Thunderstruck

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Southern Sportsman
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Thunderstruck

Post by Southern Sportsman » April 8th, 2019, 12:18 pm

Storms were rolling through yesterday, but it was calm and partly cloudy at daylight. I went back to where I missed a bird opening morning but nothing gobbled. I hunted there for a couple hours but never found a bird. I left a went to check a small (80 acre) spot that occassionally has birds. Nothing happening there and the next line of storms was closing in so I made my afternoon plan. I stopped and ate breakfast and drove to a spot that is a good mix of small timber and fields figuring they would head to open areas after the rain. I checked the radar, set my alarm for 1 hour, and took a nap in my truck. Woke up and the rain had passed and it looked like I had a couple hours before the next line hit. I headed out hunting slow making sure not to bump anything as I checked fields. I made it to the far side of the farm without finding a turkey. It was starting to get dark again off to the west and I had just enough time to hunt my way back to the truck before the rain hit again. I dont mind hunting in rain, but the next line on the radar looked pretty serious. I was on a high spot about to turn back when it thundered in the distance. A turkey gobbled 200-300 hundred yards near the edge of a big field below me.

I moved in 100 yards or so and set up on a pinch point where his field passed into a smaller field. (I’ll call this point A). It was getting windy so I called pretty loud on a box. He answered and I waited. I called again 15 minutes later but no answer. Soon the storm got closer and he gobbled again at thunder. He was in the same spot roughly 200 yards away. There is a small finger of woods leading towards his edge of the field, but it is a miserable mix of privit and greenbrier perfectly suited for rabbits and not much else. He gobbled a couple more times from the same spot so I decided to suck it up and make a move. The wind and rain helped cover the noise and - now bleeding from the numerous briar scratches - I made it to a point near the field edge (Point B). I thought I was within 100 yards of him. I clucked and yelped on a wingbone but got no answer. 15 minutes passed and another clap of thunder drew another gobble - this time 300 yards on the other side of the field. Figuring that he had moved away from me I eased up to where I could see part of the field. I saw a turkey strutting well out in the field moving right to left towards a block of woods east of Point A.

I moved north back through the thicket. I was planning to move through another field north of all the action to circle around in front of him. When I came to this field (100 yards north and accross the thicket from Point B) there were 4 jakes at 40 yards. They were spooked but I yelped just to stop them long enough to confirm that they were jakes. I then pressed on moving back towards Point A. By now the storm was fully upon me. Lightning was serious and I was thinking how stupid it was to be playing outside in that kind of storm. I made a conscious effort not to get close to the tallest trees. I got to a spot near a short tree and waited. More thunder and the bird gobbled in the woods east of Point A. That’s where the strutter looked to be heading when I saw him. As I was planning my move another clap of thunder rumbled and the turkey gobbled back near Point B, from where I had just come. He was closer than the other so I backtracked again. It sounded like he had moved out of the field, but no way would he come through the briar thicket. I figured he would move NW where he could stay in more open timber. I moved back to the spot where I had seen the jakes.

I wanted him to gobble again so I could course him before setting up. I found a forked tree, leaned my gun against one fork and I leaned against the other. I was looking through the fork at a tangle of briars waiting for thunder when a bright red head materialized through the vines and pouring rain, looking intensely in every direction. He was 40 yards away. My gun was 1 yard away. Fortunately it was thick. He went behing a clump of briars and I slowly reached for my gun. He stepped out, now 35 yards. I now had my gun in my hands but was definitely not in position to shoot. He stepped behind another clump. I raised my gun and trained it on the last opening I would have, aiming between the fork of my tree. I love my fastfire since switching a few years ago, but they are not ideal for driving rain. It was blurry at best, but I could just make out his red head when it came into view. I settled my red dot over that red dot and ended one of my more memorable hunts at 1:15. It is apropos that I shot him with Shooter’s “Blue Thunder” load, which performed flawlessly.

I picked him up and brought him back to my forked tree. I laid him down to admire him and saw a morel right next to his head. Searched around and found a dozen or so. I also found two antler sheds on the way out. It’s worth noting that I found a 4 leaf clover about 30 minutes before this turkey gobbled. Never had one work quite so well. I thought about buying a scratch off ticket on my way home, but I figure a 4 bearded thuderstorm gobbler, a dozen morels, and two shed antlers is all the luck anyone can expect from one 4 leaf clover.

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I go stubbornly into error by myself, and reach my own fallacious conclusions using my own faulty data. ~Tom Kelly

BrowningGuy88
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by BrowningGuy88 » April 8th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Very nice!!!!

That is one awesome bird and an even better story!

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soiltester
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by soiltester » April 8th, 2019, 12:43 pm

Congrats on a dany :thumbup:

I don't and won't hunt in the rain anymore as pics. don't do justice fora tom's beauty when wet :banghead:
ever wonder where the white goes when the snow melts??

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Hognutz
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by Hognutz » April 8th, 2019, 12:52 pm

What a day! It could not possibly been any better! A 4 beard bird on top of it! Congrats on a great hunt and a great day, in general!
This day will bring a smile to your face every time you think of it, for the rest of your life!
Well done, Southern Sportsman! Well done!
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guesswho
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by guesswho » April 8th, 2019, 2:59 pm

Nice, congrats on a good'un.
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Prospector
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by Prospector » April 8th, 2019, 4:55 pm

Awesome story and hunt! Definitely some fringe benefits on the day. Congratulations
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....

MAK
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by MAK » April 8th, 2019, 8:10 pm

Very nice u worked hard for that one
MAK

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OLE RASPY
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by OLE RASPY » April 8th, 2019, 8:11 pm

Sounds like a great hunt. I like a little rain. I’ve been caught in a few thunderstorms to. Can get scary with the lightning. Congrats on your bird.
TURKEYS
COYOTES
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SQUIRRELS
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FLGobstopper
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by FLGobstopper » April 8th, 2019, 9:00 pm

That's a great hunt man all around!

What's the furthest south anyone's ever found morrels? I'm in FL but I don't think we get them down here, or at least I've never seen any or heard of anyone finding any here.

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Southern Sportsman
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by Southern Sportsman » April 8th, 2019, 11:38 pm

I hunted with Ol’ 5beards opening weekend of Alabama’s season and we found a couple around Montgomery.
I go stubbornly into error by myself, and reach my own fallacious conclusions using my own faulty data. ~Tom Kelly

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Cut N Run
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by Cut N Run » April 9th, 2019, 5:46 am

Congratulations on earning a nice gobbler!

Jim
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GLS
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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by GLS » April 9th, 2019, 6:13 am

The cut-off line for Georgia morels is roughly central Georgia or the fall line. There may be some slight give and take above and below. Our bonus below the fall line is chanterelles. I pick them from the first heavy rain in June through the first cold snap in October. Gil

PS: When I grow up I hope I can kill a bird as nice as the OP's.

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Re: Thunderstruck

Post by KyKRAZEE » April 15th, 2019, 4:02 am

Very nice story,I enjoyed it immensely!!!! And congrats on a great haul that day!!!
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