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I killed what I would call a good two year old on the first day of the season. I called him a super sophomore because he had a big ol beard and gobbled like a freight train until he met his demise.
Tonight, at 7:15pm I killed his Pappy.

I got done with work tonight at 4:30 and was supposed to meet a customer to look at a job, but they called to re-schedule. The gun and my camo were in the truck........so what's a fella to do but go turkey hunting???
I glassed a secluded field earlier in the week and was surprised to see 7 hens (one bearded hen) all by themselves without a Gob there to harass them. I just knew that sooner or later a longbeard was going to find those straggling ladies and hang out with them.

I sneaked up to the edge of the plowed field where the hens had been and glassed it, but there was only a single hen out scratching around. I tucked back in the woods to check on a small patch of secluded clover. Things are very green and dense, but somehow I caught movement of a red head before he saw me.
I had already called 3-4 times from locations that he should have been able to hear me, but all I got in return was the sound of silence.
I watched him through the binos trying to formulate a plan to get to the edge of the field so I might have a shot on him. Suddenly another red head appeared, and another, and another, and another.........5 longbeards and a single hen in about a 5 acre clover field.....just content and feeding.
There was no way I was getting to the edge with that many eyes, so I had to back off and use the terrain to come in from another angle. I literally belly crawled for the last 40 yards behind a windrow of logs and treetops until I was within 10' of the edge of the field. I needed them to break the corner around a super thick autumn olive bush and they would be within 15 yards of my barrel.
I gave them a few soft clucks and all they would do is poke their heads up, look at each other, and keep right on feeding. Getting closer, then turning away.......over and over and over again.

Suddenly, I hear wing beats coming in from behind me and two hens come crashing down into the field and land within feet of me. I thought for sure I was busted, but they hit the ground and immediately went over to the others. Couldn't believe I escaped that one.
About 10 minutes later I hear "crunch crunch crunch" coming from behind me. I turned around to see a big doe giving me the wide eyed stare down like she's about to blow the woods apart.........and of course she did....over and over and over and over until she had enough and went crashing off and snorting down through the woods. This place is filthy with deer and I figured she just ruined another hunt for me.
I turned around to see 5 red periscopes standing dead still. Then one starts pecking around again, and another, and another......I couldn't believe I was still in the game.

By this time I'm getting sore and bitten up by bugs and wondering just how bad I'm going to get the poison ivy I just crawled through.
One of the birds had a pretty good limp and I decided that I was going to shoot ol gimpy if I had my choice. He was the closest to me and moving my way anyways.
Then suddenly all heck broke loose in the field. Somebody stepped on somebody's toes and birds were kicking and flopping each other like the benches just cleared. As the show went on I noticed that only one bird was still wearing his white cap and he was bullying all the other gobblers around.
That was it, I set my sights on him and never took my eyes off him.
Mind you, this was all happening at less than 20 yards from me, but that stinkin' autumn olive bush that was providing me such wonderful concealment, just wasn't going to move to let me get a shot.
Time was starting to pester me about as much as the constant cell phone buzzing in my pocket. I figured it was wifey wondering where I was. I had to make a move.
I very slowly laid back down on the ground and methodically maneuvered my barrel to the outside edge of that bush and as quietly as I possible could make a sound on my mouth call, I let out three "tuck....tuck....tucks".

Here they come......three of them togther.....Gimpy, some other joker, and white head. Gimpy continues to walk past my barrel, and Slim Jim walks just past it and stops.......and "putt! Putt!! PUTT!!!
So close old fella. So close to living to see another day. But MR. White just couldn't help sticking his noggin's around the edge of that bush to see what Gimpy and Sweet Pea were so worked up about.
The ol' 870 barked once again and sent a swarm of those nasty #4 Longbeard XRs on their way.

I was all smiles when I put my foot on his head and watched those big ol hooks plowing up the dirt.
He never gobbled, and he never drummed or strutted, yet there is still something very satisfying about killing those silent birds.

22 pounds
9" paint brush
1 3/8" spurs on each side.
31" tail fan. (Biggest I've measured)










 

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Good Job Fairchild, awesome bird and good story. It was as if I was there watching it go down
 

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Awesome! Congrats!
 

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Very nice! Congrats. Got a little poison myself. Good luck with that. Hope you don't get it too bad.
 

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Awesome bird!! And enjoyed the story!!


Congrats!!!!



Bleach...I'd take a Luke warm shower and scrub with bleach...might stop the poison ivy before it starts...but..seeing as hot this was yesterday evening I'm too late...

Don't know if it'll work or not prior to it taking hold...but I use bleach when I have it and usually one time and it's done..
 

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That thing's a dinosaur! Good job, and good story!
 
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