KUIU - Pants
ALMOST
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Stoneman 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Jaquomo 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Bowboy 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Marty 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
dirtclod Az. 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 18-May-19
Hawkeye 18-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
t-roy 19-May-19
Dino 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Fauntleroy 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Bowboy 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Timbrhuntr 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Dino 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
spike78 19-May-19
Bowboy 19-May-19
JRABQ 19-May-19
Fauntleroy 19-May-19
t-roy 19-May-19
Drahthaar 19-May-19
Jaquomo 19-May-19
deerslayer 19-May-19
BigOk 19-May-19
midwest 19-May-19
JTreeman 19-May-19
Paul@thefort 19-May-19
Beav 20-May-19
buzz mc 20-May-19
Scoot 20-May-19
Mark Watkins 20-May-19
Brotsky 20-May-19
Paul@thefort 20-May-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 20-May-19
Paul@thefort 20-May-19
stick n string 20-May-19
Paul@thefort 20-May-19
From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
I do not know about you guys but when I cross over another state's border to hunt, I get excited. Sort of like, " the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" excited. Or when I was younger and single and hitting the bars searching for "game", excited. Or to have that Arizona Coues buck come within archery range, excited. I am very fortunate to live in Colorado where I can/may hunt or have hunted 10 of the big game species and then add in small game, there is lots to do and then to hunt, but adding an out- of- state tag brings out all sorts of memories or challenges to mind. And then add in all of the hunting stories one might read or have hear about hunting various game out-of-state, well that can add to the excitement.

After a few long months when other big game seasons have ended, will Spring ever come and will the turkeys cooperate. Come on April and May!

Nebraska has been my go-to turkey state for many years and of the 50 plus archery toms I have killed, the majority come from this state and I can not remember one year that I did not kill at least one turkey and a few years two toms (tag required for each tom turkey and up to three can be purchased). Colorado and Kansas has give up a few toms also.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I did kill a tom early in the season of early April but I had to wait at least 4 weeks after the hernia operation to go again so last week I headed out again but to a different area of Nebraska, the NW part. And while not a lot of turkeys in this area, if one looks around and maybe finds a local with some good intell, a fair spot may emerge. I have hunted turkeys in the traditional setting of wood, pastures, cropland, and creek bottoms but the bluff area of Nebraska opens up a brand new challenges and habitat.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
And being the late season where turkeys have been hunted for the past 6 weeks and the toms have searched, chased and gobbled 1000 times trying to entice a few cute chicks for a date, these toms are not as easy as they were a month before and may have second thoughts coming to calls and decoys.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
And being the late season where turkeys have been hunted for the past 6 weeks and the toms have searched, chased and gobbled 1000 times trying to entice a few cute chicks for a date, these toms are not as easy as they were a month before and may have second thoughts coming to calls and decoys.

From: Stoneman
18-May-19
Paul, good to hear you are feeling well enough to finish out your season. I will be following along.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
So last Sunday I arrive around 9:30 am and through the spotting scope I see three turkeys a mile way in one of the large pastures up against the bluffs. Two hens and a tom in full strut. I know it will take me an hour to get there and at least 30 minutes to get ready. Later off I go down the two track and as I get closer I look through the binoculars and see the two hens but not the toms. Later I discovered that the "tom" I thought I saw was actually a fanned out Yucca plant. Oh well, I keep heading that way.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
so now the wait is on and my ears were on high alert for any turkey sounds
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
so now the wait is on and my ears were on high alert for any turkey sounds
I cross the second pasture but made sure the turkeys are not in sight and then proceeded to the same Cedar tree where I had created a natural blind under the year before. Last year I spent all day under this tree as I had seen two toms and hens passing by the day before. That afternoon, and after waiting most of the day and around 4 am, the tom I had heard that morning, came by at 25 yards following a hen that was heading to my one hen decoy. I did every thing exactly right, EXCEPT, make the shot. Well, I ALMOST, did every thing right.

So I had high hopes for this same location this season, so I set up two wind drifter hen decoys and one tom, full strut tail fan decoy. Time, 1 pm.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
I hen cackle on my box call every 15 minutes and hope the sounds reach a tom's ears. The terrain is enough that I can not see all around but to the north I can see 200 yards. This was the same direction the turkeys came from last year. I prayed that I would hear a tom's gobble response before one came into view. And then around 4:30.......

From: Jaquomo
18-May-19
Around 4:30 what? WHAT??!!

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
but then I noticed he had company of the female kind
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
but then I noticed he had company of the female kind
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I would cackle, he wound respond, I would cluck, he responded the same, I would purr, he just stayed there.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I would cackle, he wound respond, I would cluck, he responded the same, I would purr, he just stayed there.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Henned up. YEP
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Henned up. YEP
And then around 4:40 PM, and to the north I hear a responding gobble 150 yards away. Perfect! Searching through the 10x bios, I see this tom strutting and looking in my direction.

From: Bowboy
18-May-19
Keep it coming!

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
Later he and his girl friend started to leave so I crawled out of the blind, got the Heads Up tom decoy, headed around and out of sight and maybe, just maybe he might come back and close. I did deploy the HeadsUP within 100 yards and crawled forward, but he continued up the hill and into the bluffs. Well that ALMOST worked. Tomorrow is another day so I hiked back across the flats to the truck for food and shelter; 4:00 am will get here soon enough.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
4:am already! Dark but with a quarter moon. My thick air mattress had a slight leak, enough be be completely deflated by 3 am., so I just finished the last hour on the hard surface. Two Advil will fix that. I packed two Cliff Bars, two oranges, and two apples for lunch. Some hot cider and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was for breakfast. Also a quart of water as it might be a long day and the temps were predicted to be in the low 80s. As I hiked the hour in the dark to the SPOT, I decided to make a new blind where the tom had been strutting. This time I carried my full bodied jake decoy and three hen decoys. Maybe a chance of tactics would work. Late season. Might be worth the try.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
This picture shows exactly where the tom, the day before, was strutting with his girl friend in front of this cedar tree.

I placed three hen decoys 15 yards from the blind and settled in. Before sunrise I heard one tom gobble way off to the east. I am sure it was the same one as before. The sun came up in all of is glory. It was going to be hot but I was in the shade and committed for all day.

From: Marty
18-May-19
Following along Paul! Thanks for sharing again!

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
As before, I would cluck and hen cackle every 15 minutes. Nothing for the first three hours. Once I got up and stood at the entrance of the blind to stretch and to look about. I see these two mule deer feeding across and in the adjacent pasture. Between taking a few cat naps and reading a good book the time moved slowly for the next hour , but then while on my back, head propped up and reading I sensed something and looked over the top of the book. Right there in from of me and within range.......

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
And standing right there, 20 yards, and looking at my decoys was a big horned sheep ram. Now over the years, I have seen , elk, deer, coyotes from the turkey blind but not often a big horn sheep. Actually I was not able to get a picture of the ram because as I slowly reached for my camera, It spooked. This ram picture was taken a few weeks before and in another area of the Bluffs. Still an unexpected thrill and great memory.

18-May-19
Love your adventures Paul. Thanks always for sharing!

From: dirtclod Az.
18-May-19
Great stuff Paul keep it coming.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Seeing that ram so close brought back memories of my ram hunt here in Colorado in 1997. After nearly two weeks of hunting , this ram gave me a bow close opportunity.

From: Paul@thefort
18-May-19
So now it is nearing noon and I have not hear another gobble, so I exited the blind, climb a near by hill and look back over the pastures, back towards where I had parked. There, two hens 200 yards away!. I give out a few hen cackles but all they do is look my way. No gobbles from an unseen tom. Back at the blind I decided to set out the jake decoy along with the three hens. Not sure why but I did, maybe just for a change of scenery.

12:28 Pm GOBBLE, GOBBLE , GOBBLE and within a 75 yards and off to the left but behind cover. I answer back; nothing. I call again; nothing. What just happened?

Well I think what just happened is that an unseen tom was near those two hens and while he did not respond, he did hear the call. A little later, he advanced but when he saw the decoys with the jake decoy added, he let his presents known but did not advance and then just left with his girls. Well that ALMOST happened!

By 5 oclock I had had enough and headed back to the truck. I would give this area a rest and head 40 miles to another spot where I have killed a few toms. I will get there and watch and listen from the truck and then decide where to hunt in the morning.

From: Hawkeye
18-May-19
Incredible thread as always Paul. Love your writing style--keep it coming!

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
on my way back I stopped by this historic trailing post, mid 1800s.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
on my way back I stopped by this historic trailing post, mid 1800s.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
got to love the history and the settlers of the mid west in the early 1800s by some adventuresome people.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
got to love the history and the settlers of the mid west in the early 1800s by some adventuresome people.
So here is my setup two years ago in the new area I just moved to. I did kill a good tom that evening. So now, I move to the same area this day, and set up in the dark the next morning. I had heard no gobbles at fly up time the evening before. First light comes. No gobbles. An hour later, no gobbles, 10 am, no turkeys sighted or heard. Time to bail out and explore.

Back at the truck I decide just to return to the same spot where I had seen the sheep but I head across country, down a long canyon road, check out two spots, and around 4 pm, end up back at the parking lot as the day before. Time to take a good rest and just set on the hill next to the truck and look over the country for turkeys. So now I had hunted Sunday afternoon, Monday all day, Tuesday morning, and now, tomorrow, Weds. I wondered if the air mattress would last through out the night.

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19
Back at the truck and on the hill next to it, as I look over the Bluff and adjacent pastures with the binoculars, I see turkeys and right back to where I had been the first Sunday afternoon. They fed right past the blind, along the tree filled ravine and through a downed fence, and back to their roost area at dark. I knew where I would be in the morning.. Yea, within a hundred yards of the roost. I would have to get up a little earlier. I set the alarm for 3:45 am.

The moon was a little brighter but it was still dark when the alarm went off. The air mattress still had some air in it, so I was not down to a hard sleeping surface. Normal breakfast and lunch as eaten/stashed/water for sure, and just the three hen decoys would make the trip. I needed to get going. Maybe this would be my lucky day and no more ALMOSTS.

From: t-roy
19-May-19
I’m ALMOST ready for the hero shot, Paul! Great stuff so far!

From: Dino
19-May-19
Great thread! Keep it coming.

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Tom and jake following hen out of range
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Tom and jake following hen out of range
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I call, he gobbles back
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I call, he gobbles back
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and then over the hill and out of sight. I hear him gobble for the next hour but those sounds fade as he moves farther away and out of my life. Well maybe.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and then over the hill and out of sight. I hear him gobble for the next hour but those sounds fade as he moves farther away and out of my life. Well maybe.
Another hour long hike in the dark but I got across the two pastures and two deep eroded ravines in time. I found this good natural hid along the ravine and within 150 yards of where I thought they might have roosted. I placed out the three hen decoys and backed into the cover as it was getting light. I heard the tom gobble shortly after and within a few minutes I see him and two other birds pitch down in the field. I called and they were heading my way. I see movement and it is a hen they were following but she stopped 50 yards away to examine the decoys. "Come on, come on". She veered from the decoys and starts up a light rise in the field 45 yards away. I see movement behind her; it is a jake and then the tom in full strut. The tom is following the hen, the jake is heading for the decoys and then ends up within 15 feet of me , staring in my direction trying to figure out where the hen sounds are coming from. I am frozen in place and pinned down. The tom is following the hen but is only 33 yards away and moving. I can not draw on the tom and then thought, I will just kill the jake but he turned away so fast, it gave me no opportunity to draw, less shoot. DAM! ALMOST!

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19
Do grown men cry? YEA! We have all been there and we have all had those ALMOST situations. Nothing guaranteed! Just think of all of the hunts you have been on and then compare the successful ones with the ALMOST ones. I bet the ALMOST ones outweigh the successful ones by a huge huge margin. If only I had had a shot gun--well almost.

The day was not over yet.

From: Fauntleroy
19-May-19
Way to go Paul, keep after them!

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19
So now what? There were very few turkeys around and the two toms that I had seen were traveling but surely henned up most of the time and they did not want to come to decoys and only acknowledged any calling without committing.

Another move but to where? I did know that they traveled this area so I would locate another blind setup in between the first cedar tree blind and the (sheep) cedar tree blind. This way I would have good sighting both ways and with luck, a tom might come by. I made the move, located a good setup, placed out only two hen decoys this time and settled in. Time--8:30 am. Another warm day but a good chance of afternoon thunder showers and the clouds were starting to thicken up from the west. I hen cackled on the box call and mixed in a few clucks. The hillside straight across was 68 yards away but I could see 300 yards to the east and 200 yards to the west. I was within 75 yards of the (Sheep) blind off to my left.

9:15 am. I get up to stretch and then decided to cross over and hike up the small hill out front, find a good observation point and then scan the surrounding area. From this high point I knew I could see my truck over a mile away. Maybe a turkey or two.

From: Bowboy
19-May-19
Keep after them Paul. Your persistence will make it happen.

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
this tom had a top middle tail feather that allowed me to id him a few times.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
this tom had a top middle tail feather that allowed me to id him a few times.
It only took a moment to catch some movement. No not a Yucca plant this time but a full fledged tom following four hens a quarter mile away and right along the 4 strand fence I had followed along coming in in the dark. This was a different tom than this morning's encounter and they were sort of heading in my direction but they had a deep , tree thick ravine to cross to get in the pasture I was looking over. Later they made the crossing and were still moving in my direction.

I headed back to the blind and waited and then called, and then called again. No returned gobble. They were sure taking their time. Then a gobble over the hill and right near were I had been observing. Because of the hill, I could not see them but could tell they were moving past and were not coming to investigate the calling. Ten minutes later, the last gobble faded.

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19
Maybe if I had waited at the observation point on the hill, watched their movement getting closer, I might have been able to ambush the tom. I ALMOST did. I ALMOST had a close encounter. Yea, ALMOST! 10 AM. It was going to be another long day as I watched the clouds thicken and get darker coming from the west. I ALMOST headed back to the truck but then the warm sun would pop out again. Another beautiful day in the turkey "woods"; I stayed.

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19
By 3 pm I had read a few chapters in the Tom Clancy, Line of Sight book, taken a few cat naps, eaten an orange and an apple and one blueberry Cliff Bar., and finished off one container of water-- I had another. All I needed now was to get a "line of sight" on a tom turkey. The wind was picking up and the clouds had darkened, a few rain drops spit down. I just hunkered down more trying to keep a positive outlook. As before, every 15 minuted I would hen cackle on the box call but even louder now that the wind was blowing stronger.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED!

From: Timbrhuntr
19-May-19
lol

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
OFF HE WENT
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
OFF HE WENT
Then it happened, a loud gobble from over the hill and when looking I could barely see the tom's head as he was peeking over the cover. What was he thinking?

What was he thinking? Well here is what I think he was thinking. He was thinking, "Hey girls, I have been searching, chasing , following, gobbling, after you hens for the past month so now if you was some action come a get it. I will be dammed if I will come down there. So if it is action you want, then come and follow me. I am heading over to my strut area. " (the area in front of the sheep blind). And off he went. I watched him go. Another ALMOST!

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
the tom ends up right in front of the sheep cedar tree blind
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
the tom ends up right in front of the sheep cedar tree blind
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and he gobbles in response to my calling
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and he gobbles in response to my calling
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
later works his way up the hill
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
later works his way up the hill
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almost to the foot of the Bluffs and out of sight
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
almost to the foot of the Bluffs and out of sight

From: Dino
19-May-19
Keep sweet talking him!!!!

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19
Well, sharing this story with you guys is sort of like going to a therapist; one gets the frustration of their chest, calms the mind, relaxes the body and soul. I just feel better now that the turkey season is over and can look back at a few of the highs and lows. I had success, saw a few other critters, had some close encounters, got in some great exercise and fresh air. What more can a guy ask for?

So is my turkey season actually over, well maybe not. I had planned on heading into the mountains to trout fish next week but a late season storm is brewing but I see their might be a two days of fair weather window back at the turkey area.

I was ALMOST thinking about heading back. What do you guy think?

Thanks for following along. my best, Paul

From: spike78
19-May-19
Head back Paul, you can fish the rest of the year! Great story.

From: Bowboy
19-May-19
Load up the truck and go Paul!

From: JRABQ
19-May-19
Great story, thanks for taking us along.

From: Fauntleroy
19-May-19
You can fish when you get back.

From: t-roy
19-May-19
WWCTWDD?

What would Chase the wonder dog do??!! I’d bet he would tell you to keep after it. Plenty of time for fishing!

From: Drahthaar
19-May-19
Go hunt, take your rod along and fish after you kill that Tom. Forrest

From: Jaquomo
19-May-19
Great story, Paul! I just ran over and asked Chase and he said "stay". That's only one of about six words he knows... Trish is having a great time with you gone, said to take your time coming home.

What's that, Trish? Sure, pour me another one!

From: deerslayer
19-May-19
Turkey hunt!!!!

From: BigOk
19-May-19
Good luck!!!

From: midwest
19-May-19
Great story telling, Paul! Hope you give it one more shot and fill that tag! It's a long time till next turkey season.

From: JTreeman
19-May-19
Thanks for sharing Paul. There certainly is a whole lot of ALMOST in turkey hunting!

—jim

From: Paul@thefort
19-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Thanks guys for the encouragement. I checked out my window of opportunity for next week. The window looks very narrow. Wed and AM Thursday looks the best but not great.

Tues, 40 degrees, Low 34 degrees, 100% change of rain. 1.5 inch

Wed. 49 degrees, partly cloudy during day. NW winds 10-20 mph..50% chance of rain in late pm.

Thursday. 52 degrees,,40% chance of rain, NE winds, 10-15

Friday , rain

From: Beav
20-May-19
Thanks for sharing Paul! Hope you make it out again.

From: buzz mc
20-May-19
Paul, great story as always. The fish can wait. I turkey hunted the NW corner of NE several years ago and have been meaning to get back. It's such a unique area and your story reminds me of my time there.

From: Scoot
20-May-19
Good stuff Paul! Go get one this week, rain or shine!

From: Mark Watkins
20-May-19
Great story telling and pics as always Paul! Thanks for taking us along!

Incredible to see that ram!!

Yes, you need to go back to Nebraska!!!

Mark

From: Brotsky
20-May-19
Great story Paul! The "almosts" are what keep us chasing them tricksters! Hope to see hear you were able to get back out to get it done! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us as always.

From: Paul@thefort
20-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Mark, yea, rams for sure. Here are 3 of the 4, I saw that day and five weeks before the Almost hunt/ story.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
20-May-19
As always, thanks for sharing your hunts Paul.

From: Paul@thefort
20-May-19
Ok,, targeting Friday and Saturday, two days without rain and with sun and warmer. Paul

20-May-19
Rootin for ya!!!

From: Paul@thefort
20-May-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
"What, Paul is coming back, Oh Shit!, Where can we go, where can we hid?"

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