Turkey Hunting in North Carolina
Jacked up on adrenalin!
Man, I am so jacked up and ecited right now!
Just came in from the field and watching a few Toms strut.
Okay, let's back up just a bit:
This is going to be my first year of turkey hunting. Well, my first year of hunting anything that didn't involve using a fishing pole.
So about 1/3 of anything I know about turkeys ( which isn't much ), I have learned from this site.
Anyways, I went out this morning armed with my camo clothes, a turkey vest, camera, Primos gobble shaker call, a Knight & Hale 'lil screamer' slate call and my stool.
I wasn't really sure how good my camo was or how well I was going to blend in. This was not my regular field of hunt and I didn't have a blind of any kind, just my Mossy Oak BU coat, primos spandex face mask and gloves, Red Head real tree camo turkey vest and regular dark camo Wrangler camies I bough from Wal-Mart ( as work pants).
This area is not my regular area so it's not like I have spent alot of time scoping it out. From the highway, there is a field that is about 150 deep and 60 yards wide. Behind that is a thin treeline that encompasses a ditch that is about 70 feet deep( the treeline, that is). Beyond that is a bigger field that is about 175 yards wide by 250 yards deep. Then another bigger creek and tree line that is maybe 80 feet thick. Beyond that is the field I sat in. This field is about 350 yards wide and 200 yards deep.
Right now the field has been cut in and turkey manure spread in, but not tilled up or rowed in yet.
So I sat at the edge of the wood line ( not in, but just at the edge) with my back to a big oak that was about 2 1/4 foot wide. I was out at 5:50 am and waited til light.
Around 6:15 or so, I hear a gobble. You could tell he was still up in the tree. About 5 mins later, I heard him go to the ground. Sounded like a bear fell out of a tree. :)
Then he gobbled about 3 times in a row. I shook my gobble call and he gobbled right back.
I waited a few minutes and hit the gobble call again and he gobbled back- louder and closer.
So then I started plucking with the slate call. Threw in a purr and plucked at it some more.
He gobbled again.
I then shook my gobble call and he came running across the field at a 45 degree angle to about 25 feet away.
I was scarred shitless! I was scared I was going to freak him out and watch him run away.
So I very slowly moved my arm behind ( to sound farther away))me and shook the gobble call again .
I figured he migh run away, but instead he puffed up and fanned out.
At this point, I stopped. No calling, no moving, no breathing!
I mean, I called him in, but I couldn't shoot him, was pretty sure I couldn't pet him, and didn't know what else to do.
After forever ( about 20 seconds) he started walking off to my left and around the treeline over a small culvert that crosses the bigger creek.
He walked back to the field behind me. During this time, there was at least two more toms gobbling away.
One in the woods straigt acroos the field from me and another one that sounded like he was 150 yards to the right and on the opposite side of the field. I never heard those two come out of the trees - of course, I was so excited about calling that first tom in, I might not have noticed had a Boeing 747 crashed in the field in behind me.
Well, after about 10 minutes or so, I heard that first tome gobbling in the field behind me.
I turned my stool around and started alternating between the slate call and gobble call. I could see him strutting in the field behind me and fanning real big.
So I started plucking and purring with the slate call and he started walking towards me from the other side of the crrek. I hit the gobble call and watched him hop/fly over the creek and work his way towards me again.
So again, I realize that I can't shoot him, can't let him sit in my lap while I pet him either, so I stop calling, moving, breathing again.
He walks right by me, not even 10 feet away from me!
He ended up walking right back into the field he started in to begin with.
I know he was getting confused that there were no other turkeys that should be making the aounds.
Well, since I was only scouting and not able to hunt yet.....I was pretty much satisfied and done.
I stood up to leave and saw the tom in the middle of the field still. WEll, I didn't want my presence to scare him off so I shook my stool and let the legs rattle against the frame. He didn't really care too much and very slowly walked away. Very slowly. Never saw me though.
Okay, so......I learned a few things this morning:
My camo must be a whole lot better than I thought. I was not in the woods, but backed up to a tree that was on the edge of the woods.
I know what a gobble call is, but I haven't really had the time to figure out exactly when to use a cluck, a purr, a yelp or such. But this morning, it all worked out. I did what I instinctively felt right. Maybe it was the right calls, maybe it was pure dumb luck, or maybe the Tom is in a mentally challenged state of being.
Had it been season right now, I would have a HUGE tom in my truck right now. His beard was at least 12' long. It was dragging the ground when he walked.
Yeah, like a 5 year old jacked up on Red Bull and a 10 pound bag of sugar!
Bet I'm smiling bigger than the joker right now!
In my excitement, I never got a shot with my camera!