CacheCrazy.Com: You Just Never Know

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You Just Never Know




Geocaching is not my only fun but sometimes frustrating activity.  Visitors to this blog may have read some of my previous stories on hunting.  It, too, is fun yet frustrating, and I can’t emphasize that more when it comes to pursuing spring turkeys.  I wrote about my adventures last season while hunting the Penn’s Woods tom, and now I invite you along on this year’s season…

It had been a tough May for me.  Hunters were bagging gobblers but I just couldn’t pin them down.  I had some action but nothing hot.  I started to think that maybe this just wasn’t my year.  When it comes to hunting turkeys, though, perseverance is the key.  You just never know when it all is going to come together.  So yesterday morning, without even the aid of an alarm at this stage of the season, I was tired yet wide awake at 4:15 AM.  Well, why not I reckoned, and off I went.

Now it’s certainly possible to bag gobblers all through the month of May, but turkey hunters realize that at this point of the season we are in the fourth quarter of the game.  So in an attempt to shake things up a bit, I decided to try a spot I hadn’t yet touched this year instead of the other areas I had frequented most of the previous weeks.  As the woods awakened, I began a very slow walk listening for a gobble.  When the sky grew lighter, I began softly calling.  Off to my left, I caught the sound.  There he was, and I thought I knew how to set up on him.

After a little calling battle, I knew I had a good chance at tagging this bird.  He was interested, and I was in a decent spot.  Finally I saw his head poking up out of the scrub oak and blueberry bushes.  Unfortunately he didn’t want to come closer.  It was difficult to judge the distance, and, while certainly a gobbler, I could not see his beard.  There simply was no shot opportunity.  I knew not to panic; the bird wasn’t spooked and I had time.

Then something unexpected happened.  YELP! YELP! YELP!  GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  YELP! YELP! YELP!  GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  What bad luck – a hen had moved in down the hill and to my right.  No matter how good I could call (and it’s not very good anyway), nothing was going to top the real thing.  I heard his gobble fade as he moved away and disappeared out of sight. 

I prefer to be a relatively quiet and patient gobbler hunter, but that doesn't always get it done.  I played this game too many times, and I finally learned when aggressiveness is a necessary tactic.  So I quickly jumped up and scooted out to cut him off.  When I got to where I figured was between the hen and the gobbler, I very softly called.  GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  Yes indeed, I had him.  Only minutes later, there he was.

Very pleased with the morning’s excitement, I snapped several quick pictures and headed for home.  As I made my way out of the woods the thought struck me again – “You just never know!”  I smiled as my pace quickened – I couldn’t wait to show the kids.  It had been another great season!


2 comments:

BLOODHOUNDED said...

I got your text first thing in the morning and I was thrilled for you! I know how hard you work for these birds and no better sportsman to boot. Congratulations and thanks for bringing the excitement of the hunt here for us to read!
Great job!

BigAl said...

Good job there Dan. I have been out numerous times this year, but never have gotten them close enough for a shot. Well the season is not over yet, so we'll see what happens. Nice article and thanks for posting.

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