HER OUTDOORS SCORES WITH FIRST OHIO GOBBLER OF 2010
After a successful first turkey hunt with www.daoutfitters.com in Garrison,Kentucky it was back to my home state of Ohio to hit the open fields and deep woods of Ohio. Hunting was more promising than the season last year, hearing birds gobbling in the roost right out of the gate in the beginning of season. Lucky to see atleast 3-4 longbeards a day would be exciting for the first week or so, but frustration set in not being able to talk with the birds over numerous hunting spots. The birds seemed to be dancing to their own song. Nothing I or my hunting partners could do with our combined tactics would pull one into my comfort range. Knowing that patience is the key to a successful turkey hunt, it ended up paying off and making the hunt and harvest that much more appreciated when the right time came. Having a hard winter this past year was a very obvious to the jake and hen population in years past. Birds weights were down all over, as well as jake and hen sightings. We have never had a shortage of hen sightings here in my hunting areas, let alone jakes. Being out nearly even single day of season, we only saw about 4 hens total throughout as well as only seeing one jake, which was successfully harvested by a fellow hunter in my group. Cant complain about seeing nothing but gobblers, but in a way it was saddening that so many birds did not pull through the harsh winter.
HER OUTDOORS HUNT RECAP: On this particular hunt we started out early at 430 to set up along side an open field to my right and a logging road entering the woods to my left. I sat a hen decoy in the field about 20 yrds sitting center of the logging road to hopefully pull the birds out of the woods if they decided to pitch down into the woods instead of the open field. My hunting partner and I had numerous birds gobbling all over while in the roost but hundreds of yards away in either direction. They hit the ground at daybreak and never made a peep again. An hour passed and my partner wasnt feeling well so he quietly exited our spot and left me not disturb my hunt any further. About 30 minutes after he left, the gobbling started up again and calling a few times seemed to pull a bird a few hundred yards in front of me a tad closer. Focusing my attention on that vocal bird was exciting, but again a lesson was learned to never put your guard down with those silent birds that are in closer than you think! I slowly looked to my right to scan the open field and a few hundred yards away on the field treeline, with no wind, a huge tree just happened to fall completely down and make a huge crash! I sat there in amazement that I just saw a huge tree fall down for no reason and laughed to myself when I decided to yelp a few times and check the status of my last bird. I slowly turned back to my normal sitting position. To my left at the road was a tree with deadfall blocking my sight of the logging road atleast 5 feet away. As I returned to my position, 5 ft to my left I saw nothing but deadfall and a bright red gobbler head staring right at me! And to make matters worse (only because my shotgun was sleeping in my lap) directly behind that beautiful head was the top fan of another strutting, silent bird! I knew I was busted by the first bird so the only thing I could do was stay perfectly still and let them walk…hopefully not far. They retreated out of my sight and I was nothing short of heartbroken. I got myself together and repositoned and waited a good ten minutes and called again. Not a sound came from the birds but I heard a stick break and knew I had one more chance. Knowing they would be more alert than the last visit, I didnt move a muscle and waited. Again they approached a tad further at 20 yards. They both came into range and I connected with the first gobbler. Another day in the woods I am thankful for and will never forget!