I got my first bird after 5 yrs of trying

j3storch

Forever Hunting
Joined
Mar 21, 2002
Messages
316
Reaction score
0
This novice turkey hunter's frustration finally came to an end last Wednesday at 6:50 am CDT in Appanoose county Iowa.  I was hunting with two freinds in a section of the Stephens State Forest. The birds were gobbling as I crept into the woods before dawn. I set up my decoys on an old logging road, two hen decoys separated by about 20 yards from a jake decoy. The road ran along the top of a ridgeline.

I set up my little stool and sat down against a wide tree, about 15 yards off the road. Over my right shoulder, down a little draw, I could hear at least three gobblers booming away.  It got too much for me and I got up to move to the opposite side of a different tree where I could watch the draw.

I called a few times. One gobbler seemed like he was getting closer to me, though I couldn't see any of them yet. The dawn began to brighten the surrounding woods.

Iowa has no vast tracts of wilderness, and you're usually within earshot of someguy's tractor or pickup truck. I heard what I thought was a flooded pickup trying to start in the distance. Sort of a ssst-vlooom, vlooom sound. I heard it several times, over my shoulder, when it occured to me that that guy isn't giving up on starting his truck... was it maybe a turkey drumming.

I slowly leaned over to peer around the tree. Up on the logging road behind me was a gobbler in full strut, trying to impress my decoys, drumming away.  He turned his fan towards me, hiding his head, and I edged the gun around towards him. He turned back to me again, then away again which gave me the chance to raise the gun to my shoulder.

I've read that you should not shoot while they are in strut as the vital areas are more hidden while in strut. So, to break his strut, I yelled. "Hey!". He turned towards me, looked directly at me, but didn't break his strut. So I yelled, "Hey YOU!". He kind of glared at me, as if to say, "Hey buddy, go find you own hens, and leave me alone with mine I found here on this logging road."

I decided to let fly even though he was in strut, and my shotgun roared as much as a .20 ga can roar. In all the videos, the birds falls down and starts flapping. Mine just rolled over on his side and aly there. I pumped a new shell in, popped on the safety and sprinted up to him. His eyes just quietly fluttered and closed. I saw the tension go out of his legs and knew I had a dead bird.

I thought to myself, "Well, I was a lot calmer at the shot than I expected to be."

Then I sat down and fished out my transportation tag. I got the trembles then. It took me ten minutes just to get the stupid paper off of the sticking backing on the tag.  I finally got him tagged, and started packing up to hike back to the truck. He was darned heavy. The shoulders straps of my vest were cutting into my shoulders.

I got him back to the truck, shot a few photos with the cheapy kodak, then measured his beard and spurs, 10 inch beard, 7/8 inch spurs.

I intended to weigh him. It was a very warm day, and I cleaned him as soon as I got him home, and then realized I forgot to weigh him about the time I was soaking the meat in salt water.

I took his tail, spurs and beard to a local taxidermist.  This fall I should get back a nice tail mount to hang on the wall.

1 down, now I have to wait till may to get another tag, and hopefully another bird.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Good job j3.  I got my first turkey two years ago and my situation was very much like yours.  I was looking one way and the tom came from behind me.  He almost scared me to death when he came into view.  I had to wait for what seemed like 12 hours for him to get out in front of me for a good shot.  I, too, thought I would be all nervous and have a hard time getting a shot off but I was as cool as a cucumber until about tem minutes after my shot.

It was my first year at turkey hunting and my boyfriend (at that time) took me to teach me some of the finer aspects of turkey hunting.  I bagged that 21 lb. bird and he didn't get one that year.  He really struggled with that.
 

Arrowhead

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2001
Messages
4,244
Reaction score
11
j3storch >> Congratulations on your gobbler.

That is one of the most spectacular things about turkey hunting,
a bird coming in strutting and gobbling.

Great job.
 

Rattler

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
323
Reaction score
0
Good story. Way to go!  I am at it again tomorrow.  Scouted tonight and found fresh droppings, but birds have been quiet...maybe I'll get one tomorrow. Best - Rattler
 

Passthru

Banned
Joined
Aug 16, 2001
Messages
2,364
Reaction score
0
 Congrats on your first!! hope you get another,sometimes it comes in spells you bag birds for a few yrs then other yrs its just a dry run. at least for me it is.

 Linda,Let them all struggle with it if they cant handle being out hunted,some people are just natural born killers:smile-big-blue:
 

Big Bubba Daddy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
182
Reaction score
0
Congrats!  Interesting calling tactics, haven't seen those in any of the books or videos!!  :crazeye:
 

Welby

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Messages
3,341
Reaction score
3
Great story!  Congratulations are in order too!

I like the "Hey You!" part.  On a similar notion, my brother said he was going to start yelling "Skate or Die!" at them to get them out of a strut.
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
69,496
Reaction score
387
Way to hang in there j3storch. Hearing a tom drumming is a treat. I'll be back just south of you in NE Missouri Friday to try my luck on them huge crop field gobblers. My cousins where I grew up in SE Iowa say they have to much farming to do to go turkey hunting. Man are they missing out.
 

cedar N sandy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2001
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
Way to go Luke!   Now wasn't the wait worth it. Smooth move on letting him turn so you could get a good bead on him without being detected. Sounds like you have the needed patience to be a good Turkey Hunter. Maybe #2 won't be far off for you.....Good Luck!
 

PowDuck

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
May 2, 2001
Messages
2,246
Reaction score
6
The wait is worth it. I hunted for 9 years (the last 4 were serious) before I was successful. Way to go.

ROFL :rofl: at your talking to him and your humorous take on why he wouldn't break strut.
 

FTTPOW

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Messages
1,435
Reaction score
8
You've just made yourself memories that will last a lifetime. Congrats. Also I was wondering if a "yoo-hoo" call was as good as a "hey you".
 

Tominator

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 5, 2001
Messages
3,586
Reaction score
14
Congrats Luke! Man, I was shaking with ya trying to put that tag on! Great bird and a great story. Trust me, it won't take that long for #2! Welcome to the brotherhood.
Tominator
 

killinturks

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2002
Messages
541
Reaction score
0
Kudos on your prize. When I  got my first turk I felt like I won the Daytona500.
 

Lankyman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Messages
380
Reaction score
0
j3storch,

That's awesome.  Getting the first one is something that you will always remember.  I can remember my first one just like it was yesterday, but it was 20+ years ago.  I can still feel the light fog rollin through the swamp bottom & the boss gobbler shankin' the ground with each gobble from his roost tree.  Hope you are able to connect with many more over the years to come.
 

Lankyman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Messages
380
Reaction score
0
Luke,

If it ever gets to where you don't get excited like that, just give it up & start up croquet or something less stressful like that.  LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember an archery elk hunt a few years ago in Colorado.  I was able to get within 35 yards on a 6-point bull, but didn't get a shot that I was confident enough to shoot at.  Once the bull finally spooked, I almost had to sit down, my kness started to shake.  It was almost 25 minutes before I got total feelin' back in my legs.  LOL!!!!!!!  That was a big bull.  I am just happy with going from 125 yards down to less than 35 yards on a bull on public land.  Maybe I'll get back out there after him in a few years.  It is beautiful country out there.
 

killinturks

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2002
Messages
541
Reaction score
0
yeah, hang around a while. it can be pretty fun at times. but as you have seen there is frustration also. but its a good time.
 


Top Bottom