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2022 Wolc Journal


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1st turkey hunt of the spring for me, out back this morning.  I heard a total of (10) gobbles from what sounded like two different birds, both less than 200 yards away.  Those started about 5:40 and ended before 6:00.   
 

I tried a few yelps from my loud mouth call, and the first gobbler answered that with a gobble, then shut up.  The other one I heard was a little farther away, about 15 minutes after my calls.  Other than that,  just made a few clucks with my little wood push button call.  I heard two distant shots, just before 6:00. Nothing heard but a few series of “hen” yelps after 6:00.

 

It looks like this blind is needing some work.  I will need to cut a piece of 3/4” marine plywood, 2 ft wide and the length of my 870 to patch the floor of the lower (enclosed) level.   I will also need to clear away that downed ash and patch the upper deck wall up top with a piece of barnwood.

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I hit my parents place for a turkey hunt this morning.  No gobblers heard or seen, but I did call in a hen.   She started yelping about a minute after I blasted out a series of yelps with my loud mouth call, from just over a hundred yards away.  
 

At first, I thought it must have been another hunter, but it seemed like they were calling way too much.  Steady yelps, about one per second.  Then I saw her beeline right towards my hen decoy,  which was about 20 yards from my box blind.  
 

I was able to raise my 16 gage Ithaca, and get the 1.5X Weaver crosshairs on her at under 25 yards, but no beard so no shot.  It was a good trial run.  The decoy really gets their focus, and my movement in that blind, 8 ft in the air and less than 25 yards away, didn’t spook her at all.  
 

When she figured out that the decoy was “fake”, she walked away, still yelping steadily.  When she got about 100 yards away, I gave a few clucks with my little wood push button box call.  That turned her around and brought her back in.  Since I knew she was “beardless”, I raised my camera rather than my gun.  Once again, she did not get spooked at the motion.
 

This was my first extended, close encounter, with a wild turkey when hunting them.  Compared to a deer in close, this hen did not seem very bright.  
 

No “tastey” white meat collected this morning, but I did bring home a couple of face cords of fine cherry fire wood.


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I hunted our place a couple hours this morning for turkey.  I walked back about 5:30 and could hear a tom gobbling steadily.  It was coming from just off the sw corner, about where I heard one last Sunday morning.  
 

He gobbled steadily from about 5:30 until 6:15.  It sounded like he answered my first series of yelps, with my loud mouth call, but he never came in.  I heard at least one other gobbling, farther away and to the east.  
 

I will probably get back there again the Sunday after next.  My plan is to set up my pop up blind about 150 yards closer to where I heard him the last two weeks, and try from there.  
 

I set my decoy up this morning in a small clover plot behind some picked clean corn stalks. It looks like the deer have cleaned out all of the radishes and purple top turnips that I had next to it.  I never saw ground picked that clean. there was hardly a weed left in that dirt.  
 

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I finished up my spring plowing this afternoon.  I am cutting back this year for various reasons, including lack of free time, high fuel and fertilizer prices, and plenty of meat left in the freezers.  
 

Last year, I put in 4 acres of field corn and it lasted till March.  This year I will put in just 2 acres, fertilized at the same rate, and hope it lasts until January 2.   I am going to put in the same 1/2 acre of sweetcorn as I did last year (mostly for our consumption and to draw out the local  coons for eradication).  
 

I am going to at least triple my brassica plot acreage from last year, thanks to some free seed from a generous forum member.  
 

My old Ford 8n handled the 2 bottom plow almost as good with one loaded tire as it did with two last year.  Fortunately, the soil moisture content was just about perfect on most of the ground today, or it surely would have struggled more than it did.
 

 One of my original rear rims rusted thru last year, and I lost the calcium solution on the right (furrow) side.  I don’t know if it would have worked better or worse if the left (sod) side had leaked out instead. 
 

Hopefully, I can get that ground worked up, and the field corn panted, before Memorial Day weekend.  There nothing that comes remotely close to standing corn, for good deer hunting in December. 
 

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I disked up the corn plots this afternoon.  I am going to get fertilizer tomorrow, after a short turkey hunt. I am cutting back a bit, to try and keep my boneless venison cost down , after subtracting all input costs.  That means just (3) $22 50 lb bags of triple 15 this year.  It would be nice to get these planted before Memorial Day.  
 

I think I will also get some buckwheat seed tomorrow (I’d it’s cheap enough) and plant that on the two other spots that I disked up, where I had corn last year.  That will suppress the weeds over the summer, save me some fuel on tillage, and build up some organic matter in the soil.

 At the end of the summer, I will mow that buckwheat down, work up the soil again, and put in a wheat/clover mix.  
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9 hours ago, land 1 said:

buckwheat seed cheap not this year.... 

If I can get 50 pounds for less than $20, I’m in.  We will see in about an hour.   Otherwise, I’ll spend that much in gas, going over those spots with the drag a few more times this summer.
 

Gas is so much less expensive than diesel this year, that I am glad I still have my old Ford 8n tractor.  I can probably work foodplots cheaper with that, than I can with my modern, turbocharged, 4wd diesel.  

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2022 at 8:38 PM, land 1 said:

buckwheat seed cheap not this year.... 

Man, you ain’t kidding, they wanted $75 for 50 pounds this morning.  I gave the turkeys just an hour this morning, and made it to the seed/fertilizer place 10 minutes before they opened at 8 am.  
 

I dropped $100 there on 3 ($24 ) bags of triple 15 and some sweetcorn seed.  I managed to get my 2 acres of field corn in and about 1/3 acre of sweetcorn (fertilized at less than 50 pounds per acre).  I saved a bag of fertilizer for turnips in July.  
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Hopefully, the rain we are getting now gets that corn going.  I didn’t have the ground disked up quite as well as I normally prefer, but looking at the forecast, today was my only chance of getting it in before Memorial Day. 

Things went pretty smooth today, except for a fertilizer hopper chain came off my corn planter once, and I noticed a broken spring tooth on my drag.  I always go over the fields with a drag / cultipacker combo (cultimulcher) prior to planting.
 

 A friend of mine said someone gave him a bunch of those spring teeth.  I will have to see if he will trade me one for some foodplot seed, which I have in great abundance this year (except for buckwheat).

I had to take a break from planting to load up another buddies truck with some barn beams. He paid me well for them.  Now I have some gas money that I can use to keep the weeds out of the fall plots with the drag, since I was too cheap to pay $75 for buckwheat seed this morning.  
 

I think buckwheat is way overrated as a food plot seed.  People just like using it because it has “buck” in the name.  They have no clue that don’t mean “buck” deer, it is from a German word for “black” I think.  What I don’t like about it is that it keeps resprouting until you get a real hard frost.

A fool and his money are soon parted however, an no doubt the food plotters will be lining up in droves, to fork over $75 each for those bags, because they think they will draw in the bucks.  

 

Edited by wolc123
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2 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

I did some “trophy bass” fishing in the rain this morning.  No 20 inchers landed, but I broke off a couple, that looked close to that.  Both of them jumped multiple times, trying to throw out the bucktail jig that was stuck in their mouths.  
 

This 17 incher was the longest that I landed (and the only one that bit after the rain stopped).  I lost both bigger ones, and released (12) that were 12-16” long, in the rain.  
 

I don’t mind fishing in the rain, as long as it’s warm and not too windy.  

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The sun came out, the wind died down, and the evening bite wasn’t quite as good as the morning.  (2) more 17” smallmouth and a 12” perch.  I kept that in the fish cage at the end of the dock.  Hopefully, I will e d up with a few more by Monday morning. 
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Otto said:

Is bass season open now? 

Depends, they opened it this year on the Great Lakes and tributaries (I think) for “trophy” (over 20”) this year, but we got to wait until June 15 before we can keep (5) over 12” on most waters.  
 

I caught my first “legal” of the year (per the new Great Lakes standard) just minutes ago (20-1/2” long) on a 1/8 oz bucktail jig.  I turned her loose because I am looking for a 22” to mount.

Thus particular Lake is privately owned and not subject to NY state regulations, but I usually release all bass outside of normal NY bass season, unless they are badly injured and likely won’t survive if released.  

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Edited by wolc123
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47 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

Yes, they opened it year round statewide for “trophy” (over 20”) this year, but we got to wait until June 15 before we can keep (5) over 12” on most waters.  
 

I caught my first “legal” of the year just minutes ago (20-1/2” long) on a 1/8 oz bucktail jig.  I turned her loose because I am looking for a 22” to mount.

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1st I've heard about this over 20" rule.. ?

Fairly certain St Lawrence and Jefferson County don't allow you to target bass out of season still.. 

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1st I've heard about this over 20" rule.. ?
Fairly certain St Lawrence and Jefferson County don't allow you to target bass out of season still.. 

I thought it was a great lakes rule and you could keep one "trophy" but I'm too lazy to look it up since Im not keeping one regardless


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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, The_Real_TCIII said:


I thought it was a great lakes rule and you could keep one "trophy" but I'm too lazy to look it up since Im not keeping one regardless


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I just looked it up and you are correct in that it is the great lakes and maybe also the st Lawrence and Niagara rivers (not sure on those).  I was in error on the “statewide” part.  
 

Although the lake we are on here is privately owned and not subject them, I have always followed the statewide regs.  The only exceptions I have made was keeping 2 or 3 smallmouth that were hooked deeply on minnows thru the ice (while perch fishing) that likely would not have survived.

Yesterday, I did target bass for about an hour in the morning, with a surface bait.  I won’t do that again, now I that I cleared up “the rules”. Good thing that big one was not an inch and a half longer or it would be in a cooler on ice right now.

I do see that I have a good way of measuring a bass if I forget a tape measure.  It is over 20” , if it don’t fit in a picture on my phone, on the widest magnification with my arm out as far as I can reach.

I will target perch with 1/16 oz bucktail jigs this morning.  

Edited by wolc123
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No perch yet this morning, just (7) minutes 11-14” smallmouth bass on the little jig.  I did just get a “legal” catch though.  Thad only my second of those in 10 years on this lake.  My perch in that time might total a dozen.  Certainly my smallmouth bass numbers here are over a thousand.  Only other fish was a big lake trout about 7 years ago (thru the ice).  
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I will toss that sunny in the cage with the perch and if I can get one more of either , over the next couple hours, I will fillet them for my mother in law.

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Posted (edited)

This 17” liked the downed white pine and the tiny jig .  It’s the only bass I caught near that wind-downed tree so far this weekend.  We need some largemouth bass in this lake. 
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Edited by wolc123
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  • 2 weeks later...

With all the recent rain, the food lots are way too wet for any serious work.  I tried a short pass with the drag that I just fixed a broken tooth on.

The 2 acre corn plot is doing ok, but will definitely benefit from cultivation and some Roundup, if I can get on it in a couple weeks.  The grass and other weeds are coming in better than the corn right now.  I like to let the corn get up about 1-1/2 to 2 feet tall before I do that, to avoid burying it with the cultivator.  
 

My old Ford 8n is running a little rough and sounding like it could use some new spark plugs.  I will run up to Lockport on my way home from work Monday and get a set.
 

 I will swing by a Runnings for a couple more boxes of 12 ga Hornady SST slugs, if they have any.  Early antlerless gun season is now less than 3 months away, so it’s time to get my M512 slug gun dialed in.    
 

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While I was bush-hogging our front field this evening, (3) deer were out feeding in a wheat/white clover plot, just across the creek,  that I planted last September and mowed a week ago.  They were liking that clover so much, that they didn’t even look up, when I passed by within 40 yards with my tractor about 5 times.  It looked like a family group, with a mature doe and a yearling doe staying close together, and a yearling buck about 15 yards away.  
 

I hope the big doe and/or another one just like her hangs around about three more months.  I’d like to take (2) like that, during the September antlerless gun season, that has been approved again this year.  
 

That season is 9 days long and includes (2) weekends.  Ideally, I could take (1) doe the first weekend, keep the carcass in my deer fridge almost a week, process it Friday night, then repeat the process for the next week.  My old deer fridge really only holds one mature deer properly, although I have squeezed (2) into it a few times when I had to.  Proper refrigerated aging is critical for any mature red meat in warm weather, if one likes it good and tender, even for ground meat.  I don’t care for tough burger.  
 

That would give us plenty of ground venison, which we use a lot of, and enable me to be more selective with my (2) antlered tags later.  The (2) “leftover” 9F antlerless tags won’t become available until after that early gun season.  That works out well for me, due to my refrigeration limitation and the fact that I love hunting the Holiday ML season (also approved again for this year). 
 

This barely gives me time for bass fishing, but I got the big boat motor running on the garden hose, and the boat ready last Sunday. I hope to get out this weekend for some upper Niagara smallmouth.  The wife and kids would get sick of venison, if that’s all I fed them.  It don’t matter much to me what food costs at the store.  I prefer the “free” stuff that comes as a bi-product from my “paid” entertainment.  Sure glad I don’t play golf.  
 

 

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