I am beside myself, still, with how this turkey season is going! This weekend was a seek and destroy mission and I failed. We went to the in-laws this weekend and I’m lucky enough that they let me turkey hunt on their land. They have a pretty large track where the two neighbors (one to the North and one to the East) have the roost trees and two separate flocks of birds that use them. This usually allows me to setup on two different sets of birds through the morning and I’ve been pretty successful over the years. That being said here is how the weekend went
Saturday morning – I woke to the alarm at 4:30 am only to hear the wind howling and rain moving in. I turned the alarm off and figured i’d just have a late start and let the storm blow by and see if I could find something late morning when the sun was supposed to be out. At 8 am I headed out and as I was walking and yelping I got a bird to answer! He was right where I thought they would be at this time. Problem is he was still on the neighbors and a Creek separated us. No biggie I’ve killed multiple birds that crossed this creek without any issues in the past. HA. Well I called he answered he came all the way to the edge of the creek and no more would he come. 1.5 hrs later he gave up on me since I would not come any further to him. Note the other side of the creek is the neighbors and thus nothing I can do, even though at his closest, he was maybe 50 yards. For sure gun range. But this bird was the first one to play the game with me this year! Excited for tomorrow morning!
Sunday morning – out the door by 4:30 am to make sure I got in place for the tom that shamed me yesterday. Found a good hiding spot on my side of the creek with an opening on the opposite and on my side so that he could see my decoys and had a place to fly across without any issue. He gobbled on the neighbors and I gave his a sweet tree call and he hammered back. No more calling from me until I heard him fly down… at that point I poured it on. He answered everything, if not cutting me off and on his way he came! He came all the way to the creek and he was joined by a 2nd tom too! Both of them you could hear strutting and drumming across the creek. NOT MORE THAN 30 yards!!! For 30 mins they kept spitting and drumming and gobbling at me. My heart was about to explode from excitement! I knew at any minute they wouldn’t be able to take it and fly across only to be met with my 3.5″ no 5 shot! Finally I heard the wings of a turkey fly across! Was it one of the toms? NOPE. It was a Hen and she walked into my spread and then started to feed off to the North. As I held as still as possible listening and waiting for the next sounds of wings flapping I finally heard the sound… a hen yelping and walking away from me on the other side… Heart sinks… As they followed this hen I knew I’d have to wait them out and try them again later. Off I headed to the North for a 1.5 mile walk. I setup to the North for a couple hours figuring around 9 am I’d head back the 1.5 mile walk and see if my morning toms where in a more playful mood. Little happened to the north other than calling a coyote in and because of my bad luck I was unable to get a shot on him at 30 yards… apparently I’m in a hunting slump. So at 8:45 back I head. As I get back to my morning setup spot I hit the slate to see if anyone is around and listening and BAM! Gobble returned. Awesome. Knowing my first spot didn’t work out I thought I’d pretend to be a walking hen and see if he will follows until I find a suitable spot for him to see my decoys and want to cross. This turned into the longest 3 hrs of my turkey hunting life. For 3 hrs I worked the same 200 yard stretch of creek acting as if I was a hen that couldn’t cross. Moving back and forth. Three times this bird came to under 50 yards and would hang at the creek. Finally after 3 hrs of this stale mate I made a last ditch effort of moving away hoping he would think I was giving up and he’d finally commit. As I moved away I was completely quiet for a 1/2 hr. Finally I gave a yelp and he answered and seemed to make a beeline for my newest location! Ready for what should have been the ticket turned into yet another creak hold up. This was his last straw as well. He stayed at the creek for what was maybe 5 mins and then he turned and walked away gobbling his frustration as he went. Maybe I should have stayed longer but I was done. I packed up beaten and defeated. At least I had lots of action for the day. I was really “playing” games with a bird pretty much the whole morning. Not sure what I could have done to get him to cross like many other birds have in years past. But I guess when they don’t want it bad enough they aren’t going to cross that barrier not matter what it is. Whether it be a creek, fence or even blow down. Fun weekend but still very, very frustrating.