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Upstate Nerdnecks Nonsense

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Figured it would be a good idea to start one of these, much more likely to put it here than write it down anywhere.  Found myself reading my own posts from last year for patterns etc.

Planning on getting up at 4am to go see who's gobbling tomorrow, then roll back home to get the kids off to school.  Wind should be dead, maybe some rain showers.  Nothing like coffee on a tailgate as the sky lightens up!



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May 1: Went out opening day, high wind, snow.  Tried the side of the hill where the wind wasn't too bad, trolled south about 800 yards a few ledges down, calling every 200 yards or so.  Nothing.  Found a really nice rub line right below one of my stands, and in a spot where I'd like to have the logger widen the logging road for a plot.


May 2: Still windy, went south to buddy Alfonzo's white oaks, trolled the lee side of the knob, nothing, sat and called for a half our or so on the south face, nothing.  Hiked back uphill to the very top point of the ridge, just south of the pines near the corner between Al's place and the lease property.  Wind was hitting pretty good right there, but I called and got an almost immediate but faint gobble at least a few hundred yards away.  Gobbled once, didn't again, I figured he was coming hot.  Quickly set out the deek near the corner, backed off and put a huge oak to my back, was about 20 yards from the stone wall that is the property line.  Figured he'd come right up along the field edge to take a peek at the deek.  Just as I got settled with my left shoulder pointed at the deek, he started hammering from dead ahead of me in the pines.  I called once then clammed up, within 60 seconds I could see him, crusing just over the property line/stone wall on the lease property.  He picked a gap in the stone wall, under the barb wire, which I later paced off to be about 19 yards.  As soon as he crossed the property line I squeezed off, and watched him scoot back through the gap onto the lease.  I cackled immediately, and he started hammering again, with the stone wall between me and him.  Kept gobbling and worked his way off down hill slowly.

I know I shot high, put the dots right under his head.  Sights have been replaced because I can't be intelligent in the moment and remember to shoot low.  If the rain lets up I'll go tweak the pattern so it's right on the beads.  Seems like most of my shots are 30 and under so it shouldn't be an issue.


Keep thinking if I'd just kept the full choke / sight exactly the same as I have for 25 years I'd have 3 more birds.  But that doesn't upset me the way it would with a decent buck.  I find the past few birds I've killed I've given away most of the meat because I don't want to chew, or have my kids chew on lead pellets.  Doesn't really make me mad to educate a some younger gobblers, but missing that big boss bird last year still stings.  Had to break out all the tricks to get a shot at him.

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After epic phail on that bird, I got pinned down by 2 jakes for a half hour or so, and discovered my thermacell butane was out.  So I sat in the sun and glassed the jakes harassing a hen, then cruise by south to the pines.  Walked back to the cabin for a break, then cruised around the top property.  Wind was really rolling by this time.  Set up in the lower trefoil field out of the wind with the deeks, called, and 2 fields over on the lease one starts hammering.  Problem:  neighbor is around between me and him, so he never comes.  Plus I'm having to scream on the mouth call to be heard.  Eventually after about 45 minutes of that I pack up and head into the woods in the middle of the property.  Thought i heard a gobble getting closer at that point, and it's possible he busted me as we made a move towards each other.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was parked by the cabin at 440, already light enough to see.  Not a gobble to heard.  Set up in the lower trefoil field, no customers.  After a bit of wandering set up in the field with the food plot around 845. 

Setup by a pine blowdown in the shadows in the leaf suit, pretty well tucked in.  Around..... 930?  945?  Heard a gobble just at the edge of hearing as I was thinking about packing it in.  Got a bit closer, gobble, then go quiet for 5 to 10 minutes, so by the time we as actually close, call it 1030?  Ass was asleep, back ached, hands were cold from being in the ready position for that long. 

He started hammering just out of sight by the stream on the wood road (squiggles below),  and wouldn't budge.  So I clammed up, and after 10 or so he worked his way up threw a thick hedge row/stream bottom, towards the gap to the next field, which was maybe 50 yards away. Eventually got behind me in the pines and started putting, even though I hadn't moved a muscle.  Never once did I actually see him.

I know he saw that Jake and hen decoy, but he was wary of them.  Maybe he associates them with busting me last weekend while the Jakes were beating on the deek. 

  Maybe he saw my outline from the side?  Had a freshly blown down pine screening me from behind, which made a great back drop for the leafy suit.    He was definitely not buying that hen was calling from the field, he was looking exactly at where I was parked 20 yards away.

Maybe I can catch him henned up and piss the hens off tomorrow.  If I get him gobbling again from a ways off again I'm going to make a move closer along what route I think he'll take and just clam up, and try and ambush him.

Love wary old birds like this.



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  • 4 months later...

Was out opening day, nothing in the morning opening day in the ladder stand by the state land.  Right around dark had 3 doe come in down wind looking for me in the stand below Kenny's stand spot on the side of the hill.

1 week later tagged a 2 year old 7 point at dark, #from_the_ground. 

Note to self: For the first week or so of the season next year, get a stand directly ON that plot, and mow it 2 weeks before the season again.

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