Hunting forum: Let's talk Turkey.

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ImageMidnitedog
Feb 23, 2010 11:20 PM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
Wild Turkeys can be one of the most difficult birds to hunt due to the fact we never really know exactly what they are going to do and they almost never follow any rules.
I mentioned in a earlier post that it's a good thing turkeys can't smell or we'd never kill one.
Turkeys have almost a 360 degree range of vision and can see colors very well, in addition to that their eyesight is about 10 times better than ours. They can spot the least little movement from a good distances away. Unlike deer they are not the least bit curious, they are naturally suspicious and will duck and run for cover if the least little thing spooks them. It's tough enough to have one set of super eyes watching you but when you add another half a dozen or so it get's just wild. They also have excellent hearing, but a poor sense of smell. If they could smell like a deer's nose can, it'd be almost impossible to get near one.
When set up for turkeys I use total camo complete with face mask and gloves, the only thing showing are my eyes. I don't use blinds, instead I use natural cover as best as I can, always with a good size tree against my back to protect me from being shot by another hunter trying to sneak in on turkey sounds.

One thing that makes spring gobblers so difficult is the fact that in the wild the gobbler struts and gobbles and shows off for the hens and they go to him, we're trying to convince him to come to us, just the reverse of nature. Sometimes if there is several around they will in fact try to sneak around and get to the hens sounds before the another one can, which was how I ended up with a gobbler behind me that I mentioned in my other post, he intended to steal the hen away before his buddy could. I also knew that the position I was in there was no way I could turn around an get a shot at him, he'd spot me in a heartbeat and disappear in the thick hemlocks. So I took the one in front of me and went home an told my wife there's another one almost as big waiting for her, but that's another story!
Here's a picture of a couple taken around the first of the year.
Later
Midnitedog

Thumbnail by Midnitedog

Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageMidnitedog
Feb 24, 2010 11:10 AM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
So here's the story of my wife's spring gobbler from last spring which she tells at every given opportunity.

We went out the Saturday after I got my gobbler to the same area, I had been out there a couple of times through the week and knew they were still hanging in the same place. We got out in the neighbors field and all set up by about 4:45 am and waited quietly for the birds to get started but It was very quiet, none of the turkeys within three quarters of a mile of us were talking at all. We made a few calls and waited a hour or so and nothing, so we decided to make a big circle in the woods an call a few times. As I came to the end of the circle my wife was thirty yards or so away from me, as I stepped into the field, a Coyote came out at the same time about 45 yards from me so I aimed at it's head an touched one off, it spun and took off, looked like a clean miss Grumbling , then my wife caught up with me an started chewing me out for scaring her an it was her turn to shoot the gobbler not mine Grumbling , when she took a breath I explained what happened then it was ok, she calmed down but we decided between the coyote an the shotgun blast that we might as well leave. We took a ride around the area and when we came back towards our house we took a ridge road where we could see the field where we started from at an there stood the turkeys with a big gobbler in full strut Thumbs up so back we go. We approached slowly through the hemlocks until we were almost to them, my wife crawled to the edge of the field an set up in the briars against a stump, I stayed about thirty yards behind her to make the gobbler think the hens were inside the woods. I made a few calls and the hens got excited and came right over to my wife while the gobbler stayed put. The hens got all cranky about it an walked away so Mr gobbler decides he hanging with them and walked away with them. So they get 90 yards away and the hens start feeding again he starts strutting again. We made a short circle in the woods and repeated the setup all over again, now he about forty yards away from my wife gobbling strutting having a great time but coming no closer. All of a sudden my wife stands up, shoulders her 20 ga, the gobbler was looking the other way, he turned around stretched out his neck and she folded him! After I got to the bird an she got there I told her, you just can't shoot turkeys that far with a 20 ga, she just smiled and said, why not I got him didn't I, I was tired of waiting for him Thumbs up , what can I say? He dressed out at 22 lbs, not her first gobbler but her biggest one so far.

This story also brings up another point, a gobbler that is with hens will most likely stay with them instead of going to calls from one he can not see.

Look at the smile on her face, that says it all!

Thumbnail by Midnitedog

Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageUniQueTreasures
Feb 24, 2010 11:23 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Awesome bird and a beautiful smile to go along with it!!!!! I'd be proud of that one too!

That oughta teach you .... Never underestimate the power of a woman and her shotgun! Big Grin
ImageMidnitedog
Mar 26, 2010 10:44 AM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
It's time to revisit the Turkey Talk! I've had 2-3 gobblers feeding in my field everyday for the last week and my wife has ask me why they've shown up an are hanging around so much. My "theory" is a larger gobbler has driven them off his turf so they are staying out of his way for a little while plus there's lots of food for them in my field. I've been hearing the boss gobblers gobbling a lot morning's but these three are staying quiet, helps keeps them from drawing attention to themselves Big Grin . We still have to wait another month for the spring season to open, they are just taunting me now!!

Thumbnail by Midnitedog

Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 26, 2010 11:44 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
We're going to the lease this weekend and Rick said that it's turkey season. We're going to head down to that waybigo Cypress tree on the creek. He said he thinks that would be a good area to see some turkey. I heard him with the glass thingamabob this morning, gobbling in the garage! Big Grin

We're just excited to be getting out, This will be the first time this year we've gotten to stay at the trailer. We're sure hoping the generator folks fixed the thing so we've got power.

I might be in and out on my Blackberry this weekend if I find myself sitting still too long, but I hate texting so you all may get a 1 or 2 word response from me.

Janet

ImageMidnitedog
Mar 30, 2010 9:30 AM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
Janet, did you guy's see any turkeys this weekend? I had seven gobblers in my field yesterday afternoon Big Grin
I check one of my cameras this morning an got a picture of this big gobbler, he's a smasher!

Thumbnail by Midnitedog

Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 30, 2010 10:23 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
We didn't see any turkeys. Sad BUT, we had a good time anyway. We stayed Friday night. Went riding that night and saw lots of rabbits out. We stopped and used a rabbit distress call, hoping to bring in some coyotes. No such luck. Sure sounded like that poor rabbit had his foot in a trap. We headed back to camp.

Next morning, we got up, and headed out to check the cameras. Picked up one camera and feeder (the last one we'd put out close to number 2 spot). In 4 weeks time, we've seen a handful of squirrels and that's it! We move the camera and feeder on the opposite side of the number 2 blind from where the cam and feeder are now. This makes the blind between the sets of cameras and feeders. Excellent visibility from either direction. The new spot is close to a creek and Rick saw plenty of deer signs in that area. There are also excellent big oak trees for hanging bow hunting gear.

It's about lunchtime, so we headed back to the camp for a swammich. I fire up the laptop while we are eating and we check the cards. I'll be derned if the day before, on that camera we moved, 2 good size does wandered through (simultaneously on the same video, though heading in different directions). The corn had been eaten by the squirrels, and we knew that from a few weeks ago. That's why it really surprised us to see those does there.

Well, hopefully we will see them again closer to the original camera there in that area.
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 30, 2010 10:31 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Doggoneit! I hit send before I was finished. I hate it when that happens!

What I was going to say was that I really like the turkey you got on that photo. He's humongous and would be awesome on anyone's table!

We drove around to some new places on the lease. We ran into a fella that has been on the lease for several years. He was looking for someone to ride with, so we just piddled away the afternoon. Rick had heard about the "Back 400" acres for several years, but no one has taken him there to see that area. Well we went. It had rained a considerable amount there a few days before the weekend, so there was puddle after puddle to go through. Some were "pick your feet up and place them up close to the handlebars" deep. OK, MOST were that deep. As we'd go through the puddles, I could feel my butt getting wetter and wetter, but frankly my dear.... I didn't give a rat's patootie because we were having a blast! Remember now, that though the guys had big honking automatic 4 wheelers, I was tooling along behind on my little 300 that is a standard. I also had Hillary's camera in the dry box so was being extra careful. Didn't get any photos because I didn't think about getting the camera out in all that water, but we sure had a great time! By the time we had returned to camp, we'd gone 19 miles. I knew I had dry clothes at the camp so the mud and water was no problem. Plus, the day was gorgeous and warm and I couldn't think of a better thing to do. :-)

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 26, 2010 2:37 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Well, it is turkey season in Washington state.

My son came home with his two turkey limit yesterday. His wife is not very excited about cooking turkey, so I have volunteered. Can anyone share recipes with me? This is one gamebird I have not had the opportunity to cook in the past. Thanks.

Maybe I will post a general plea, also.

I am going to see if he is willing to post a picture or two here and maybe a little story as well........................
ImageMidnitedog
Apr 27, 2010 2:55 PM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
Congrats on the two birds. Thumbs up Spring gobbler's tend to be on the tough & dry side so I always skin mine and cut them into small chunks an put them in the crock pot with Italian dressing or I marinate them in an grill them.
The gobblers don't eat quite as much as normal this time of year an are strutting a lot so they are get a lot tougher, the "jelly" or fat on the breast needs to come off also, it's nasty an really sticks to your hands.
Season opens Saturday here an we have a ton of birds around here. Should be fun.
Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 27, 2010 7:16 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Thanks for the information. Definitely gives me a direction.

Good luck to you on opening!
ImageMidnitedog
Apr 28, 2010 10:29 AM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
Thanks, my wife an I will be talking to them at sun up Saturday, then I get to help my daughter move home from college in the afternoon. Should be a interesting day.........

Just keep in mind that wild turkey meat is a a lot dryer than ones you get at the local store an needs something to help keep it moist. Good luck an enjoy.
Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageUniQueTreasures
Apr 28, 2010 12:02 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Have you ever tried one of those Cajun Injector gizmos in a wild turkey? Lots of folks around here use them at Thanksgiving on "store bought" turkeys. Can't see why that wouldn't work on a wild one too!
ImageMidnitedog
Apr 28, 2010 5:01 PM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
Not yet but I'll have to look into one, sound's interesting.
The wild ones are a totally different bird than the butter ball turkey's. Especially the spring gobbler's, when I get a big one, 20 plus lbs, I usually just cut the breast out of them, the drum sticks an wings are so stringy an tough it's like chewing on a tire.
There's a few around here that are close to twenty five pounds or so with 9 + inch beards, big boys!!
Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageUniQueTreasures
Apr 28, 2010 5:38 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Here is a link to the Cajun Injector site. Might give you some ideas on marinating internally. If you are interested, I see this locally all the time. I'd be happy to pick some up and send it to you.

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