Our season ends at 1:00pm every day or I’d get little rest during the 3 week season.
Ridge runnerSaturday, was the start of Tennessee's start of spring turkey season. I started the morning off by arriving at a prominent turkey hot spot just before nautical twilight. The birds were already beginning to gobble before sunrise; 7-8 where I was heading to set up, 3 at least in the closed off area, 2 more across the lake to the right.
Hastily I moved across the now marshy lake bottom, slowed my pace to the base of the ridge, then quietly as I could move to my preplanned position and a hasty setup to await the turkeys to move over to me as normally they do, or use to anyway.
As sunrise approached so did the excitement of all the gobbling, now more turkeys joined the chorus of aforementioned gobblers.
Suddenly a burst of cackles, sound of wings and of turkeys coming to the ground off their roosts all around me.
My eyes then my head started the slow tedious swivel in search for an approaching gobbler to come over the little ridge to me.
Suddenly a shot ring out from across the lake. Okay the first shot of opening day of this turkey season won't be mine. About fifteen minutes later four more shots from across and the left side of the lake ring out. With the sound of the shots the gobblers near me would gobble like crazy.
As I work my slate turkey call the gobblers are real excited and I can hear them moving toward and to the left of this natural blind, to the right a hen cackles. My turkey call isn't needed as now a hen will be calling these gobblers toward the hide and my awaiting shotgun.
It's been about forty minutes since my initial arrival; these birds are still excited.
POP! That sounded like a 410 on the other ridge to my right, followed by a BOOM! That was either a 20 gauge or 2 3/4 inch 12 gauge further up the other ridge. Now the gobbling nearly ceases.
I use my slate and box calls to fire the gobblers back up. There they are, 2 nice long beards; Where are the rest?
These 2 gobblers are around 70+/- yards, sneaking across in front of my hide.
The woods are now quiet. It's now 8 am, only "tweetie" birds and squirrels are moving about. Where did all the turkeys go?
Scanning the area with my eyes then slowing shifting my head to the right then left, nothing but annoying squirrels moving, it's 8:45; WTF, SOB, what happened to all those turkeys? Where'd they go? I slowly stand up looking, listening, nothing.
Its 10:00am: As usual no since in staying around the turkeys have disappeared toward the boat ramp/ NO HUNTING AREA side across from me.
Next: Sunday day 2
Great Story! I like to go back and check out stories I hadn't seen yet. That's a great read. I was right there by you. It's cool that you reported one that wasn't so successful. And with a great sense of humor. That's refreshing...and every bit as good (and as relatable to any hunter) as a successful one.
Thanks for that!
It's exactly what keeps me going farther back in the archives. You can't buy this stuff from any magazine rack.
Be careful how far back you go my friend as some don't like revisiting old posts but I think it's great to see what it was like and what we used then.
@Ridge RunnerMy equipment:
Weapon: my previously patterned, 12 gauge, 28 inch barrel, full choke tube, shotgun.
Ammunition is 3 inch, number 5 shot
A Slate and a cedar box turkey calls with synthetic strikers, a relatively stiff ball cap
When weather permits, the next trip afield, I will break out the 10 (11) gauge, double barrel, muzzle loading shotgun. Using: 70 grain charge of 3f powder, over powder card, felt wad, 2 5/8 inch shot cup filled with number 5 shot, and over shot card.
@Standard VelocitySounds like a more exciting turkey hunt than any of my attempts. Swing and a miss is better than staying home.
I spent a little time teaching an 8 year old to squirrel hunt this winter. I saw he and his father the day before turkey season and the boy was very excited to go shoot a turkey with his 410 the next morning. I bemoaned my poor turkey hunting abilities and told him how difficult turkey hunting can be; that it takes a true woodsman to be a good turkey hunter.
He promised to give me a turkey if he shot two. What a kind offer from this kid with such high hopes and undaunted belief in his abilities. I wished them luck and went home.
The next morning he had a nice Tom on the ground with his little 410 and a big smile.
Hope the remainder of your season is productive.
Having a scope on your shotgun can’t hurt either! We can’t use scoped shotguns in the spring or scoped muzzle loaders during the big game muzzle loading seasons here. I guess sucks to be us. NICE bird!
@Standard VelocityHa! No not really. I’ve taken truckloads of game. Seeing a kid have their first successful hunt gets me about as emotional as a Hallmark movie.
A few years ago there was one more kid than there were parents on a youth hunt. I volunteered to take the kid to the stand and darned if he wasn’t the only kid to shoot a deer. That was about as exciting of a hunt I’ve had in recent memory.