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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
This is my 1st posts so I thought I'd tell all y'all about my Ohio Season.

Opening Day

I got up about 4:50 this morning with the start of a sore throat & not feeling very well. I went out on the front porch to check the weather & it was fairly cold but the wind was light. I thought about going back to bed but decided that, since it was opening day, I needed to get into the woods if only for a few hours. I got dressed in my deer hunting clothes (warmer than my turkey hunting clothes), drove to my buddy's, got the 4-wheeler off the truck & loaded. I sat in the truck until 5:45 when I put on my insulated face mask & shooting mittens, & rode back to the woods.

I found an area that looked promising, put out the dekes, set up my blind (it's not a big blind, just a 12'x3' piece of camo cloth with stakes, & set up the Gobbler Lounger. This is the 1st time I used the lounger & I really like it. I have a problem with my back leaning against trees so this was a welcome change. I was ready to go a little after 6 & it was already starting to get light.

About 6:15, a single gobble broke the silence. It was the 1st sound I heard in the woods this morning, even before the song birds woke up. It sounded like he was out towards the edge of the woods near where I had parked the 4-wheeler. Tom & I held a conversation until about 6:40 when he shut-up. This must have been when he flew down. About 10 minutes later, he gobbled again, sounding further away. The wind had picked up considerably & it was hard to pinpoint where he was. One gobble it sounded like he was in front & the next way behind me. He responded to everything I said to him but it didn't sound like he was getting any closer. I even used my gobble tube hoping to PO him & get him coming in. Nothing seemed to work.

Finally, I heard him gobble fairly close in front & to my left. I scouched down a little & got my knees up, putting the butt in the shoulder sling of my vest. I waited & waited & waited, calling a little with no response. I wondered if he had seen my movements & headed out. Then I wondered if he might be sneaking in from behind me. Then, about 15 minutes after the last gobble, I heard a "PFHTT" behind me to my left. Then another, & another. I moved my eyeballs to the left & there he was, in full strut coming towards the dekes. I eased my fingers out of the mitten slot, took off the safety, &, when he stepped behind a tree, moved the gun up & my head down. When he stepped out from behind the tree in half-strut, I sent a load of Federal #7 HeavyWeight Magic Pixie Dust into his noggin & sent him to gobbler heaven at 7:35. He was at 13 paces.

I called a couple of buddies to let them know I had killed a gooder un. I guessed his beard at 10 ½ to 11 inches, spurs at an inch, & weight at 18-19. Actual figures were 10 ¼" beard, 1" spurs, & 22 pounds 14 ounces. Beat last years bird by 14 ounces & now ranks as my heaviest bird. I figure he was a 2 maybe 3 year old bird. Any thoughts on that?

I took the 1st pic while still sitting down. When he stepped behind the tree & stump to the left is when I got ready to shoot.







Day 2

Got settled about 100 yards inside the woods around six this morning. It was 35 & the windy was howling. The Weather Channel said the WC was 29 with 10-20 MPH winds but I'd bet the WC was lower than that.

Again, about 6:10 I heard a gobble to the east. Could a repeat of yesterday be in store? Probably the chances were slim to none & slim just left town. For about 10 minutes, we talked & then my competition started cutting in. She was maybe 50-75 yards from me but between me & the gobbler. The hen shut-up & I was able to keep him going for another 15 minutes of so. Then he went tight lipped.

The wind kept increasing & I was starting to get pretty cold. I ran several sequences over the next 90 minutes even resorting to the gobbler tube again. No response at all. By 8:00, I had lost some feeling in my fingers & toes & there didn't seem to be any let-up in the wind so I decided to bag it.

Day 3

Didn't get much sleep last night, to bed at 11, awake at 3:30, up at 4:30, & setting in the woods a minute or 2 after 6. I was barely there when I heard a gobble about 150 yards to the east. HOT DANG!!!! GREAT START!!!! I did a few soft tree yelps & he responded. We talked for about 10 minutes when another 1 sounded off about 50 yards from me to the east. I actually flinched a little as I wasn't expecting it. About a minute later, a 3rd bird sounded off to the NW. HOLY GUACAMOLE, BATMAN!!!! I'm into them now. I'm pretty positive that the furthest bird was mature, the close 1 a jake, & the 3rd bird also mature based on their gobbles. I also think the farthest bird was the BBOTW as he was gobbling steadily & the other 2 just occasionally as if deferring to him.

It wasn't too much later when I heard/saw the nearest bird pitch down & he was easily within 50 yards. Why I didn't bust him when I was setting up, I'll never know. Anyway, I could hear a bird muttering to himself in the brush but couldn't see him. The farthest bird didn't seem to be moving & the 3rd bird sounded like he was slowly getting closer. Then, I heard something big fly in behind me. I couldn't tell if it landed in a tree or on the ground & I wasn't about to turn & look. I thought it might have been a hen trying to locate the other hen she heard. I have had that happen.

A couple of minutes later, I could see a bird slipping through the woods toward the dekes. I thought I saw a red head but it was in the shadows & hard to tell. It jumped up on a log & stood there like a statue for what seemed like forever & I still wasn't sure. Finally it hopped down & moved in front of a big tree. I looked through the scope & saw a beard & red head. A second later the head became even redder as the 11-87 send out a greeting of Federal HeavyWeight #7 Magic Pixie Dust.

It was a nice jake. I'm not a turkey snob. I subscribe to the "If he gobbles like a man, he dies like a man" theory as well as putting some of my accounting knowledge to use by employing the FIFO method (lets see if there are any accounting majors out there. LOL).

He was at 26 yards when I shot him. He sported a 4 ½" beard, nubs for spurs, & weighed 16 ½ pounds.

I wondered about whatever had flown in behind me but set about getting out my tag & filling it in. Suddenly, I heard a racket in a tall tree behind me & saw a huge gobbler sailing off into the sunrise. DRAT!! O'well. This too shall pass.

I was really surprised when I looked at my watch & it was only 6:38. So much had happened in such a short time frame. I thought it had to be after 7. I have mixed feelings about tagging out so soon. I'm glad the deal has been sealed but I will miss getting out in the woods. To paraphrase Fred Sanford: "I'll be comin' ta see ya soon, Ron!!"

It was a gorgeous morning in the woods. It was still cold at 37 but there was absolutely no wind at all. The day dawned clear & bright &, without the wind, I didn't even notice the cold, especially after 3 birds started gobbling.

I have been truly Blessed this year. Foremost, a successful knee replacement & rehab. Tagging out with a buck & doe within 65 minutes of each other on opening day with a total of 3 ½ hours spent on stand. And now, tagging out on turkey in 3 days with only 4 ¼ hours in the woods. God is Great & Life is Good.

This is the tree where he silhouetted himself. Checkout the sapling to the left of the tree.



His head was between the tree & the sapling. Looks like I may have killed a bird & a tree with 1 shot.



 

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HunterGKS,
Welcome to Ohio Sportsman forums! :Welcome:

Congradulations on 2 fine toms. :cool: Sounds like you've set the bar pretty high for your self...for any seasons to follow. :whistle: Great stuff and a great feeling of accomplishment. :bouncy:

Bowhunter57
 

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Welcome and congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thx everyone for the Welcomes & Congrats. I appreciate it. Now, it's on to NY Sunday for a week of chasing. Hopefully I can keep the roll going.

Archer, Normally I would completely agree but, and I should have mentioned this in the story, the spurs were already starting to curve (also needle sharp) & that usually doesn't happen until the 3rd year. Who knows, he may have been a real early hatch & is ahead of the rest of the birds in his age grp.
 

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It was a nice jake. I'm not a turkey snob. I subscribe to the "If he gobbles like a man, he dies like a man" theory as well as putting some of my accounting knowledge to use by employing the FIFO method (lets see if there are any accounting majors out there. LOL).
HAHA Love the FIFO joke!!! Made me laugh in my cube here at work. I'd say about 3 people are gonna get that one, but I'm one of 'em. I finished the CPA Exam last month, and got my license last week.

Congrats on the birds, and if your early mornings are keeping your wife up and preventing her from getting sleep, just tell her more about your accounting knowledge. Never fails for me... :bouncy: Oh, and consider LIFO next year (for obvious reasons). :biggrin:
 

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HAHA Love the FIFO joke!!! Made me laugh in my cube here at work. I'd say about 3 people are gonna get that one, but I'm one of 'em. I finished the CPA Exam last month, and got my license last week.

Congrats on the birds, and if your early mornings are keeping your wife up and preventing her from getting sleep, just tell her more about your accounting knowledge. Never fails for me... :bouncy: Oh, and consider LIFO next year (for obvious reasons). :biggrin:
I posted the same story on the NWTF msg board & only 1 got it. I think more probably did but none wanted to known as accounting nerds. :whistle:

Congrats on the new license.

I'm still mildly 2nd guessing myself on not waiting on the bird behind me. I had no idea if it was a hen or a gobbler until it flew out. If he had gobbled I probably would have waited & not shot the jake. But, a bird on the ground is worth 2 in the tree.

Speaking of the NWTF, any of y'all who haven't been on the forums should check it out. There are a bunch of great people with a vast amount of knowledge they are more than willing to share. We also have quite a few of the countries top shotgunners as members including Steve Conover, who holds many world records. Just ask Duke0002, he'll tell ya. AND you don't have to be a member of the NWTF to join the msg board.
 

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Thoroughly enjoyed the stories and pictures! Congratulations!!!!! :D
 
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