Flash Back Sunday

Stories of your favorite gobbler hunts.
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HunterGKS
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Flash Back Sunday

Post by HunterGKS » June 28th, 2020, 12:38 pm

I had a really good 2016 hunting season with lots of game put in the freezer as well as enjoying
a lot of well spent time with good friends sharing good meals & good story telling. All the time
I spent in the woods was also time well spent, seeing all the different creatures, the changing
of the seasons, & the wonders of nature.

My year started out really well with a nice Ohio gobbler being taken on opening morning. At
about 9:20, 3 hens came to the dekes & I soon spotted what looked big enough to be a black 55
gallon drum about 35 yards from me. My heart started to triple time & my breathing became
rapid & shallow. No matter what I tried to slow things down, the adrenalin kept pumping. It
was a really big gobbler in full strut. It took him over 15 minutes to move 20 yards from where
I 1st saw him to where he expired. The Federal Mag Shok Heavyweight 3” #7 magic pixie dust
did the job at 9:40. He had 1 ¼” & 11/8” spurs, a 9 ¼” beard, & weight 23 ½ pounds.

It was then on to New York to Hunt with Ron at Gobbler’s Roost. On the 4th day of the season, I
set-up at the far end of a meadow above the cemetery where Ron works. There is a sheep
pasture & a marshy, brushy area between the cemetery & the meadow. We were crossing the
marshy area & Adrienne Barbeau’s boy friend grabbed me by the ankles & tried to drag me down.
I did fall & landed on my knees but Ron saved me & pulled me out. Luckily, the top of my Mucks
fit pretty tightly around my upper calves so no water got in. At 5:40, I sent out some tree calls &
a bird responded immediately. He responded from the roost several times & I could tell when he
flew done as his gobble was pretty muffled. He responded a couple of more times with the last
fairly close. It was again time to shut up & get ready. He gobbled again behind me but still inside
the brush. The next thing I knew, he gobbled right behind me after which I heard wing beats. I
have to admit, even though I knew he was close, it startled me the last time he gobbled. I was only
about 15 yards from the brush & he was right there. He was right between the dekes when he
dropped strut & dropped to the ground with a fatal dose of Federal Heavyweight Mag-Shok 3” mag
#7 Magic Pixie Dust delivered to his head. It was 5:53, 13 minutes from 1st tree gobble to the shot.
His stats: 18 pounds 3 ounces, 9 ½” beard, & 1 ¼” spurs.

When I got up to check out the gobbler, every step I took with my right foot made a squishy sound.
Turns out that, even though the water didn't get into my boot from the top when I fell, it had all
wicked down my pants leg into the boot. I actually poured water out of the boot when I took it off.
(And for all you SAs out there, no I didn't need to have the directions printed on the bottom of the
heel!!) Also, when I got into the truck, I wondered what that awful smell was. Turns out, it was me.
That bog water sure was stinky!!

On day 6 of the New York season, it was back to the meadow which has a gradual drop off along the
tree line. I was literally covered up with hens but no gobblers. Then, at about 10:20, I saw a large
white ball sitting on the top of the crest. What the heck is that & where did it come from?? Suddenly,
ftttttttpppppp, there was a bunch of feathers behind the white ball. AHHHHHHH..NOW I know what
that white ball is. He had come in along the tree line below the crest & all I could see was his head &
part of his fan. He strutted back & forth for several minutes when a jake showed up & started towards
the dekes. A dilemma…… Shoot the jake or hope the gob comes in. Waiting for the gob won out. At
least 1 more jake showed up along with at least 4 hens. I was afraid the hens would take the boss with
them so I eased off my chair & took a 1 knee stance with the 11-87 pointed out the side window with the
safety off. I put the scope on him, hoping he would drop strut & give me a shot. It was a longer shot than
I like to take but I know how my gun & ammo combo works & my own shooting so I wasn’t too concerned.
He finally dropped strut & I dropped him with turkeys running every which way. Suddenly he regained his
feet & stood there wobbling from side-to-side & front-to-back. Not wanting to take a chance, I shot again
& he disappeared. Did I miss & he ran off? I hurried over to where he had been standing & he was piled up
on the low side of the crest out of sight. At 10:40, the Federal Heavyweight Mag-Shok, 3” Magnum #7 Magic
Pixie Dust had done it’s job again. His stats: 18 pounds 6 ounces, 9” beard, & 7/8” spurs.

I want to thank Ron again for sharing his & Kathy’s time with me as well as allowing me the honor of hunting
at The Roost.

Back in Ohio, on the 22nd day of the season, I was back in the woods at the same spot as I had killed my opening
day bird. About 6, I thought I heard a gobbler but it seemed to be so far off I thought it was across the road in
another woods. He stopped gobbling about 6:10 & I decided to cut back on my calling to every 20-30 minutes.
About 6:20, he gobbled once considerably closer. I did purr with the box call & he responded even closer. Time
to shut up, put down the box, get into a semi-ready position, wait, & watch. About 6:30, I saw him strutting in
from the east on a beeline to the dekes. At 6:33, the 11-87 spit a load of Federal Heavyweight 12 gauge, 3”
Mag-Shok #7 Magic Pixie Dust & down went Ohio number 2. Another really quick 33 minutes hunt. His stats were
17 ½ pounds, 9” beard, & 7/8” spurs. On the way I got home, I checked the distance from where I sit & where I
though he was. From where I enter the woods to the far east end was 4/10 of a mile so I figure he was between
3/10 & 4 /10 of a mile or 500 to 700 yards away. Heckuva long ways to call a bird!!
Turkeys 1.jpg
Turkeys 2.jpg
During the summer, I sharpened my shooting skills by working on the groundhog population. I have been averaging
13 a year for 8 years which is the exact number I got this year.
Groundhogs 1.jpg
Groundhogs 2.jpg
Then came the Ohio Squirrel season starting on 09/01. I did get my personal limit of 32 foxes (plus 1 grey & 1 red)
but it took more time afield (not a bad thing) than it did last year. I killed on 25 days this year while last year it took
18 days to get 30 bushytails. I was also in the woods on another 16 days when a squirrel didn’t get a ride in the Big
Red Dodge Machine. Of the 34 squirrels, 13 were females & 21 males with 9 killed in the morning & 25 in the afternoon.
I found the last statistic interesting as, in the past, I have killed more in the morning than the afternoon. Part of the
reason is that I think I hunted more afternoons than usual as well as the fact that I spend about 2 hours more per hunt
in the afternoons than the mornings. A lot of the bushies made it into Chowder, Cacciatore, & Picadillo which went to
Gobbler’s Roost for fall turkey season meals. The rest will be used to feed The Gobbler’s Roost Crew next spring. Over
the last 4 hunts, I killed 25% of the foxes taken & batted an even .800.
Squirrels 1.jpg
Squirrels 2.jpg
Squirrels 3.jpg
Squirrels 4.jpg
Squirrels 5.jpg
Squirrels 6.jpg

Now on to fall turkey season in New York. It was a rough week for me. On the 2nd day, Jinger Lou made a break & there
were birds to the left of me, birds to the right, & there I was, stuck in the middle with no birds. We did a lot of walking
& a lot of driving & didn’t see many birds.


On Monday, Ron, JL, & I went to the Honey Hole. JL got a good break on a good sized flock. Ron came & got me & we
went to the area of the break. I set-up on the edge of ridge with a large tree at my back & a stone wall on my left. Ron
was about 30 yards to my left. It didn’t take long before the birds started calling. Ron & I were both calling/kee keeing
& there were several birds below us responding really well. I could here a bird coming right up behind my tree so I shut-up.
Ron could see everything as it happened & he hoped that the bird would continue on & give me a shot. A nice jake came
right up to the tree, probably less than 10’ behind me but I couldn’t do a thing. If he had kept going straight, he would
have walked past me on my right giving me a shot but, instead, he turned to his right & headed across the top of the ridge.
I turned & brought the 11-87 to shoulder but he never gave me a shot. I watched as it reached a flat & saw at least 12 more
birds joining him & they all headed down the mountain. On the way out, JL busted 3 more from the trees but they also went
down hill. That was about it for my fall season.

Fall Turkey in New York.jpg
The Ohio deer season always starts the 1st Monday after Thanksgiving which will be 11/28 this year. There have been at least
1 9 point, 2 8s, & other small bucks as well as many does using the area near my deer blind as evidenced by still pics & videos
taken by my trail cam.

On opening morning, I was in my blind ready to go at 06:50. The temp was 42 & the wind was gusting pretty hard from the
southeast. At 08:15, a doe & 2 fawns trotted across the field from the east paralleling the woods where I sit. They started
slow walking past me at 40-50 yards & I took the shot at 08:20. She jumped, turned, & ran south for about 30 yards when she
stumbled. She righted herself, turned east & then back north, took a few steps & dropped. The fawns stayed with her for
about 10 minutes when a herd of 13 came running across the field towards them. There were at least 2 small bucks in the
bunch with the rest does & fawns. The bigger of the 2 bucks, trailed the herd by about 100 yards just poking along.

I hunted the rest of the week but never raised my gun again as none of the few deer I saw presented a shot. Day 1 = 16,
Day 2 = 0, Day 3 = 4, Day 4 = 0, Day 5 = 4, Day 6 = 4, Day 7 = 0. Total deer seen over 7 days = 28.
Deer 1.jpg
George

YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR BODY STILL. YOUR HEART JUST HASN'T CAUGHT ON.

.17 = NITRO OF THE RIMFIRE WORLD


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spider316
Posts: 488
Joined: March 24th, 2017, 9:44 am

Re: Flash Back Sunday

Post by spider316 » June 28th, 2020, 1:36 pm

Love the stories, thank you !

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HunterGKS
Gobbler Nation
Gobbler Nation
Posts: 3849
Joined: January 2nd, 2013, 5:12 pm
Location: North Central Ohio

Re: Flash Back Sunday

Post by HunterGKS » June 28th, 2020, 2:11 pm

spider316 wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 1:36 pm
Love the stories, thank you !
You're welcome & thx for reading.
George

YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR BODY STILL. YOUR HEART JUST HASN'T CAUGHT ON.

.17 = NITRO OF THE RIMFIRE WORLD


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