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Wierd Morning


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#1 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:22 AM

I posted yesterday about seeing the longbeard out behind my home. I went out this morning and set up in the area. I called a little and at 7:30 a big old hen walked out of the woods and headed straight to my inflatable decoy. I almost laughed at the way she was walking. She reminded me of John Waynes swaggering walk. That old hen came up to my decoy cutting and purring and got all fluffed up and then she attacked. She hit that decoy so hard she knocked the stake I had to pound in the hard ground right out. She then proceeded to peck at it and then grabbed it by the neck and carried it around in a couple of circles, dropped it and pounced on it and flogged it. What I can't believe is that my decoy survived the ordeal. After she walked off I went out and stood it back up and it was still inflated. Man oh man what a person sees when they left the camera at home. Oh, no the longbeard did not show up this morning.
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#2 Spirithawk

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 01:05 PM

Gee Paul, just glad she didn't get a look at you. :wub: We'd be sending out search parties by now looking for ya! ;) :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Man, bet that was awesome to watch. Glad you got to see it cause I know how exciting it was for you and how much you apreciate such things. :yes:

Edited by Spirithawk, 23 May 2007 - 01:06 PM.


#3 Leo

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 01:29 PM

I would suspect she has a nest going already and doesn't want competition in the area. That's the only reason I can think of for a hen to attack another hen.

If that's true, then "longbeard" is done with her. He's already moved on to another receptive hen.

That's the true challenge with these older gobblers (ie. older than 2 years). They know the score, they are practically immune to decoys, calling and simply go were the getting is good.

Bottomline is, you have to intimately know the hens in your area to pattern him. Which is far far easier said than done.

This is exactly why I never turn down an opportunity at a good two year old. Your opportunity at an older bird may never come. Gobblers that make it to 3 1/2yrs or better are very very tough to kill. They are practically different animals. At 3 1/2 they throw out the turkey behavior rule book. Getting one typically doesn't entail the "classic" turkey hunt. Forget all that TV show BS, that's not reality. Getting a 3 1/2+yr bird, takes a whole lot of time period. Some times you get lucky. But the truth is most of us aren't. Consistently, getting an old warrior entails an awful lot of sitting. Even then it's far from a sure thing.

The hens are the key. As hens more and more get bred, the older guys get more and more vulnerable. Finding an unbred hen is your primary objective. But finding an unbred hen is not an easily accomplished task. However, late hens are late EVERY year. Once you figure out where they are, you can go there late in the season, year after year. Still not a slam dunk, but it will up your odds considerably. If you can hunt ALL day, DO! If not hunt the entire legal time you are allowed. Later is better than earlier for the older guys.

I wanna see you post a picture of this dude. That's why I'm telling you EXACTLY how I would approach it. I've whacked a few old warriors in my day so just maybe my advice is worth something ;)
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#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 03:17 PM

I'm wondering what some fighting purrs would do there. :hmm:

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#5 Monk

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 03:54 PM

Good thing you were cowarding... I mean hunting with camo on, concealing yourself in the bush or she would have knocked you flat! :lol:
Jer, one more purr out out of PA, he was next! :D
Pretty cool, thanks for sharing.
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#6 Leo

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:59 PM

I'm wondering what some fighting purrs would do there. :hmm:


I actually wouldn't be surprised if that hen was purring while she was stomping "inflata-babe". Both hens and gobblers make fighting purrs. I witnessed both sexes making this call when they were fighting. Hens fight alot and they will challenge young jakes as well. If she was purring and nothing else showed up then there is your answer. Not worth trying, at least there.

But!!! if she didn't purr, she may have been trying to avoid drawing the attention of a Tom she did not want to deal with. Jeremiah's suggestion has merit.
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#7 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:08 PM

Leo she was purring the whole time she was trying to destroy my deke. Just before she attacked she puffed up like she was a tom going into strut. Something else I noticed. A hens snood usually is just a bump or small protrusion from the head. While she was in the attack mode that snood was quite noticable. Although I saw two hens I think it was two different birds. There was a bird calling from about 50 yds away in the woods and a hen came out of nowhere down the cornfield and putted the whole way there. She paid no attention to a couple of calls I made. There is a remote possibility this was the same hen that attacked but that hen went to the left and this hen came from the right.
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#8 Leo

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 08:14 AM

Leo she was purring the whole time she was trying to destroy my deke. Just before she attacked she puffed up like she was a tom going into strut. Something else I noticed. A hens snood usually is just a bump or small protrusion from the head. While she was in the attack mode that snood was quite noticable. Although I saw two hens I think it was two different birds. There was a bird calling from about 50 yds away in the woods and a hen came out of nowhere down the cornfield and putted the whole way there. She paid no attention to a couple of calls I made. There is a remote possibility this was the same hen that attacked but that hen went to the left and this hen came from the right.


Hens squabbling over food will have little spats but they aren't the major butt kicking you're describing. I'm almost positive now from what you describe she has a nest in the immediate vicinity. Nesting hens are extremely territorial. Personally, I would start looking for another area. If she caused such a ruckus and didn't bring in a gobbler with her actions there isn't one there anymore.

The good news is, she will nest in that area (barring any changes to the landscape) year after year at about the same time. Note what date you determined she was nesting. One week prior to that date relative to the nearest full moon is when you should start hunting there next year. For example if this year you discovered the nest 4days after the full moon. Next year be sure to hunt that area three days before the full moon.

This season I would set up in an area nearest the last one you saw the gobbler but have seen no turkeys in. If most of the hens in the area have been bred. This might work for you. Essentially you're playing the gap between hen territories. Even the old boys get frustrated when all the hens start ignoring him. But if a new gal shows up in town they might come investigate.
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#9 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:18 AM

Thanks Leo I was getting so physically run down that I just could not get out of bed this morning to go hunting. I had planned on visiting an area very much like you described but after nearly a month of very early wakeups and not getting to bed till 9:30 or so and not finding very many cooperative toms I decided to just sleep in this morning. We only have two more days to our season, the birds are not cooperating, and the ground cover is getting very thick. Talk about having the deck stacked against oneself.
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#10 REDGREEN

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:33 AM

Sounds like you had more fun than watching Saturday night wrestling! Difference is, this was for real. I'd have loved to have seen that. I sure wish that you had a camcorder with you. :lol: Good luck. I hope that you get that big old bird.

#11 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:13 AM

Red Last evening I was telling Eric about the mornings episode and he said you could have borrowed my camcorder. Duh he was only about 8 or 9 hrs too late with his offer.
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#12 Leo

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 03:26 PM

Allow me to let you guys in on somethings.

1. I only hunt turkeys where I find fresh sign. (ie. feeding/strutting) I don't give a rats rear end about trying to get one flying down from the roost. IME, unless you locate a particularly hot bird that gambit is mostly a fool's errand. I actually look forward to afternoon turkey hunts. Hearing them in the morning is neat but IMO that's only 5% of the turkey hunting day. Turkeys do not become nocturnal... EVER! So if the sun's up and it's legal hours go for it!
2. I really don't care if it's windy, rainy or I don't hear anything. If my scouting tells me turkeys are using the area that's simply good enough to make me wait.
3. I will sit daylight to dark in a spot that appears to have a lot of activity. (Yep 12hrs in ONE spot) Does it work everytime? No. But you learn an awful lot about turkeys if you selected your spot right.
4. Calls help, decoys help, but you can't MAKE a turkey do anything. Taylor your hunting to what they will do and suddenly you enjoy it a lot more.

The gobbler I got this year was after a 4 1/2hr sit and he never uttered a peep he was coming in. I heard absolutely nothing and saw absolutely nothing all afternoon. In fact that morning was one of those shut beak mornings no one heard anything. Lots of "veteran" gobbler chasers give up on those days. Personally, I like having the woods to myself. Windy days are my friend. I'm not worried at all about blabbing here windy days produce birds for me. Simply because I know most folks ain't gonna tough it out regardless of what I say. Over the years I've learned, birds here respond to calls by coming in but actually rarely respond to you. Honestly, if they do. I shut up. I'd rather him come in trying to figure out if I heard him than wonder why I'm not coming to him. I call and get ready. Simple as that.
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#13 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 04:59 PM

Leo I will agree with about all you have said. I have killed 1 tom in Kansas and a hen here in PA in the early. I was walking back to my truck when I busted a whole flock of birds just after dark. I went there the next morning and had a hen down within 5 minutes of sunup.

I too enjoy afternoon hunts even more than morning forays. I can hunt all day in Kansas but can only hunt till noon in PA and must be out of the woods by 1:00 for the spring season. I can hunt all day here in the fall.

I have killed over a dozen toms in the past 5 or 6 years. Only two of them were early morning kills. As I recall all the rest were after 10:00 in the morning and about half were in the afternoon.

I agree you cannot force a turkey to do something it doesen't want to do. I prefer finding the feeding and strutting areas and call from there at least the tom wants to go there.

I am a bit perplexed as I prefer to call to a tom. Once I get his attention I call much less but still call. If I figure he is hanging up I try to give him a boost with a couple of calls.

I also like the 2 yr old birds the best. They gobble their heads off and respond much more to calls and decoys than those old smart guys. The big one I saw the other day I am positive he saw my decoy but turned off and went the other way anyhow. I could stop him with a call but that bird just was not interested.

I too sit for a long time in one spot maybe not all day but for 3 or 4 hours. I recall the second bird I got in Kansas last year. I actually was scouting out an area when I heard a gobble. That was some time around 1:30 and I moved position once. I did not kill that bird until 5:45 that afternoon. Man that was exciting. There were at least 3 gobblers and they had me going for over 4 hours till two came into range. I had adrenelin flowing all afternoon and by the time I shot that bird and calmed down a bit I was exhausted and had only walked about 100 yds all afternoon.
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#14 Charles

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:15 PM

That happened to Carol and I last season only this old hen GOBBLED & STRUT!!!! Then she tore my deec up, just like yours. What a sight!!

Keep after ol' Mr Longbeard!!

GREAT advise, Leo. I feel the same way. If you want to take a Turkey with a bow you MUST do as the Great Leo says.

Edited by Charles, 24 May 2007 - 07:18 PM.

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