would figure the hunt was over, pack up. But I figured to stick it out and spent the next 2 hours dozing, reading, and calling every so often just to make sure everyone knew I was still there.
At 1030 I look off down the track to the adjoining pasture and see a gobbler checking out my spread of one jake and two hen decoys. He was standing about where the earlier gobbler was strutting but this gobbler didn't hesitate. After a single gobble he began to strut and walk right down the track and directly up to my jake decoy. Meanwhile the four jakes had returned and were standing off the side watching the show. I wrapped my tag on his leg a few minutes later.
Thank you Matt for the great hunting story.
April is exciting, but I'm finding that over the years I've killed more birds in May. From the truck, I spotted this one strutting at 1:15 PM with a pair of hens, and knowing the piece of ground like the back of my hand allowed me to quickly come up with a stalk plan. A couple of dashes through some low ground and 75 meters of low-crawling left me drenched and covered in ticks...but within range. Good bird: Two beards (paintbrush 11 3/4" and 8 3/4" for the other), 1 1/2" spurs, and 22 lbs.
Steve has been a member since 1984. Wow! Time sure goes by fast. Your business has been greatly appreciated. Hopefully, many more years of hunting with the club to come. Congrats on your 2012 Spring tom. When Steve first joined in the 1980's a spring tom was rare, but limits of quail were not.