2021 Turkey Thread

Discussion in 'Nebraska Flyway Forum' started by Huskermut, Mar 30, 2021.

  1. Huskermut

    Huskermut Senior Refuge Member

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    Sep 12, 2018
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Went out in the cold Saturday morning and sat up in an alfalfa field with my 28 gauge. Heard one gobble between all the roosts the whole morning. One roost got down and was out on the other side of the field about 200 yards away from me. Saw a few jakes strutting but no toms. They stayed out that distance for about 30 minutes before cutting into a tree line and disappearing. Had a hen and a tom walk behind me a little later but they weren't interested in my decoys at all. Moved my set into the treeline, thinking that's where they'd be with the wind that day. Sat there for a few hours without seeing or hearing anything. Packed all my stuff up and headed back to my truck. Once I got there, saw a flock way across the field with a nice tom right next to the tree line. Figured I'd try to put the sneak on him. Put on some camo and slowly worked my way through the trees. Finally got up to where I saw them last. Belly-crawled up a little hill so I could see if they were still there and they were. I only had a small window to shoot through and waited about seven minutes for the tom to make his way there. A few hens started putting before but I was able to mouth call to calm them down. Finally got the tom where he needed to be and knocked him down. I don't spot and stalk a lot anymore but it was definitely a rush. The tom had a nine inch beard and some gnarly spurs (1 1/8") on him. 174241648_10225677742558143_7559810486147370381_n.jpg 174224174_10225677743158158_3581702929157008862_n.jpg
     
  2. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Panhandle
    My bad luck continues this season. I went with my dad this morning to a spot that he has permission on that winters hundreds of birds. We set up on a flock of about 50 birds, but could hear a bunch of gobblers down the creek a little over a half mile away. Two birds immediately started coming towards us and I could tell they were males, with one being a for sure gobbler. Well they kind of skirted us at about 35-40 yards and never really did stop. I wasn't convinced the other bird was a gobbler because they both had very short beards and he never strutted to see his fan. They went past and part of the flock worked closer to us and held up. About that time I saw that pair coming back towards us closer this time. They stopped about 25-30 yards away for several seconds but I just wasn't convinced yet that they were both gobblers. I wanted my dad and I both to have a shot so I let them go, but immediately regretted it as I convinced myself they were both toms with short 4" beards. The whole flock came somewhat close to us and fed in a little feed yard/wind break about 90 yards away for five or ten minutes before they all went the other way. We were both pressed for time since we had to work this morning so I thought we would try and sneak in a little closer to make something happen. As we were sneaking along, we were probably only 50 yards from our set up spot when I heard gobblers behind us. I thought "you've got to be kidding me". We didn't have much for cover where we were so we crawled up to a brush pile and waited and sure enough two toms must have came from down the creek our way and walked right behind where we had just been sitting. It looked like they too were going to go feed in that little feed yard/wind break and I thought as soon as they got behind the sheet metal wind break we would sneak up there and just shoot them. (I swear when you've had some bad luck, your mind just doesn't think clearly sometimes.) Well like a dummy, the whole flock spotted us while sneaking over to the wind break and that must have alerted the other two toms because we got up there and they were already on the run 50 yards away. We took a shot at them stupidly and they joined the other flock unscathed, and just like that the hunt was over and I felt like a total noob turkey hunter. Another hunt, another lesson or two learned haha.
     
  3. Keith S.

    Keith S. Senior Refuge Member

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    311
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Location:
    NE
    Went out for my first solo hunt Saturday afternoon around 4. I didn't think I was nervous, still don't, but I forgot so much stuff and had to go home 2 times. The place I hunt is kind of a valley with most of the area around it being higher in elevation, so I set up on the highest part to give me the most visibility and I was still within sight of what I think is the roost. Around 5 I saw one tom struttin and 9 hens. 3-6 of them were rolling around in the dirt. Looking through my binos I thought a tom was doing his deed but I didn't think another tom would be struttin 15 yards from it but wasn't sure at all. The birds were 250 yards SW of me and we had a strong NW wind, but I called several times and here come 2 turkeys. The tom I originally saw never stopped struttin in the corn field. However, the 2 hens did come right in. When they were coming in, they would call, I would call back and we had a back and forth dialog for a little while. They checked out my decoys, probably were 10 steps away, then they went back to the rest of the flock. They walked around their corner in that field for the next 30 min or so before going over the hill. I ended up staying till about 745. Being it was brisk and windy and I hadn't seen anything for a couple hours, I decided to pull the pin and call it a day. I was trying to take the blind apart, which that was quite the task! I was ready to burn the MF'r right there I was so frustrated! At one point I walked away and picked up my decoys, only to have 2 coyotes top the hill 100 yards away. We had a 5 minute stare down before they turned around and went over the hill. I did end up getting the blind taken down and put away and made it to my truck just before needing to turn on a headlamp. Sunday a friend that lives 1/2 mile east of this place heard a single shot from the direction of this place, he figured I got a bird. If someone did get that tom, hopefully another one moves in by this weekend. Overall my first solo turkey hunt was a fun experience and I'm looking forward to the next time I can get out.
     
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  4. Keith S.

    Keith S. Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    311
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Location:
    NE
    Went out Saturday night so see if they were roosting in the same place. Sure enough they were, I could even see them up in the roost tree. The roost area is a 10 acre rectangular stand of timber and the pasture I have permission on is to the east of the roost. There is a house right on the east edge of this timber so I stay to the far north, even though I have permission and the house owner knows I'm there and is ok with it, but I don't know him and am doing everything I can to not give me a bad name with him. Google earth says I'm about 1000 feet from the turkeys but there is a pretty steep hill between us, still I was pretty excited for Sunday morning. Got there, forgot my headlamp but it was just light enough to see without it. Got set up right on the edge of the cornfield this time with my decoys in the pasture. This was a terrible spot to set up because the hill didn't give me any kind of advantage that I could think of. Around 615 heard a tom gobbling in the tree, I'd call, he'd respond. We went back and forth till about 650. There were times were it sounded like he was right on top of the hill, then it sounded like he was on the other side of the timber. I'm guessing he was turning around in the tree. I never did see a turkey, I picked up at 8 cause I had to get to my daughters first communion at church, but it was still a fun morning! I'm gonna try to get out tomorrow morning and again Friday morning with my daughter, that might be a disaster, but she says she wants to go and that's the biggest reason I am trying this turkey hunting.
     
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  5. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Panhandle
    I am finally on the board for 2021! I was hunting a small 60 acre patch of timber next to a larger property that I've had permission on in the past. The son who I always get permission from said that his mom and grandma shut their property down because they have some elk that moved in and they wanted to keep them around. He laughed about it and wished he could give me permission, but said hopefully next year. Well anyway, that limits my hunting to an extent because they usually don't roost on the property that I had permission on. Beings that I needed to get to work by 8:00 I knew I had my work cut out for me, unless they actually roosted on my side. They did not and once I got into the timber to the property line I could tell there were some roosted in a traditional roost site maybe 600 from me according to OnX and then maybe two more gobblers roosted maybe 1000 yards away, so plenty far. I could barely hear them on the roost the way it was and then they went quiet once they hit the ground. I thought it was going to be nearly impossible to call them from that far away with a good breeze in a short amount of time. The only way I thought it might work is if I move up and down the property line calling and making it seem like the hen is moving around. After 30-45 minutes of doing that the birds that were roosting closest seemed like maybe they were getting closer as I could get them to respond to my diaphragm call, but not my box call. I think they held up a few hundred yards away still it seemed so I thought I'd work down the fence line again and call some more. I got maybe 70 yards from where I had just been sitting and hear a lone gobble from the direction of the far roosted birds, but it seemed very close to where I just was. Once again I thought I had just screwed up the hunt and my bad luck continued. I got hid behind some pines and cedars on my knees and he appeared over a rise maybe 100 yards away. He was coming right at me fairly fast, but would stop and strut every 25 yards or so. He got to 16 yards and it was all over. I'm convinced had I taken a decoy he probably would have seen it and hung up far and just strutted for it, but with no decoy he came looking for the sound. It happened very fast, from the time I first heard him gobble to the time I shot him was probably three minutes. I found a bonus elk shed too to cap off a great morning! I am heading up to my Pine Ridge ranch this Friday through Sunday. Should be a great time up there as well!
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  6. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Panhandle
    *Long report so skip ahead if this doesn't interest you. We got back from our Pine Ridge trip Sunday afternoon and had a wonderful time. We got to our camp at about 4:00 on Friday afternoon and were only 15 minutes into setting up camp and heard a gobble only 300 some yards from camp. We dropped what we were doing and changed into our gear and headed out after him. We snuck up behind a little crest in a hill and could hear hens out there also. We got sat down and started calling and instantly had two toms coming right at our calling. I was up first so I was going to try and shoot both if they came in. They got to 30 yards and stopped, so I pulled the trigger when both heads were lined up and all I heard was a click. I ejected that shell out quickly, but they spooked and I took a shot as they were running away with no luck. I was pretty upset after that. There was a fair amount of gobbling that first evening but we didn't have any other close encounters. The next morning we tried getting in on a roost with several gobblers but they flew down the opposite way across a big canyon so we didn't even go chase them. It didn't take long however to find a small group of two toms and three hens. We got set up again along a road through a clump of trees in not the most ideal spot, but it would be just fine if he came all the way in. I had one of the two gobblers fired up pretty good and the other four birds just left but he stuck around. They were out over 150 yards away and I could see him across the meadow. He started coming in very slow, but as soon as those other birds left he picked up his pace slightly. Once he got to about 60 yards I couldn't see him anymore, but I got him to respond twice and I could tell he was still coming. Luckily he came right to the road in the trees and as soon as I saw his fan my heart was racing big time! He got to 24 yards and gave me a good shot with his head raised and I put him down with the 20 gauge. He was a beautiful bird and I couldn't have been happier! I shot him at 7:00 and we heard maybe one gobble from 8:00 until 5:15 that evening. We hunted until noon and then went to town for lunch and then sat in camp from 1:30 until 5:15 when we decided to go after that bird. He was pretty hot and fired up and all alone so I thought we had a good chance. We got sat down quickly and he started slowly strutting in. He was tough to see because there were a lot of pines between him and us but we finally saw him about 60 yards out but he hung up. We aren't sure why but he just didn't want to come so he turned around and walked off. We thought maybe that was a time a decoy would have worked. We were able to get out and in front of him and found him in a meadow feeding along. I called once and he sprinted right at us. As soon as he crested the hill at 30 yards my buddy (Huskermut) thought he was going to turn away so he shot. He is not sure what happened but he missed. He was pretty dejected, but I knew the feeling as I just experienced something similar the day before. We got on one more tom about a half hour before sundown that was strutting for us, but wouldn't come off his one hen. We were pretty beat, so we didn't put a lot of effort in Sunday morning. Birds on the roost flew the opposite direction over another canyon again. We found a lone tom, that was pretty talkative, but practically ran from us the whole time we were after him. He kept responding to my calling but just wouldn't stop so we gave up and decided to pack up camp early. We did some calling on the way out of the property and got a response 175 yards from the truck over a hill. We got out and buzzed over there quick and there was a lone tom feeding in a meadow while walking. We tried calling to see if he would come and he stopped. He went into half strut but would not come so we tried a fan and that didn't work either. He eventually fed off and we decided to call it a hunt. It was a lot of work but a great time for both of us! Our phones said we probably hiked around 25 miles so we were plenty tired, but I can't wait to do it again next year!
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  7. Huskermut

    Huskermut Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Sep 12, 2018
    Location:
    Nebraska
    _DSC6906 Full Color.jpg IMG_20210503_094813_259.jpg IMG_20210503_094813_334.jpg IMG_20210503_094813_303.jpg Some more photos from @nebgoosehunter 's post above. Worked our butts off but had an absolute blast.
     
  8. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    828
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Panhandle
    Great pics! Who's that crazy guy up on the windmill. :l I'm pretty sure that streak across the sky in the last pic is a satellite.
     
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