A classic case of MRI working..well sort of. My parents own 49 acres in Vinton County, Ohio and it has birds some years.....WAIT
Let's back up a bit here. I hunted for 5 years before I ever killed my first bird. Guess what? It sure as heck didn't come in Vinton County, it happened in Gallia. Gallia county is south of VC closer to the Ohio River and their kill reports are almost double what VC is. Maybe that is why I could never have success? Who knows? I had my struggles and it has become very very personal to kill a turkey in VC. The numbers last year was around 265, about the lowest in the entire state. I wanted to be part of that elite group..or thats how I built it up in my mind. Prior to the season I told my good buddy if I get one in VC and he has decent spurs I was going to mount him.
Saturday April 28th- I have been getting reports from mom and dad. They have been hearing a bird just about every morning. My buddy and I arrived at the house around 5:20 walked up to the back ridge and settled in for daylight. It was pretty chilly, I'm going to guess around 30 degrees, wind blowing around 20 mph. About gobble time I'm wondering if we'll even hear one when at 6:20 one nearly blows our hats off. He's close, but not too close. About 120 yards down the hollow out of the wind. This bird was wound up. I've never been annoyed at hearing those sweet gobbles from the limb, but doubles, triples and even quadruples multiple times kind of gets old. He was really trying to gather his hens. We called sporadically when he was on the limb but just soft clucks and purrs and the occasional scratching. I saw him fly down diagonally from us just down the hollow and the next gobble we heard he was moving away from us! NO way! This wasn't happening. Luckily, I know that property like the back of my hand and we circled around him. As were circling we hear a different bird let loose across the clearcut next door. Agh, he's too far, no way he'll come over here no since in trying, we thought. Well we finished our circle and never did hear from the loud mouth. So we turned our attention to the clearcut bird. He was we guessed about 700-800 yards away and there were tons of obstacles for him to get to us but we figured what the heck, the loud mouth had shut up.
So we went back to the field and just above the pond adjacent to the clearcut and called. Got an immediate answer and it sounded somewhat closer. So we walked down by the pond and called again. Woah, that bird is covering some ground. Now, we needed to guess where he might come out at if he shows. It was about 7:50 at this point. We setup on the field edge with good cover and as we sat down it started to sleet! I thought he probably will lose interest and might just hang in the clearcut and gobble until he was bored.
At 8:10 I heard a SPIT! just to my left and clicked the safety off. At this point I couldn't see him yet but I knew he was there. Well my buddy was getting his call back out after the sleet spell and getting ready to call again. Since the bird was so far we wanted to make sure he knew where we were with some soft calling. It was too late, he was 15 yards away. He caught my buddy trying to get his call out and made a beeline for the field. Luckily there was some old tall hay left from last year. One patch in particular was pretty thick. He got behind those and I adjusted my gun to where he would clear, and followed him for about 4 more steps and let the 870 Super Mag bark. When I shot, he was at 40 yards. My first Vinton County bird.
Didn't weigh him, but heres the stats on what I could get..
Great bird man! Anyone wondering why all these birds have been packin around some HOOKS, but only 9 or so inch beards? This is the fifth bird i've seen this year with 1 1/4 inch or better spurs without a big paint brush, including my dads sunday bird.
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