All done in SC

tomturkey

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I finally got my limit for the first time in 21 years of hunting these magnificent creatures. This is the only bird I've ever 'named' in my career. My buddy & I gave him the name "Gallberry Joe" 3 years ago because of his habit of acting like the bird with the same name in Gene Nunnery's book "The Old Pro Turkey Hunter" & he has survived soooooooo many battles with some of Union County's best hunters in the past 3 years.Yesterday afternoon at 6:30 PM this big boy met his maker and a load of #6 shot at 35 yards.

Monday afternoon, I decided to pay him a visit, only to be whipped by the old boy again. He gobbled 5 times at an owl and some crows at 6:45 PM but instead of coming up onto the hill, he stayed down on the steep hillside.

So, Tuesday I decided that I'd have to get down there with him. I set up on the side of that steep hill at 4:30 PM & got as comfy as possible against the only tree I could find with enough nearly flat ground to sit beside. At 4:45 I heard something behind me on top of the hill but couldn't ever see what it was. Then after about 5 min I heard the dreaded PUTT & a hen got airborn & flew away. I immediately cutt as if to cover up the alarm call. The next sound I heard was even worse, I heard a shot across the property line about 200 yards away. My heart sank, I just knew someone else had killed ol' Joe. I decided to stay anyway & see what would happen. About 5:45 I caught movement out of the corner of my eye to my left.I cut my eyes in that direction & saw a softball sized head slowly moving down the hill. I had to wait for him to go behind some brush to raise my gun then I waited for him to come out the other side.... And I waited and waited some more and some more until my arms began trembling and I finally had to let the gun down. For the next  30 - 40 minutes I sat there trying to look through that brush and I coud hear him spit & drum about every 15 seconds, but could not find him????? Finally  at about 6:20 as the sun got low enough to illuminate the hill across from me, I spotted movement in the sunlight. It turned out to be the shadow of his fan which would pop up each time he spit. Renewed optimism came over me and I thought about standing up behind the tree & try to see him, but then thought better of it. I scratched in the leaves behind me and after a couple more spits & drums he FINALLY decided to move back up the hill. I saw his full body shadow move through the little sunny spot & then saw him walking up the hill. He went behind the same brush pile & I raised my gun again. This time though, he walked out right where I had originally spotted him.

After a quick sprint & a slight tussle, I had the old boy penned to the ground. As I carried him back to the truck, I relived some of the many hours I had spent chasing him and the many many times he had whipped me soundly. It was a very emotional time. I was a little sad to know that we shall do battle no more!



Stats were 20#   9" beard & matching 1 3/8" hooks. Now it's time to get busy with some fishing & maybe a few honey do's!

tomturkey  

(Edited by tomturkey at 7:36 pm on April 24, 2002)


(Edited by tomturkey at 7:39 pm on April 24, 2002)
 

Rattler

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 Great bird, nice story.  Hopefully the story is not truly over...Ol' Joe was gettin' busy with all them hens up until you put him to rest.  3 or 4 years from now you'll be facing off with one or more of Ol' Joe's sons (Ol' Joe II-Joe's Revenge). Good Fishin'
 

woodsman

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NIce job! Thats a hell of a bird .Congrats:toast-yellow:
 

RSB

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Fine bird, good job and well done. Congrats!
 

Don

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Hey Tom great bird.  You know you sound like me when you have hunted a particular game animal for so long and you finally take them.  You are happy but at the same time sad.  Some times I believe it is the chase that drives me to hunt as hard as I do.  

Great story, keep looking and I am sure you will find another wiley old bird that will test you again.
 

TNDEERHUNTER

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Great story and great bird. I know how slick those birds can be, but thats what keeps us all coming back, the thrill of the chase, trying to outsmart that ol tom. Maybe next year you can start a new legacy with another bird. I have a bird that has out slicked me for three years including this year(so far). I had him within 30yds of me this past weekend and just couldn't get a good clean shot and I had to let him go. Maybe another day. Good Bird. LOL
 

MBullism

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Thanks TT for sharing that..Nice bird!  It really got my motor running.  Our season opens monday morning, and I can't focus on anything else.  You obviously know the feeling..

Congrats again!

M

(P.S.-my fishing boat has snow in it this morning!)
 

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