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Old 05-12-2017, 06:35 PM   #56
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 306
I made it home to the North Country this week and was able to put in two days of scouting and hunting. It's truly amazing how many birds there are compared to Western NY and other parts of the state.
Tuesday afternoon I went out and picked out a spot on a piece of property I have permission to hunt. I had seen birds there during Easter weekend. I figured I had only a small chance to see anything there and assumed that the owner of the adjoining land might have already harvested one of the two Toms or would have worked them so hard that they would have moved. Wednesday AM I went and set up in the spot I was quite cold for mid-May, 35 degrees. I sat for a few minutes and then made a few pretty loud calls...I have had pretty good luck drawing birds when they are still my surprise I had a gobble back.... I called again and got another response. The birds were roosted on the property I was hunting, not too far away and to the SW. I was hopeful that I could get them to come towards me...knowing that their normal routine is to head SE and across the adjoining (posted) field. I sat for 15 more minutes and made a couple quieter clucks on my slate...I was surprised to get another response. The bird was still South of me and seemed to have moved farther away. I gave a couple soft calls with a mouth call and stopped. It was now almost 45 minutes since the first gobble, sunrise had come and gone...I assumed that they were following their routine and heading away from me. To my surprise I heard another gobble to the South but to the west..they were moving away from me but to the West, staying on the property I was hunting.....I made a couple more scrapes on the box call and sat tight...
45 minutes later there was still nothing...complete silence (except for the geese, crows, jays, cardinals, pileated WP's, robins and thrushes).
That's when I saw his head about 60 yards away in some really thick brush...I don't even know how I saw him, his head was just something that hadn't been there before so I noticed it. I sat dead still....he was headed right to me in a very convoluted way....if he decided to keep coming. His head vanished..he was gone. Then I noticed a couple hens working towards my decoy...slowly, back and forth, into the woods, back on the path, in sight, out of sight, barely visible..but there. They were feeding. Another hen popped out in front of where the Tom had been. She worked her way out into the posted clearing... My heart sunk. If they went out in the clearing, I was out of luck...I needed to have them stay on the property I was hunting. The hen kept working out into the clearing..eating slowly and moving farther out... she was about 40 yards and still moving. Then the other two hens appeared to my right, SW a bit, feeding, barely visible but moving right towards me.... I made a very light cluck with my mouth call and the Tom popped out behind the hens... Oh yeah... at first he was behind some bushes...there was a bit of an opening but I didn't like the shot... I waited. He disappeared again. Then there he was again, coming towards me slowly, 30 yards,then 25, then a perfect open shot...he was looking right in my direction. I picked up the SX and gave him a nice breakfast of number 5 Federal.... the three hens flew off. One landed about 30 yards from me and sat looking at me... I sat back, she took off, I filled out my tag, snacked on a pecan log and enjoyed taking it all in. I had been skunked at that spot for two years because the birds moseyed off in the wrong direction...but not Wednesday.
In the afternoon I met a friend of my fathers at his farm. He wanted to get a had been years since he hunted. We walked his property...I saw lot's of potential, no birds but a wing feather and a somewhat fresh dropping....there was hope. I picked out a big basswood for us that gave us a nice setup. He would be looking into the woods up and down the hill and towards where I thought the birds should be. I would sit on the other side looking towards a field and downhill towards the brook...I was planning to call and see if we could get him a bird. It's my habit to shoot only one bird a year.

When I got to his house yesterday AM he was sitting on the back steps with his dog. His gun was leaned against the railing. He was ready to go. We were setup under the basswood by 5:10...
I waited a while and made a couple harsh box calls. It was quiet....I sat tight and made a couple more loud calls and then closed my eyes for a while. 20 minutes later I made a couple calls with my mouth call.. I heard some odd noises from his side of the tree..pretty far away. I wasn't quite sure what it was. He later said that beaver had slapped it's tail in the creak a couple times. I wear an ear plug in the right ear...I didn't hear it.
Then he asked me, did you see the bird come out of the tree? No, I didn't..again, his side of the tree. I made a couple light calls on my slate...then I saw the bird up on the hill..looking right at me..70 yards behind some trees. I made a soft call with the mouth call...he gained 30 yards and headed towards my decoy...then he kept going...towards me...I was stuck but my partner had his gun up and was ready. BOOM! We both sat there for a while. I called a bit more, we talked, he was so wired. What a morning.....we moseyed back to his house and had a fine breakfast...pancakes, bacon, coffee...
"What about geese he asked." The geese land on my fields. Would you like to come back in the fall?
You bet...
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