Three birds, Three hours, Vintage cheese and a Navy v. USMC shootout.

asaxon

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Three birds in three hours, Vintage cheese and a Navy v. USMC shootout.

The Admiral was off in Spain, so RJ and I enlisted LTD as the third member of our vintage hunting crew. RJ was CICOC - Commander in Chief of Cheese to make up for our screwing up last year http://www.jesseshunting.com/showth...ut-is-this-stuff-really-food?highlight=asaxon when we missed the Vintage Cheese shop and had to eat Cheetos instead. With laser like focus, our CICOC got us right to Bravo Farms, the home of Vintage Cheese. (PICTURE 1) They must have had 12 or 15 varieties of homemade Vintage cheese plus homemade soft drinks etc. We loaded up on cheese and sausage – a real hunter’s cardio diet. But there was a big surprise for us. As we walked out the back to leave, we discovered that Bravo Farms has a small old-fashioned, some might say “heritage”, amusement park area with a very cool Vintage shooting gallery. You sit on old saddles and fire a light beam at these little targets all over the place. When you get a hit, various objects move and make noise. This included a ¾-size car that went up and down. What a “kick”. Definitely worth stopping in at Bravo Farms for. Unfortunately, it turned into a Navy versus Marine Corps shoot off and when it was not going to LTD’s liking, he turned a weapon on RJ who refused to surrender. I had to intervene in this inter-service affray before too much blood was spilled. (PICTURE 2) (PICTURE 3)

We got to Shingle Springs around 2 o’clock and I spent until 5 pm sort of hunting but primarily scouting so LTD could get an idea of the lay of the land before o’dark thirty the next morning. LTD has hunted for years but never been on a real turkey hunt so this was all “new” to him. We saw a few birds but most were in people’s front yards along the road while driving. (PICTURE 4) We went to our Airbnb which was a funky little one room cottage we had rented in Placerville, AKA “Hangtown”. (PICTURE 5) The town boasts that their vigilantes hung over 100 people for various infractions. As no one could tell us when the last hanging was, we were very careful about not crossing the street against the light.

The next morning well before daybreak we were all set up with our decoys out. As the sun came over the horizon, there was very little gobbling. Indeed, it was almost non-existent compared to what we heard in years past and particularly in the area where LTD and I were sitting. Last year the surrounding trees had been chockfull of gobbling. RJ, who had settled in a small clearing some distance from us, could hear a fair amount of gobbling but it was all outside the property - across a fence and a small road. Ultimately, RJ never could coax the birds to crossover. After a couple of hours, LTD and I moved up to a spot where we could hear birds gobbling but they were probably the same ones RJ was listening to. They were not moving. So around 10:30 am, LTD and I decided to walk back to the van to eat. Just as we are coming to the fence gate to cross the road, LTD spied two gobblers about 80 yards away as they crossed the road to go onto a neighbor’s property. We said; “That is interesting” and walked over to the van that was no more than 40 yards away. We started to eat after leaning our unloaded firearms against a nearby stock ramp, taking off our camo face masks/gloves off, slamming van doors and generally making a ruckus. As we chat, I look over and damn it, there is a nice gobbler standing under a tree literally in the corner of our field across the road from us. It could not be more than 60 or 70 yards away. We said; “This is quite interesting.” But to get to our firearms would entail walking out in plain sight = bird gone. We watched this bird for a while before deciding LTD should at least try to get his shotgun. Of course, the Tom spotted him and walked back where he had come from. LTD and I went back to eating and making noise and began to get our gear together to go hunt another part of the property. In the middle of texting RJ about our plan to abandon him, I look up and a Jake is now feeding under the same tree. We said; “This is very interesting.” Now we were a little smarter. We sat in the van and watched the bird out of the windows with the hope that he would come across to where we were. And I now had my shotgun with us in the van. This Jake gradually moved away from us and just as LTD is about to try to climb out of the van to go after him, I look back under the tree. Holy tartar sauce Sponge Bob, two full-grown gobblers are now there. That was simply too much. LTD dons his camo gear on and as I hand him my shotgun, he says t “those damn birds that are just messing with us.” By only moving when the birds put their heads down to feed, LTD sneaks across the road and stands up by a fence post. The birds make him and start running but one never had a chance. LTD simply pulls the trigger, Boom and 12 g Hevi-Shot Magnum blend hammers one turkey who just collapses. (PICTURE 6). What a kick. At this point, I ran across the road, grabbed my shotgun from LTD and tried to get through the fence to get the other turkey who swings around and runs back the other way. I took a shot with both him and me running, missed and off he goes just as RJ appears. I go over and step on the neck of LTD’s bird while he walks over and he says; “What do I do now?” I tell him to grab it by the neck, which he does and then I take my foot off and walk away. Of course, the bird “wakes up” and gives LTD a serious “wing-beating.” Oh yeah, I forgot to tell him to wring the neck! We all had a laugh about crazy turkey hunting; after hours of hunting hard, we have turkeys visit us while doing everything “wrong”. Go figure. I assured LTD that this is not typical turkey hunting where they come and visit you while you are making noise, eating lunch and being totally careless. LTD and RJ hang the turkey as if it is a deer then pluck and gut it.
(PICTURE 7) (PICTURE)

We then make a plan. LTD and I are going to go up to the upper property while RJ is going to go back to where he had been. As LTD and we are driving down to “the barn” where we plan to start hunting, six Jakes go walking up the hill just to our left. At this point, I get a text from RJ saying, “I am on them in the field” and we texted him right back saying, we are also “on them near the barn”. I put my mask/gloves on and go up the hill. LTD drives further toward with barn to block them. As I go up the hill, one dumb Jake decides to come back and check out this thing following them. He walks right toward me and boom, another dead turkey. Then I got a text from RJ saying he’d got a gobbler. It is about 1:30 and we have three birds down since 11 am. We pitched the Jake into the truck, go back down to the corral and there is RJ with a gorgeous gobbler, looks just like the one that LTD shot. He had seen birds including gobblers in the big field while heading to “his spot” and spent thirty minutes using terrain and low marine crawling to get close enough to make the shot. We are done.
(PICTURE 8) (PICTURE 9)

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asaxon

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Part 2


After going back to the cottage to clean up, we went to visit a friend who is the NWTF biologist for California & Nevada. His lovely wife and he have a brand new 2-week-old baby boy who is cuter than a button (while asleep at least). He swore to us that a turkey, not a stork, brought it but we were not convinced. LTD, RJ and I then headed to Poor Reds Restaurant for their famous BBQ. They seat us in a small side room with one large table besides our own. But we notice there is something strange about the folks sitting there – a closer look reveals that they are all relatives of Groucho Marks or Adolph Hitler. Turns out to be the CA DFW Annual Witness Protection Banquet. They are all in disguise. Well that is my story and I am sticking to it. The food was excellent. LTD who considers himself a BBQ gourmet gave the ribs six star rating (out of a possible 5) rating and gouged himself on ribs till he was fully stuffed and covered from head to toe with BBQ sauce! (PICTURE 10) (PICTURE 11)

We decided rather than hunt through to Monday, as we each had a bird, we will just make a short hunt on Sunday morning to look at another area we had not hunted before and then head home. We did the usual thing; early sit out and again, very little gobbling. What gorgeous country though! (PICTURE 12) I decided to drive back to the barn so LTD could actually see the property we were supposed to look at yesterday. As we drove up to the barn, a hen just strolls right past the van. WTF? On to the other side of the barn, we spy a Jake. We pile out with RJ going around the one side of the barn and me the other. As I peek around the building, I see RJ holding his hand up. I mistakenly think he is indicating that the turkeys are just over the rise and I should go, but what he is signaling is to hold still as they are coming my way. Doh! Thus, I move to the edge of the rise and see a turkey head. I raise up and all of a sudden, there are turkey heads everywhere - Jakes are running in all directions. I fired at one head, missed and the next thing I know there are nine Jakes in the air and nobody is lying on the ground. What a hoot – no harm, no foul. We then drive to the lower area sure enough there are two Toms out in the field, one displaying, one taking a “hike”. Down the road but off the property we saw probably 10 more turkeys including a couple of Jakes that were standing in the middle of the road – I think they were texting. I threatened to run them over. Finally, we went back and checked out with my friends who own the property, thanked them for all the fun we had, and headed home eating Vintage cheese all the way.

No Animals Were Harmed Unnecessarily In The Telling Of This Tale But The Truth May Have Been Mortally Wounded.

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ltdann

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That was a HOOT and a half! Thanks Andy!
 

P304X4

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Great story as always...congrats on the birds! :thumbs up2: :thumbs up2: :thumbs up2:
 

asaxon

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Dan: A Hoot? You still have a long way to go, it is a Gobble, owls hoot! I am amazing no one got on my case for the "no harm no foul" (fowl). JHOers must be asleep at the switch.
 

P304X4

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I think you would have been afoul of the Admiral if you had been hunting for hooters instead of gobblers.
 
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asaxon

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Now that is what I expect from JHO! You win P304X4. I will send you a several sets of turkey feather ear rings and I'll throw on a few others as well. You must have some ladies in your life you can give them to. I will send you an email which you can respond to so I can get your mailing address. The Admiral gets home tonight from Spain so I am in "clean the house" mode, i.e. get rid of any errant gobbler feathers or hooter underwear...

BEST Andy

I think you would have been afoul of the Admiral if you had been hunting for hooters instead of gobblers.
 
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Common Sense

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Hooters in Fresno was just evicted for not paying their rent. Think there is only one left in ca
 

ltdann

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My bird ended up weighing just under 15 Lbs, plucked, with a 10 inch beard. I'm very pleased with my first bird. I gotta say, that hevi-shot Magnum Blend, hits like the hammer of God! I have rarely shot an animal that has gone down so forcefully.
 

THE ROMAN ARCHER

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Thnx 4 sharing another great hunting adventure story Andy! Great pics and congrats on the birds....tra

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 


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