what happened?

SDHNTR

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I'm sick about yesterday morning. I had a monster tom at 37 yards. He flew down with about 5 hens and put on a show for a good 30 minutes about 90 yards out. Lots of strutting and drumming. It sure was fun to watch. He was trolling a solid 11" beard that was thick and hefty. I tried some soft and sexy yelps and some that were a little louder to try to get his attention but no luck. The birds ignored my calls until the sun came up a bit more and one of the hens finally spied my lone hen decoy. Then they all lined out and came in quickly with the gobbler in the back 15-20 yards. Once they started coming I stopped calling and just let them work in. The gobbler crested a little knob at 37 yards and I wanted to shoot but he was trailing the hens who were already at 10-15 yards. Before I know it I had hens at 5 yards. I thought he would keep following them and give me a lay up. He thought differently and as soon as he stopped he turned around and just casually walked off. I have no idea why. No alarm put from the hens, no spooking, no noise, no running, he just changed his mind and slowly walked away. He definitely never saw or heard me but maybe he didn't like my blind. As soon as he turned around he went back behind the knob and into a depression, no shot. Next time I saw him he was 90 yards away and still moving out. The hens eventually followed him after a few minutes. He was a bird of a lifetime and I'm bummed.

So besides taking the shot at 37 yards, what could I have done differently?
 



Hitechhunter

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That's huntin'. Sounds like a great experience!

I had a hen lay an egg 8 FEET from me, and that was more memorable than many of the big toms I've killed.
 

JNDEER

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the only thing i can see you did wrong was possibley not studying the birds a bit more....if it was private land and this bird would be a dominate bird then i would have put out maybe two henes and a strutting jake or tom...this may have worked better for you..

if this is public then that wise old tom just saw something he didn't like...that is about the best answer i can think of....

it was good that you stopped calling once the birds came in, but you possible could have called to the gobbler as he was leaving..maybe peak his interest in your bird a bit more, but if he had NO interest all morning then i would say you played it just right.......assuming you can hunt this spot again, it was good that you let it be..

i would come back to this spot or hunt that bird mid day 1000 or 1100...u may have much better luck.
 

BrandonA

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Besides what others have said, you might want to learn to purr or if you know how use it more when the bird is up closer like he was... Sometimes it does the trick to make toms go nuts. I've seen toms do that before though, they use the hens/jakes as bait to see if it's safe for him to come up it's pretty funny lol
 

Tominator

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Bottom line...you weren't where he wanted to go, period. Sometimes it works that way and their ain't squat we can do about it. If you catch him roosted there again, setup on the other side and let him walk right to ya... Aggravatin' cusses, ain't they?
 

Arrowhead

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IHO nothing you could have done. I called i a gobbler this past weekend for a fellow ans he came at least 300 yards to us and at 55 yards stopped and looked at our dekes and stepped into the woods and never heard or saw him again.

I've had gobbler run away from deke's and run to them. You just never know. He might have heard a hen far off calling to him.

They don't get as big as your description by making mistakes.

Give him another go. Doesn't sound like he was spooked.
 

CLDhunter

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You might have practiced with your gun so you could have been confident shooting the bird if that's what you chose to do? I always like to get them in close but if you read the behavior and can see that a bird is getting nervous then sometimes you need to make that call. It seems that in this instance that the bird gave you no such indication.

Patterning and shooting your gun at various ranges provisdes excellent feedback so you can make good decisions and not hail marys.

Sounds to me like you did nothing wrong. Like one of the guys said before that's hunting! Now go out there and do it all again! The only thing wrong would be giving up and I can't imagine that's an option in your future!
 

SDHNTR

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I shoot a bow so gun practice is not of much help.

This was a ranch that I had access to through a friend of a friend. I don't think I'll get a chance to get back up there before the season ends. Bummer.

I think you are right in that there is not much else I could have done. Maybe a tom deke but who knows.
 

Lumpy

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Tominator, you nailed it!!!!
Arrowhead, that is one reason I don't use deke's anymore.
God Bless
 

Speckmisser

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Next time, put some camo on that shiny dome of yours... it was probably glaring right through your hat.


Sometimes you get the turkey, and sometimes you are the turkey... maybe you could've done something different, and maybe not.

That's the aggravating thing about turkey hunting isn't it? Ever read any of those turkey hunting "tips" in the hunting mags? Tip #1 will talk about how you should call agressively and pull those hesitant toms in. Then Tip #2 will warn you not to overcall, and tell you to shut up when the toms hang up. Tip # 3 says to use a decoy, and Tip # 4 tells you that decoys can scare birds.

Infuriating when you get right down to it... but what it says to me is that even experts don't know squat when it's all said and done.

Hope you get back up there. Sounds like one heck of a bird!
 

SDHNTR

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Speck, other than your first comment, you are spot on.

FYI, I was in a blind, the chrome dome was covered with a hat, and my mug was painted up.
 

BrysonHesperiaResort

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SD- that right there happens all the time. Everything you did was perfect. I would have maybe tried a gobble call at the end once he was leaving- just to see if you could get his blood running. We're pulling quite a few (dominant toms) in that way right now...
 

Raully

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I don't think you did anytthing wrong. Thats just turkey hunting for ya. Just when you think you got them figured out...they do a 180 on your hunting game. I had two toms come running in to my calls and then when they get about 100 yrds out they spook on my second soft yelp call and run for cover. One thing I learned is public land birds are completely different animals than private. Eventually the moon and sun will align and we'll score LOL!
 

hatchet1

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dude,i think the 3 1/2 would have been in order for that deal
 

JNDEER

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (raully @ Apr 15 2008, 01:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I don't think you did anytthing wrong. Thats just turkey hunting for ya. Just when you think you got them figured out...they do a 180 on your hunting game. I had two toms come running in to my calls and then when they get about 100 yrds out they spook on my second soft yelp call and run for cover. One thing I learned is public land birds are completely different animals than private. Eventually the moon and sun will align and we'll score LOL![/b]
yep 100% correct....sometimes private birds can be harder due to numbers of hens available for them and if you are not an expert caller (or even if you are) it can be very hard to get one to come your way......i would still say now knowing it is private land that a tom or jake decoy in strut may have done the trick, my 2 cents.
 

SDHNTR

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You shotgun guys are a bunch of cheaters.
Hatchet, you've killed enough stuff in the last year that you should not even be allowed to take a gun into the field.
 

JNDEER

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i don't always shoot with a shotgun.......but i tell you what it is not always easy to kill a bird just because you have a shotgun....but using a bow is harder and much harder without a blind.
 

Bullfrog 31581

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I've seen henned up gobblers refuse to come to decoys even though the hens themselves come in and check them out. I can only guess why that is.
 

hatchet1

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nate, i suppose you are correct,i do have a sickness, i am seeking help for my issues , i am going to
chicken wing one arm behind my back this week and see if that helps... as for the bow thing, i
had a huge issue with it on opening day, might be time to buy a new one as mine went sailing off a cliff
down into a canyon full of poison oak, i have not retrieved it as of yet, not sure im going to after her
performance that terrible morning
suggestions are welcome on the bow ?
remember though, i shoot "old school" fingers with no sights, so be gentle on me! heck, i dont even know if
they make a bow anymore that you dont need a release and peep sight with a xmas tree full off pins?
whatcha got...
 

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