Saturday, April 28, 2007

Turkey's everywhere

It was a early spring morning somewhere around 1982 and I remember that my hunting partner Ricky Duke had to work on the opening day of turkey season. I on the other hand had the weekend off and headed for the woods early this particular morning in search of the illusive wild turkey. Ricky and I had been scouting this area for about 3 weeks now and seen some very impressive gobblers, so we felt sure we would be able to take one of them come opening day. As I arrived at the site I had chosen it was still plenty dark enough for me to get into the woods and prepare myself for the long mornings wait. No one else had arrived at the site so I knew I had a great chance of taking my bird. As the sun began to slowly peak over the mountain tops and ridges, the woods began to brighten up so I could see and I could tell everything around me was beginning to come to life. The squirrels were playing in the trees and on the ground, the birds were singing and the wind was slightly whispering across the land. I seen it was time to begin my first wave of calls and just as I let off a gobble on my box call a big gobbler was roosted directly over me and flew out to the ground approximately 120 yards away from me. Seeing this as my opportunity, I gave off a few clucks and purrs with my mouth diagram. The large tom answered as did two more in the area and the game was on. I clucked a couple times more and the gobblers gobbled and came closer. Finally one big gobbler came in close enough for me to get ready for a shot when he came in in full strut and drumming like a band core major in full swing. It was a beautiful site just to watch but after a moment I remembered I was hunting turkey now not scouting and quickly regained my thoughts of the hunt. As I raised my shotgun for a shot at the big tom I could see that he wasn't really interested in me but was in reality heading for a group of hens that had came in just below me in a road bed. Despite all the clucking and purring I did the tom just wasn't interested in me and continued heading for the hens till I decided to try running the hens off. Unfortunately for me it also ran the big tom off before I could get a shot so I spent the rest of the morning hunting another tom turkey. needless to say this particular day ended as many of my turkey hunting days have without anything but memories to talk about. I've hunted turkey for five years before giving up on the thought of ever taking one of these smart birds but now the thought returns and maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to take a trophy gobbler before my passing.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Hunting Early Morning Deer

The third weekend of rifle season had arrived and I was ready for a break from work. I got up early on Saturday morning and was ready to go kill a deer but had to stop first and pick up one of my hunting buddies. I stopped and got James Flowers and as we drove to the farm I had pick out to hunt I explained which stands we would be hunting in and the direction the deer should be moving from. We got to the farm and I got James set in his stand then told him I would be back in about 15-25 minutes.As I went to my stand, which was further back on the farm, I could tell it was a good day for the deer to move and figured that I should see deer early coming to the persimmon trees by my stand. Getting to my stand and having gotten set up just as the sun was starting to come up, I spotted movement in the woods to my left. Not able to see the deers head I grabbed my rifle and got ready for a shot when it stepped out into an opening and I seen horns. I hesitated for a moment then squeezed the trigger and the buck was mine. A fine 5 pointer with a heavy body which ran 20 steps before falling into a tree top and dying. I tagged the deer then drug it about half way back toward the truck before deciding to let James help me finish getting it to the truck. I walked slowly down to where James was and found him still looking for a buck to come out into the field but so far only does had shown up. We sat for awhile longer then decided to give up for the morning,went and got my deer to the truck and off to the checking station we went. That was probably the fastest hunt I've ever had and I attribute that to my pre-season scouting and timing of the deer herd. Knowing the area,the food availability,the weather and the movement of the herd all come together for this hunt to end up with a great memory with another of my past hunting buddies.