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Tominator

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I re-learned the importance of patience! I was getting pretty frustrated since I had to hunt in the afternoons most of the time and I had never really done it before. The birds don't talk as much, if at all!, but if you've done your homework and call lightly and sparingly they will come. It sure is hard to sit there though when you're not hearing those booming gobbles and you're not trying to maneuver and out flank Ol' Tom.
Tominator
 

tomturkey

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I learned that same lesson over again tominator. Even though I have hunted afternoons a lot over the years, it is hard to be patient like you stated. They rarely talk but will come to investigate calls as long as they're not too aggressive. Also helps if you get in the spot where he wants to go. :)

tomturkey ;)
 

Arrowhead

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Other than my spring trip to Florida where I got to hunt 3 days daylight till 1:00pm.
I had to hunt here in North Carolina from 8:00am till 1:00pm.

Two thing's I learned over agian is, #1-never give up. Didn't hear as much gobbling as years past.
But the birds are still there.

#2-Don't call unless your set up and ready. I usually remember that but went ahead and called hopeing to get a audible response. Instead I got this head sneaking through the grass coming towards me, Busted...... I should have known better.

Another enjoyable spring.
 

killinturks

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i learned that if you are going to hunt public the first thing you should do is find a way to get behind the birds, in the tough stuff that nobody else wants to go into. {way before season starts}because everyone takes the easy way in from the front and sits there calling to them so they get conditioned to that and go back out behind when they flydown. i saw so much sign of other hunters,cigarette butts, gum, blinds, tracks and the next day when i got behind the birds i saw no one else had been there and heavy turkey sign. unfortunately, i did not know how to get back there quietly. crossing a trout stream at 4 am  is not a thing to take lightly. but the birds are there and next year i will be there too.
 

Bald Eagle

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I learned that as the years tick by and I get a little long-in-the-tooth that my patients is getting harder to control.  In years past I would plan my attack for days, even weeks, before the season began.  I would always locate a gobbler before I would set up on him.  And my mind was sharp and calculating all the time while hunting.  I must admit that over the years I have been very successful during spring turkey season.

As I approach 61 years of age and since my strokes a few years ago I have a difficult time concentrating on the hunt.  Not to mention that I have a hard time getting through the woods.  Most times, when I'm sitting at the base of a tree and enjoying God's gifts in the early dawn, I drift off to sleep for a short nap.  Man it's wonderful!

I don't ever want to hang it up but I also do not want to become a danger to others in the hunting woods either.  This is the first spring season in 12 years that I have drawn a blank.  Kind of frustrating.
 

killinturks

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Bald Eagle, as you no doubt already know there is more rewards to the hunt than just filling a tag. i feel just a little sad everytime i pull the trigger and i hope i never stop feeling that way. i would gladly have traded both my birds this year for my dad and my girlfriends son(both first time turkey hunters)to have gotten them. i hope you never are unable to enjoy the beauty that is out there.my dad is 68 and he just stopped racing dirt track stock cars, his eyes are getting bad, and i hope he doesnt stop hunting. i would gladly carry him or buy a  4 wheeler for him, sit with him,or whatever it takes to extend this part of his life. the two big bucks that he has gotten, it was so great just to see the look in his eyes as he told me about them. and this year when i got my 10 pointer with double G3's he says to me"now you got one to hang on your wall." them are special times that i will cherish forever. i hope that all you guys continue enjoying nature as long as possible and have special folks to share it with.
 

gobblestopper

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I learned that there are turkeys in Wrightsboro, GA.
I learned that a pattern on turkeys aint no pattern afterall.
I learned that sleeping is a darn good turkey call and drummin is a darn good alarm clock.
I was reminded of patience.
I was reminded of the importance of woodsmanship.
I confirmed that shooting the one that gives you the shot sures feels better than waiting for that big one just behind him that may give you a shot at him or both of them and coming home with nada

Most importantly, I stuck to my commitment from before the season of going back to the basics and sticking to them. It paid off in the most successfuol season ever.  
 
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I learned that I could really love turkey hunting.  I had been out a few times in the past but this year I got to go out twice with a friend and enjoyed every moment of it except freezing to death one morning.  I guess I learned a little better how to dress for the cold, too.

Bald Eagle, I don't think that you meant for this to happen but you almost brought a tear to my eyes when I read your post.  You must have many great memories from years past.  Hang in there, sir.

Tominator, I can see that I will have to learn more patients also.
 

mudhen

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By far the most important think I learned from 2002 was to shoot the best gun you can afford and learn what that gun can do.

I was given a new BGH 3.5 as a gift last year.  It had been tuned by Ballistic Specialties.  I shot 5 brands of ammo before determining it favored Winchester HV 3.5" in the 2 oz load.  That shell in #5's will put 30-40 pellets in the red circle on standard turkey targets at 35 yards.

I really practiced with that gun in the preseason.

My practice paid off with 8 birds this season.  All 8 went down without much kicking.  Several of the shots were the most difficult of my career.  I found the birds to be more spooky this year than in past years.  Many of the shots were at the 28-32 yard range.

Knowing what my gun could do was absolutely critical this season.

mudhen-CA
 

Welby

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The thing about the lessons I learned this year is that they are essentially the same lessons I have learned before.  When will they ever stick in my hard head???

First and foremost, patience....I re-learned the great value in patience.

Calling.... I learned that less aggressive calling mixed with more realistic sounds are the way to go.

Leaving too soon....I re-learned this year that I should stay at least thirty minutes longer when I decide it's time to go.  Stay put, even when the birds seem to be ignoring your calls.  It may take an hour or more, but if there are birds in the area and you know it, stay put.  Don't leave.

Locator calls.....This year I learned the reason why you shouldn't use a turkey call as a locator, or at least just save it as a last resort.  Next year, I will use my locator calls much, much more.

Friction calls... Another thing I learned is to use my friction calls more.  I bought and paid for 'em, why shouldn't I use them?  Mixing them up with my all time favorite tube calls works very well.

Location, location, location....They key to any successful turkey hunt is good location.  I had a few reminders of that this year.

Finally, a top secret trick for getting birds on posted land.....it's not as bad as it sounds, doesn't require bait and it's not illegal.  However, I'm sworn to secrecy about letting this trick out of the bag.  All I can say is, it works.
 

mudhen

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Hey Bald Eagle - what you do is get on an airplane and fly to different states!!

This year I visited; Georgia, Kansas (turkey heaven!!), Iowa (also turkey heaven), Missouri, Idaho, Oregon, and several CA trips.

Total this year I saw probably 500+ birds in the field.

The only benefit to living in Southern Cal is the paycheck & cheap flights!

mudhen-CA
 

Possum

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I re-learned an important lesson.  Make sure the Mossberg 835 with 3.5" $#4's is firmly against your shoulder when you pull the trigger - no matter how big the beard is swinging in the wind.  

Also, you don't have to sound like a turkey to call a turkey.  
You can spit and drum gobblers in.
You cannot forget your gun in the truck if you want to shoot a turkey.
Some turkeys want to die - Others are direct descendents of Houdini.
Taking a child hunting is a reward by itself.

Seriously though, I remembered and put into practice that it is not how many birds you kill or get to shoot.  It is the enjoyment of being alive outside on the cool quiet mornings with a whisp of wind easing by overhead.  I did well this year, but I also got to enjoy my buddies and just watching them enjoy the hunt.  I reinforced what deep down I have always known and that is a successful hunt is more than a full cooler.

ps. Welby, I have been doing that for years.  Tell the most NON skilled know-it-all turkey hunting person with access to the land about the bird and in a few days the bird will be on your property.



(Edited by Possum at 10:25 pm on May 30, 2002)
 

Shane

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Wow, I'm sure thankful, and proud to have taken my ten year old son with me. We both learned a lot.

And as much as I might tell myself that these birds are stupid like big chickens, I know that they pattern us hunters much like deer and elk do. You can just see it in their movement and action when you attempt a "typical" approach, or call too much or too loud to a hunt-wise bird.

Man, it's nice to find a hot-n-ready bird.
 

KIDKY

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I learned that calling one in for your buddy and watching as he/or she shoots it is just as rewarding and probably even more so than shooting one yourself.  i took a freind of mine this year and he got his first turkey, he still thanks me everytime i see him.  to me, this is what it's all about, getting more folks out in the woods and letting them see firsthand why we love hunting so much.  now, he (my buddy) has the fever as bad as i do, and even though i never got to pull the trigger on one this year i still consider it a very successful season.
 

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