Posted 29 April 2011 - 09:32 AM
Just got back from Kansas yesterday afternoon. I did give a ride to 1 nice bird. No pics yet, too many chores before PA's opener to git-r-done. Kansas weather was not very cooperative with cold and rain most days and of course Kansas wind. I did have good weather the first day I went out. Located a gobbler roosted near a drop off to a creek bottom so set up on a trail and called softly and got a reply. Just after daylight I heard an alarm putt right behind me. I do not mean yards behind me I mean feet behind me. That bird could not have been more than 5 or 10 feet away. Turned out it was two jakes that worked their way past me and having no interest in a jake I let them walk. I waited about 20 minutes and called again softly and got a gobble. I just sat there and soon saw a fan through the brush around a bend in the trail in front of me. I raised the shotgun to the ready position. That bird took his good old time coming around the trail bend but eventually he cleared that bend and he kept looking to my left and posturing. I could clearly hear him spitting and drumming. My heart was going at a very fast pace as I waited. At one point his head came up and almost as if the gun had a mind of its own BOOM. That turkey went down. To my dismay he jumped back up and around the trail bend before I could get another shot. I jumped up but did not see him. I did notice the top of a bush just in front of me was cleaved off as well as a thumb size sapling a few feet further. I gathered my stuff and went to the spot and found feathers and blood. I quickly searched the area but to no avail. I came back to the spot and discovered I could see a blood trail. I followed that for about 100 yds till it stopped. I did find several feathers further on but after about a 175 yd trail it just could not be followed. I spent about 4 hours searching in a grid pattern up and down and across and even circles to no avail. I felt so bad that I lost that bird but had given it all for so long. I did jump a bird that flew just after the last feather so if it was him he was well enough to fly. I did come back several times but found nothing.
This past Saturday my son-in-law and I returned to the woods in the dark and had two gobblers sound off. We went after the one but got busted by a hen that was roosted near where we stopped. We went after the other bird. Kenny said he would set up behind me and do the calling. I set up behind a juniper (pine) tree about 25 yds from the intersection of two trails. That bird sat on his roost and gobbled so Kenny walked away calling. That did it, the bird flew down and walked right into the intersection of the trails where he met with a swarm of #6 copper coated missles. He took a dirt nap right there with many pellets to the head. I ran up to him and thought he blinked so stepped on his neck and promptly got royally flogged for that but I won. He was most likely a sattelite gobbler as he was a two yr old but with an 11 inch beard and about 7/8 inch spurs and est weight of about 20 lbs. I did see turkeys nearly every day I went out but no longbeards other than these two and the one we busted. The weather at times was atrochous. It was cold, upper 30s early, and most days wet as it rained a lot while we were there. There are not as many turkeys in the area I hunt as there were 8 - 10 years ago so I felt furtunate to have the encounters I did.
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