Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Stories of your favorite gobbler hunts.
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Fdept56
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Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Fdept56 » August 25th, 2018, 8:17 am

The 2018 season was definitely a season to remember. From hunting four states, to killing four myself, and being a part of another four kills, it just couldn't have been much better. Out of all the amazing memories I made that I will get to relive forever, my favorite part was the hunts I got to share with my grandpa.
My grandpa and dad got me started turkey hunting before I was old enough to even really remember, and I've been hooked ever since.
I only got to hunt with my grandpa a few times in our home state of Arkansas without any luck (the turkey numbers in Arkansas have been on a steady decline since the 2000s), but we both had such a great time hunting Missourri last year that we couldn't wait to get back. The first week of the season was tough, between the cold weather, all the hunting pressure, and a couple close calls at the 1:00 deadline, only one turkey was killed between our group of 7 hunters.
The second week my dad and I hunted a couple times but he decided to keep hunting Arkansas since the season went out that week. My grandpa and I both felt like we had a better shot north of the border so we hunted together quite a bit. One morning we started off where I had killed mine the week before since we knew there were turkeys in the area. With only distant gobbling and plenty of people in the area, we headed out for a different patch of public.
As soon as we got out of the truck we heard a gobble. We moved closer but after one more gobble we could tell he was across the valley on the next ridge over. I had a pretty good idea where he was from the week before, so we drove around to get closer to him.
We got out of the truck and before we could step away to listen he gobbled 150 yards from us. We hurriedly grabbed all our gear and set up within sight of the truck. I yelped three times and he cut me off, we knew it was game on. We were set up facing down a logging road that he was straight down and I knew it was just a matter of time before we had one flopping in front of us. After a few minutes I purred softly and two turkeys answered! Now it was getting serious because the only thing I like better than watching a turkey die is watching two turkeys die.
I got quiet with them and right away I could hear them drumming from straight down the logging road. A few moments later and my grandpa said, "I hear them drumming." I knew they were getting closer then because over 60 years of gunshots and open cab tractors haven't been kind to his ears. We were sitting there enjoying the music, knowing any second they were going to pop out in front of us. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting...then all of a sudden he spins 90 degrees to his left and BOOM! I never saw them until they were both in the air, unharmed. Somehow, someway they had moved from directly in front of us to 30 yards down the ridge to our left while still sounding like they were in front of us. They had seen us before we saw them and took off running when my grandpa shot. Just more fuel to the fire.
A little disheartened, we took off to find another one. We got a few miles up the road and heard another one. We moved around a few times to try to get closer but ended up where we had started and the turkey had calmed down. He hadn't gobbled in awhile so I cut and got him to answer about 200 yards from the truck. We walked about 100 yards (all the while I was wondering why I had been walking 6 miles a day the week before) and set down. We waited a few minutes and I yelped softly, no answer. A few more minutes yelped a little louder, no answer. A few minutes later I decided to cut again to get his location. I cut and as soon as I finished my last note, a head popped up 30 yards away. He knew exactly where the hen should be and didn't see her so he turned around to leave. Three gobblers within range in one day and not one in the truck. That's turkey hunting!
The next week was getting down to the wire and I found a new spot where I had heard 5-6 Sunday morning (no comment on that hunt). We headed back out on Monday with high hopes. It was a beautiful morning and as soon as it had gotten light enough to see through the woods one gobbled. We moved toward him and got set up perfectly. While we were working him we heard 4 other turkeys start gobbling. The one we had set up on originally ended up moving off but another was getting closer. He got to 150 yards and decided that was close enough. I went silent, jake yelped, gobbled, got excited, did everything and he still hadn't moved. We finally ran out of ideas so I started to crawl away to sound like the hen was leaving. Before I even got off of the tree, he started getting closer. I didn't get to watch it unfold because I was scared to move but I could tell he was getting closer. I heard a BOOM and then flopping. This was a special moment because my grandpa has called in several turkeys for me but this was the first time I had ever gotten to repay the favor.
While admiring one of God's greatest creations, we heard another turkey fire off. I took off toward him on foot and my grandpa went back to get the truck. The public was mixed with private and when I finally got close enough to set up, I could tell the turkey was on private. The border of public was close by and I had a good feeling he would be headed that direction so I headed that way.
I set down to silence. I waited awhile and tried to get him to gobble by calling and nothing. I figured I had somehow got to close while trying to work around him and spooked him. It didn't bother me because I was still excited about the morning I got to experience. I headed back to the truck, but on the way out I thought I heard a gobble. I knew if I did he was close so I set down. Sure enough, that turkey had somehow worked around me without me ever knowing he was there.
He made me work for it but he eventually came in on a string. I filled my second tag and was done in Missouri for the year. Tagging out is always a little bittersweet for me, but there wasn't much bitterness this time. Being able to walk back to the truck with a turkey over my shoulder, to meet my turkey hunting mentor, was the proudest moment I have ever experienced in my 24 years so far. Just don't tell my wife.
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Last edited by Fdept56 on August 25th, 2018, 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hoobilly
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by hoobilly » August 25th, 2018, 8:26 am

Congrats on calling one in for your grandpa! Never go to hunt with either of mine. That’s a memory you’ll never forget

Prospector
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Prospector » October 6th, 2018, 7:30 am

Awesome story and thanks for sharing. My Dads father passed before I was born but I did get to grow up with my maternal grandfather... unfortunately we never got to hunt together but we did fish some... they are cherished memories.
Go early, stay late, keep a low profile, be a student of the woods; listen to what he’s saying, don’t talk too much, and if you’re lucky- you might get a chance....

jryser
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by jryser » October 6th, 2018, 8:41 am

You are a true turkey hunter - and I won’t tell ur wife! . Loved the story. My gramps didn’t live long enough to hunt with me but he did turn me on to shooting. I have the old Beretta .22 that he taught me to shoot with. He’s no longer here but he’s often with me on hunts.

So glad that you shared your story.


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Hognutz
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Hognutz » October 6th, 2018, 8:53 am

Great story. The memories will last a lifetime. Being able to hunt with a grandparent is special and only enjoyed by a few people.
Nice story. Thanks for sharing!!
May I assume you're not here to inquire about the alcohol or the tobacco?
I am the man from Nantucket.
When attacked by a group of clowns...Go for the Juggler!!

Fdept56
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Fdept56 » October 6th, 2018, 4:44 pm

Thanks for taking the time to read guys! Mr. Ryser, that is one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received!

jryser
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by jryser » October 6th, 2018, 5:40 pm

Fdept56 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to read guys! Mr. Ryser, that is one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received!
We die hards can spot each other in a crowd!


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ncturkey
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by ncturkey » December 12th, 2018, 7:51 pm

Congratulations on a great story. Congratulations on calling in your Grandpa a turkey. Congratulations on your turkey as well.
Mike

Fdept56
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Joined: August 4th, 2018, 2:34 pm

Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Fdept56 » December 12th, 2018, 10:52 pm

Thanks NC!

Swampstalk
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Swampstalk » December 13th, 2018, 9:06 am

Great hunts and awesome to hunt with your grandpa! Back when I was a kid we didn't have turkeys in the area in Oklahoma. I did hunt with my granddad on occasion. I recall him and his old Winchester model 1895 pump hammer shotgun, which had the barrel cut down from a 32" barrel as someone had borrowed it and stuck mud in it and it split when fired. Grandad just sawed it off and had a cylinder bore. We were hunting quail with a buddy of his once and that thing was a "brushcutter" taking several quail off the flush. I still have that old shotgun, but it's a wallhanger as the sear is worn out and the hammer falls when jacking a round into the chamber. A real suicide machine.

WE did hunt squirrels and fished often as well. He had experienced some amazing things and was a great storyteller. I cherished getting to live with him and my grandmother growing up. I have began to get my grandsons out in the woods on turkey and deer hunts hoping to carry on the addiction!
Don

Fdept56
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Fdept56 » December 13th, 2018, 2:55 pm

Thanks Swampstalk! Sounds like you’ve got some great memories too!

chipper
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by chipper » December 15th, 2018, 9:17 pm

Awesome story! I wished i could have called one in for my grandfather, he passed away one week after Easter, 28 years ago, but we eat the first gobbler I ever killed that Easter sunday before he passed.

Swampstalk
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Swampstalk » December 18th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Fdept56, Yep it was growing up with grandparents on a farm. Lots of experiences, from frog hunting or fishing the twin bass ponds, or killing coyotes in the watermelon patch. One of the funniest hunts was with granddad, my dad, and some friends squirrel hunting. Being the youngest in the bunch, and willing to shimmy up any tree, I was pushed to get up in an oak tree with a hollow that a squirrel went in. Grandad says to take stick and poke around in the hole and about that time the squirrel flies out onto my shoulder and heads off over the horizon! Needless to say, I damn near fell out of the tree. And thought I might need to head to the house to change my pants!

You just can't make that stuff up!
Don

Swampstalk
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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by Swampstalk » January 1st, 2019, 8:29 pm

Realized I entered a typo on an earlier post. My grandfather's Winchester pump is an model 1897. Same as the WWI trench guns, but with a longer barrel.

Don
Don

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Re: Favorite Hunt of the 2018 Season

Post by HennedUp » January 3rd, 2019, 11:22 am

Great read Fdept56, thanks for sharing it with us. Wonderful memories, for sure.

I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather growing up. There were no turkeys in the Adirondacks back then, but we hunted snowshoes hares with his beagles, ruffed grouse, fished for small stream brookies and ice fished for perch and pickerel. We did some trapping, too. By the time I was old enough to deer hunt, he was getting pretty old, but he still managed to get out with me now and then. Some of my best memories are of the times spent with him.

Thanks again for sharing your story and for the memories it brought back. Congrats on those birds, too. :thumbup:
Bob

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