Tony, there is a flock that frequent the Eden Prairie Home Depot parking lot and I think you could feed them corn out of your hand (and kill one with a hammer if you wanted to...). JK. I would never take my turkey hunting frustrations out on those poor parking lot pets. 8^))
Well, I came this II close on Sunday to shooting the biggest bodied turkey I have ever seen - Had good beard and well over 1" spurs, too. It started when I got in my blind and realized there was a gobbler roosted only 25 yards away instead of their usual spot that is about 100 yards. Here he is cutting loose with a gobble from the roost
The debacle started at about 5:45 am. I had a hen decoy down in front of my blind, which would be directly between me and the previous picture of him up in the tree. Over the next six+ HOURS he flew down to a spot about 50 yards away and slowly, VERY VERY SLOWLY, made his way over to me and the decoy, continuously fanning, gobbling and occasionally feeding. Right at about 12 noon he was finally just on the edge of my shooting window, although he still needed to take a few steps to actually be in the spot where I could take a shot. Care to guess what he did next? Here is the last picture I took of him.
He stopped, fanned out and gobbling trying to get the hen to come to him, and eventually turned around and walked away. Go figure. I hadn't sat down or relaxed for over 6 hours. It took him another hour to meander away and go out of sight so I could leave the blind. Had this exact (although it didn't last nearly as long as this encounter) same thing happen a number of years ago with a gobbler getting just about to shooting position, stopping and gobbling trying to get the hen to come to him and then finally turning around and just leaving. Two more steps is all that was needed... The spot in the photo above is as far as he made it. I wonder how old this bird is as it was the most cautious and persistent approach I have ever seen and combined with his body and spur size makes me wonder.
Filled my tag today at 1:30 pm. It ran into the nearby creek and died in the middle of it, so it looked like a drowned rat when I pulled it out. First pic is after I pulled it out, second is after it partially dried off. Third pic is at home after it fully dried
Since I've retired I've got a lot of time to chase. I didn't write it down but I'm sure I hunted at least 30 mornings and about as many afternoons this year. I should have been done the first day I went as I missed a really good bird that day. In the afternoons I go to areas where I know the hens like to dust, maybe call VERY LIGHTYLY every hour or so with clucks and purrs, softly. I had 2 fields that were really tore up and so that's where I concentrated. My pictures are of a hen just getting out of a bowl and the second is in the other field with a hen I called in everytime I was there.
I'll add one additional turkey story from this season. The day after I got my bird above, I was driving out to Cabin Fever in Victoria to do some shooting and as I was going by Paisley Park (Prince's recording studio in Chan, and where he died) doing about 50-60 mph, a turkey hen runs out in front of me with no warning and I wallop her with the front-end passenger side. Talk about a feather explosion... I quickly pull over and she is still alive, unbelievably. So, I put her out of her misery and look at my truck. She broke the mounting/adjustment bracket on my passenger head light, but no other apparent damage. I'm glad she hit the front end and didn't fly up and hit the windshield as I have seen what a full-grown turkey can do to them at highway speeds. I've gone into hiding, too, because I found a picture of my truck under her wing with turkey scratchings underneath it. I don't speak turkey, but I think they have put out a hit on me for the one I killed this year... Be safe out there, guys, and watch your back.
And just to put the cherry on top, I dropped a shaving-sharp broadhead arrow (old-style Bear Razorhead) onto my foot last weekend as I was putting away my TURKEY hunting arrows. The arrow went about 1/2 way through my foot and embedded solidly enough that it stood straight up out of my foot. Luckily, it went between the tendons going to my toes and didn't damage any nerves or major blood vessels, although it bled for about 36 hours off and on, even after stitches were in. The pic is what this looks like just in case you get a hankering to do this to yourself for fun. There was absolutely no pain when it happened and no adrenaline to mask it if there was. Felt like someone just poked me with their finger. However, I now have three toes starting to turn black and blue and three stitches holding the cut together. I hope next year is as exciting as this one, or maybe not after I think about it.
Vogie, congratulations on breaking the bad-luck streak! Doesn't matter if it is bow or gun, post a picture if you can.
Thawing out my son's bird now as we are expecting company for the 4th.
Great way to celebrate the holiday and the successful season.
Reminder to everyone we live in a great state and country where I don't need govt permission to own a weapon, hunt, just buy a lisc. Lots of public land (not just for the elite or rich) and game isn't that hard to find if you are willing to work for it.