RJ's 07 turkey log (days 1-6 , got 2 now and Randy's 1st ! )

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RJ's 07 turkey log (days 1-6 , got 2 now and Randy's 1st ! )

Postby R.J. » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:23 pm

Well lots of pre-season scouting and picture taking from Jan to now helped me narrow it down to a couple of farms that I want to start on tomorrow ...

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The birds are much more spread out now ....

Today = April 24th 2007 = day before Ontario turkey opener... 4 hrs of scouting ... saw lots of deer today ... many many jakes are eager to come in but the only mature Toms I saw today would not leave the hens ... did some light hen clucks at both farms and had jakes running in ... here are pictures from today ...

First farm ... light hen calls .... 3 jakes come running ... 2 come in to approx 7 yards ... the fuzzy green in the pictures is from focusing thru the cover ...

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They get nervous ... I step out and say " your'e all dead " ... putt , putt and they take off ...

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Regroup at the next field and head back into the bush ...

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Many ground hogs .... here are a couple classic early season ground hog mistake photo's ..

One last look from the hole at the walk up = deceased old timer ..

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Stop and look before running to the hole = deceased adult

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Stoping at the top of the tunnel entrance for one last look after a successfull run for the hole = deceased adult

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One last head up look after succussfull run to the hole = deceased adult

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Hen runs for cover as I get thru bush to field edge ... might have been a jake ? ... I didn't see a beard or beard stub , but the color of the head thru me off ? might have just been the way the sun was shining on her ?

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Deer check me out as I break cover from the fence line ...

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Next farm ... start thru bush and cotton tail hops along the trail in front of me ...

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Spot mature Tom strutting with small group in the distance ...

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Back track ... sneak thru the bush to try to intercept the turkeys evening feed route ...

1 shot of Tom from the bush line entering the corn stubble ...

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I sneak around the bush and stand behind a tree with only the camera and top my hat visable in the crotch of the tree facing the corn stubble field ... I wait for the turkeys to re-group and feed into the stubble ... here are the shots from that field ... approx 1/2 duration ending with a jake coming in to light hen calls holding up at 5 yards ... the sun is setting but allows good light into the field .

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As the jake moves off putting nervously ... all the birds exit the field ... I get 1 shot of 5 misc toms/jakes together ...

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Back to the truck ... the farmer is finishing off a barley planting ... and that's it for today .... can hardly wait till tomorrow ... man those jakes are stupid !

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Page break ....Wednesday April 25th

Started out this morning with a jake coming in at 30 yards right at 1st light ... passed him and had a beauty mature Tom coming in soon after ... He hung up about 70 yards out and looked at the decoy ... the decoy moved slightly in the wind and he started in again ... at 50 yards he stood bolt upright and took off into the bush ?? ... I looked to see if the decoy had fallen over and I see a guy walking along the river in blue jeans a dark coat and gun over his shoulder ... I stepped out so he could see me and he quickly moved into the bush ( it's only 6:45 am ) ... ( must have been a tresspasser because I the farmer has a couple of guys hunting this property and they are suppose to park at the road ... I met one of the the other guys this a.m. before we went in ... he was in full camo and hunting well away from my location ...

I packed up soon after and did some more scouting ... hooked up with CH for breakfast ... he got a nice young bird this a.m. ... 17 1/2 pounds , 3 inch beard and 1/2 inch spurs ... Congrat's Chris

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No pictures this a.m. as it was dusky and not clear along the river .

CH and I tried another spot .. I passed 2 jakes at approx 35 yards ... still looking for a mature Tom ...

During the mid afternoon I stopped by the fox den ... put approx 45 mins in there waiting to get a picture ... the little guy didn't let me down ... he is getting bigger and his face is getting sharper in the snout ...

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I spot a Bald Eagle along the Conestoga River and get a couple of quick shots before he takes off ...

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I scout some more and end up back at the place I was at yesterday .. set up my pop up blind and fell asleep ! ... woke up approx 6:15 to the sound of gobbling .... I did some light hen calls ... ended up being jakes and young hens ... no mature birds came in ... here are a coulpe of shots as they walked around the blind ... It is cool how you can see the one youg jake go from " red head alert " to " blue head strut " with the snoop at the top of his head going from small and hard to long and droopy as he struts ... eh did this 3 or 4 times before moving on ... at one point I had 2 jakes so close to the blind that the picture was burred out of focus because they were inside the range of the 50 - 200 mm lens ..

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Back at it tomorrow a.m. ... good luck to all ...

Page break ....Thursday April 26th

Overcast and threatning rain this a.m. ... I head into the field with Bobby J. and Wylie H. from ACA ...

We set up in a low area on one of the properties they have permission on .

The morning brings lots of gobbling , but the Boss Tom won't come away from his hens ... a single hen and then later a pair of hens come in behind us and cluck lightly then walk away ... that was all I saw ... approx 6:30 am I am facing into the bush now as Bobby and Wylie watch the field ... I hear some snorts behind me and see 3 deer peeking over the grass field elevation about 10 yards away ... I took three pictures , but only one turned out ( others were too blurry in my hurry to manually focus thru the grass )

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Turns out the deer had walked out in front of Bobby and Wylie and had spent the last 10 mins trying to wind scent our position while Bobby hen clucked to them ...

Wylie keeps an eye on the spread ( yep Wylie is in the field again ! ... he doesn't let the fact that he is confined to a wheel chair spoil his hunting adventures ! ) ....

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I hike up to the top of the hill to look around from the cab of the abandoned combine that has been sitiing in that field for I don't know how many years ?

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From the combine I watch a hen pecking around the field ... but no Tom'sw show themselves .

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Later we see a hen hiding in the grass ... she is probably nesting so we don't get any closer for a look ...

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Bobby tries deeper into the cedar bush to try to get the Boss Tom to come down off the ridge top , but he wouldn't leave the hens ... Bobby spends the last 1/2 hr doing his version of dualling banjo's with an angry hen ... on his way out he spots a baby porqupine and later walks me in to get a picture ...

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Little cute , baby porcupine ! But don't try to pet it ! ... they have real sharp baby quills !! ... I'm laughing as Bobby pulls quills from his glove ! :lol: :lol:

Wicked wind and rain rolled in so we called it a day ... I got to work Friday , Saturday , Sunday ... but will be back at it on Monday !

Page break ....Friday April 27th got out for a few hours after work

Had to drive my daughter and friends to an activity in Guelph after work today , so I took my wifes car ... figured I would throw my new Excalibur Vortex and other related turkey gear in the trunk in case an opportunity arose ...

Dropped off my daughter and headed further North ....It was dull . foggy , with on and off rain ( heavy at times ) ... passing some County Forest area I spotted some birds moveing toward the bush ... I pulled over and got out for a picture ... but they spotted me a moved off in a hurry ...

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I drove around the concession and packed my gear in from the other side of the bush ... I was sitting inside my Wigwam Ground Blind when the rain started pouring down .... ( Those blinds are not 100 % water proof in a down pour ! ) ... I one session of hen ckucks and sat back to wait ... I heard a gobble , but it sounded way off in the distance ..

When the rain broke I noticed some movement in the brush behind me ... I had 2 hens come in and start pecking around the blind ... they were lightly clucking on and off ... I figured great , I got some natural decoys now ... they hadn't spotted the hen decoy out front in the field ... they pecked around for about 10 mins and moved off ... I got a picture of one of them ( ranged at 7 yards )

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Next 1/2 hour I hear gobbling and it sounds closer ... but nothing comes in ... I start to pack up my gear at 6:45 pm ... I start walking out along the winter wheat filed I was set up on and when I come over the rise I see these 2 birds ... I hunker down , look at my watch ... it is 7:12 pm , so I get the camera out ...

A thin bearded Jake and a scruffy bearded Tom ... sorry for the poor pictures , in my hurry ( they were gone about 10 seconds after I popped up with the camera ) .. I had the eye piece fogged over , the camera is wet and it looks like I was getting foreground focus instead of the birds ...

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I continue on ... a deer crosses in front of me near the road , and a pair of geese protest as I pack up my gear ...

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Then to top off my soggy wet evening ... on the way home a passing truck pitches up a stone that cracks the windshield on my wifes car ! ... Well at least I got a chance to spend some time in the field this afternoon ... This turkey hunting is proving to be an expensive adventure !

Page break ....Monday April 30th ... long day

Started the day late ... met Keith and Vern for breakfast .. on the way to my hunting spot I noticed another fellow , enjoying his hobby , taking advantage of the beauty weather ... a cool shot as the sun reflects of his line ... aiming 6 iches high with the camera to get the focus I need .. mirror inside must be off from one of the many drops in the field !

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A very slow day ... although the weather is great , I don't get much action ... I see distant Toms , but can't get a reaction out of them ?

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I hardly see any turkeys today ?? Lots of ground hogs ..

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I stop by the fox den to see how they made out with the road kill rabit and racoon I dropped off ? ... Must be 2 litters ? I see 7 pups total ( never got them all in one frame ) ... here are some pic's as they hang out around the den openings ...

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Many farmers working the fields ... here is some horse power !

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Here is some REAL HORSE POWER !

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Scout till dark ... nothing to write about ... will be back at it tomorrow .

Page break ....Tuseday May 1st ... Chad calls , he can only get out for a morning hunt

With the threat of rain we hit the bush early ... the sun comes up and the birds are singing ... we get a response right off the bat ... but it fades away ... we relocate ... Chad calls and I snipe this nice Tom as he sneaks in ! ... we are out of the bush by 7:15 am . ... It was real dull and wet so I didn't bring the camera in to the bush ... probably a good thing because I barely got a chance to line up the shot = Sent a tight swarm of #5 shot at him and broke thru enough cover to bowl him over ... here are some shots back at the truck ... 20 lbs , 9 1/2 inch beard , 3/4 inch spurs .

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Move quick to get out of the rain .... I scout a spot for tomorrow ... hope to fill my 2nd tag with my new Excalibur Vortex !

I see some brids in the distance on a new farm ... I approach the landowner and he gives me the green light for tomorrow ! I do a quick scout ... see some deer .. and the bush lot looks goooooooood !

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This doe looks ready to drop fawns soon ( a little low in the belly ! ) ...

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I bump two yougsters in the river flat corn stubble ...

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At the end of the field scout I spot birds heading to roost ... I know where I will be tomorrow morning !

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Page break ....Wednesday May 2nd ... Covered lots of area ... Randy get's his 1st beauty Tom !

We started the day watching the sun come up in a bush lot I had scouted yesterday ... the farmer was gracious enough to grant me permission ... I saw many birds the evening before but this morning all we heard was distant gobble ...

Randy has been one of my hunting partners for many years but this was his first attempt at bagging a turkey ... he sat thru the turkey course last month and I was hoping to let him see " how it is done " today ...

I was a little disappointed we didn't get more action ... We walked the property to try to get a locate call but no luck ...

We headed out for breakfast , then later vetured into the field to scout and walk it off !

We scouted many spots ... tried locating calls , but no luck ... the sun was in and out of the clouds = an overall beauty day ...

We saw many critters in our travels ... here are some shots I got today as we moved from one location to another ...

A bull frog caught my eye on one property ...

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We saw a Cormerant in a fresh water pond / creek ... man those dirty birds are everywhere now !

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Saw a ground hog peeking up out of his hole ...

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Speaking of holes .... can anyone tell me what makes these tunnel holes / mud huts above the ground ??

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Saw some Guinea fowl on another farm ...

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But from farm to farm ... it was the same thing ... turkey droppings , turkey tracks ( none with any feet in them ! ) ... but no turkeys ! ... not even answer call ...

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Finally ... I get a response ( gobble ) from a cedar and pine stand along the river ...

Randy sets up low with his " Black Beauty " 870 Remington pump , and I set up high along the field edge with my new Excalibur Vortex ... to make a long story short ... I coax a beauty Tom across the field ... he heads straight towards me and when he hangs up at 35 yards ... he seems like he is staring right thru my Lumizone scope ... I send a 2216 with a 130 grain Wasp broadhead on board right thru the middle of him ! ... he sommersaults into the air ... my arrow cartwheels past him and he flys / stummbles akwardly towards the bush ...

I find my arrow ... it looks in good shape ... the broadhead is pristeen ... it has a small amount of blood and " turkey tissue " on it ...

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I follow the birds flight path and find the bird just inside the bush ... laying flat out in some tall cover ... about 25 yard recovery distance ... the Vortex did it's job !!

I hoist him onto a delapitated shed for a picture and collect Randy for a bout of " high fives " .... I'm really pumped ! ... a nice Tom = 19 lbs , 8 inch beard , 3/4 inch spurs ...

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Now Randy is real excited ! ... What we both don't realize is it wont be long before he will get his chance !

I take care of a couple of ground hogs ... the farmer thanks us ... and we are on our way !

Back to Randy's bird ... We scout one last property ... ( having walked lots today ! ) ... we luck out and spot brids moving across a path from the County Forrest onto a property we have permission on ! ... A quick plan in place ... we set up ... In minutes , I can't believe my eyes !! :lol: :lol: = 3 mature Toms moving thru the heavy cover at a fast pace !! ... I watch over Randy's shoulder as he lines up on a big red head as it cruises into 10 yards !!! ..... BOOOOOOOM ! .... Randy sends a wicked pattern of # 6 shot thru the full choke of his 870 pump !.... Randy springs to his feet and is at the Tom ready to do some hand to hand combat ! .... NO NEED !!! ... The Toms head is letting alot of wind pass thru it now ! :lol: :lol: The pattern was deadly tight at that distance !

Here is a picture of Randy with his first Wild Turkey !!! ( Randy is the tall one in the center of the frame ! ) :lol: :lol:

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Congrats Randy ... beauty first bird !! ...

Page break ....Thursday May 3rd ... 2 shed antlers , some Blue Heron pictures and a double beard !

Went for a walk after work today ... found 2 nice shed antlers ( sorry for the so/so pictures ... was using the pocket Olympus Stylus 600 point and shoot ... )

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Saw a Blue Heron along the river ... he posed long enough for me to get 2 quick frames before he took off ...

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OK ... give me a profile .... great .. snap ....

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When I got home I was trimming the beards and spurs off the turkey carcases ... when I noticed the turkey I got on Tuesday had a small 1 inch 2nd beard starting ! ... Cool ! ... Bonus ! ... OK it's small but it's my first double beard ! :lol: :lol:

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Last edited by R.J. on Thu May 03, 2007 6:06 pm, edited 13 times in total.
See Ya. ... R.J. > " Remember , Trophies are measured by the time and energy expended to get them , not the size or quantity of the quarry "
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Great pictures

Postby Arkbow » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:50 pm

Wow!!! what a picture gallery! thaks so much for sharing; :D
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Postby Kenton » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:41 am

simply amazing RJ, i don't know how you do it.
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Postby diesel » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:27 am

Great pictures thanks, :D
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Postby wabi » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:08 pm

Good luck on taking one's picture after you shoot it tomorrow! :wink: :lol:
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Postby Dunn14 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:17 pm

great pics :!:
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Postby saxman » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:40 pm

Keep um coming R.J. great job
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Postby Kenton » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:16 am

good luck
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Postby R.J. » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:31 pm

Thanks guy's ... I added some pictures from yesterday and today .... I have passed many jakes waiting for an opportuninty on a mature tom , but it hasn't panned out yet ... I got 2 tags and still lots of season left ...

Congrat's to all that have connected ! ... some great stories and cool pictures rolling in ... keep it up and good luck to all thru the weekend !
See Ya. ... R.J. > " Remember , Trophies are measured by the time and energy expended to get them , not the size or quantity of the quarry "
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Postby Quickshot » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:10 pm

R.J your pictures are fantastic, I enjoy them so much, keep it up. :D
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Postby R.J. » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:01 pm

Quickshot wrote :

R.J your pictures are fantastic, I enjoy them so much, keep it up.


No problem ... I just added some pictures from this afternoon ... starting to worry about the camera though ? ... It has been dropped a couple of times in the last few days ... got dirty and wet ... my focus point seems off ? ... I'm not getting the crisp pic's I'm use to ? ... Off to the camera shop next week ...
See Ya. ... R.J. > " Remember , Trophies are measured by the time and energy expended to get them , not the size or quantity of the quarry "
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Postby LoneWolf » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:18 pm

Awesome shots, R.J.... 8)
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Postby R.J. » Tue May 01, 2007 3:17 pm

Thanks guys .... been questioning the wisdom off passing up so many jakes ... but today my paitence paid off ... finally tagged a mature Tom ... 20 lbs , 9 1/2 inch beard , 3/4 inch spurs ... ( pictures added above ) ... got to run ... many errands , them back to bed early ... want to get one more day in ... got to work Thursday ...
See Ya. ... R.J. > " Remember , Trophies are measured by the time and energy expended to get them , not the size or quantity of the quarry "
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Postby Doe Master » Tue May 01, 2007 4:19 pm

Congrats RJ on a fine turkey .
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Postby wabi » Tue May 01, 2007 5:06 pm

Congratulations on getting the bird!!!!!!!!!
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