3seasons

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  1. 3seasons

    The caller and the crawler

    I shoulda added this in the story but working mids and trying to get all this in at work is a bit tough. I was talking to Bradley on the long ride home and we were discussing crawling birds and the technique he uses. Its the same as I do and probably most others do but in my case my hindrance comes in the form of a little green 3-5 leafed plants that loves to show up during the spring. Poison Ivy and Oak are not my friends and therefore when it comes to getting down and rubbing elbows with it I choose to stay on my feet and let my calls do the work. When the forest floor allows ill crawl with the best of them if I have to but if its covered in green I'll let my calls do the work.
  2. Dang impressive Don, HUGE CONGRATS to you and your brother and your daughter on some fine birds. When you catch them right there is nothing like it, same can be said when you catch them when they aren't right. Sounds like yall hit it perfect and had an outstanding trip. Hats off to you.
  3. 3seasons

    The caller and the crawler

    2018 turkey season is officially over for me, it was a tough one but I was very blessed this year. Wisconsin and Minnesota The caller and the crawler Saturday May 18 Bradley and myself leave for Wisconsin for our final hunts of the year. We arrive at our chosen WMA at 2:20am Sunday morning in the driving rain. We sleep in the truck for a few hours to wake up to stormy weather surrounding the entire portion of the state that we are in. We decided to head to Minnesota in hopes for better weather. We arrive in Minnesota to more rain and cold windy weather. There were hikers and hunters in every spot we had hoped to hunt. Around 3:30 we decided to go check out some state land that a friend had told me about, when we pulled up to the first ag field on the state land we see a bird strutting with 2 hens. We devised a game plan by looking at our maps and took off after the gobbler. We climbed down a big hill crossed a bottom and then climbed our way back up to the ridge top where the bird was strutting in the ag field. We eased up to the field edge but couldn’t see anything in the cut corn field. I told Bradley to ease on up the field and set up and I would go to the back of the field over the hill and start calling in hopes of pulling the gobbler into range. Bradley is impressively slick when it comes to sneaking in on a bird. We spit off and I find a spot to start calling from. I start calling and after about 10min I hear the shot. I take off to the top of the hill to see Bradley standing on his Minnesota bird. It actually worked out just how we had planned. He said the bird came in strutting coming towards the call then realized he had left his hens and turned to go back to them so he rolled him. 22lbs 9.75” beard and 1 1\8”spurs. We looked around for another bird the rest of the afternoon but never found another bird. Bradley apologized for cutting in on the hunt and I told him it worked out exactly how I had hoped it would. He then said it did work out good and he always sees me as a caller and him a crawler. I laughed and said yea I can see that. Monday greeted us with more nasty cold weather. We did hear a bird gobbling on a far off ridge but by the time we got to him he had gone quiet. We also had 2 groups of hunters park by my truck and come in on us. We were in the corner of the wma so it wasn’t like there was a lot of land to hunt so it got crowded pretty quick. We found a bird gobbling really good that afternoon in the misting rain, but he ended up being on some private land that bordered the wma we had found. We did actually get permission from the land owner that night to hunt his place so we had high hopes for the next morning. Tuesday early morning it flooded and then broke off foggy as heck. We got set up well before daylight and didn’t hear anything for about an hour after it broke light. When the bird we had hoped to see started gobbling he was over on the neighbors place in a thicket. We had been told the birds would come to the ag fields but this was not the case today, he stayed on the neighbors place and wouldn’t move. Another bird started gobbling up on the public land so I took off after him. I got set up and made my first series of calls when I hear something coming, wouldn’t you know it, it was a guy and his two dogs walking around in the wma 1.5miles from the parking area. So my hunt was over for that area. Wanting to change my luck we decide to go back to Wisconsin to give them a try. It had rained for 3 straight days in Wisconsin but he weather looked like it would break for a few days. Wednesday morning we hike 1.5miles in to a wma where we should get on some birds but the rain had flooded the woods and made it almost impossible to hunt. We heard a couple birds but couldn’t wade to get to them. On our way out we spotted a gobbler strutting with a few hens. As we moved to get closer one of the hens took off hauling all the other birds off with them. Once we got up to the top of the hill where those birds ran into the ticket from the ag field Bradley noticed 6 hens and a gobbler at the far end of the field. Straight line it was 800yds but to get to them it was around a half mile. I told Bradley I would spot for him and let him know if they left. He took off and after about 30-45minutes as I’m watching the birds work their way in the field I see the hens start to move to the opposite side of the cove where they were feeding. The gobbler follows then I hear a boom in the distance and see birds flying everywhere. I couldn’t tell what had happened but had my fingers crossed that he had connected, after about 5 min I see Bradley emerge from the woods and walk over to a flopping bird that I can now see. He had done it again. He had gotten his bird for Wisconsin and had made an impressive stalk on him. 21lbs 11.5” beard 1.25” spurs. We never saw another bird but we did find a bird on some private land that bordered the wma land. I got Bradley to drop me off and I made my way to the edge of the wma and got in positon to try to call the bird across the line. As I was calling the bird really could have cared less and just milled around in the cut corn field. He did eventually work his way to 15yds from me and I was on my phone texting Bradley asking him to go ask the land owner if we could hunt their land. The bird actually goes into some grass and lays down about 20yds from me. I get a text from Bradley saying the land owner said not no but heck no! she likes here wildlife on its feet. She told him that most people don’t ask they just do whatever. He told her that that’s not how we do things and that’s why he was asking. She wouldn’t change her mind so I told him to come get me because I wasn’t going to shoot across the line. We decided to go check out another wna farther west for the next day. And if you are wondering, Yes, if he had asked and she said yes the second I got the text saying we could hunt there I would shot. So it would have basically been; could we hunt your land, yes you can, text yes, Boom, thank you for allowing us to hunt your land. All in about 30seconds. Thursday morning we hike in 1.5miles to our listing spot on this new wma and we hear about 8 different birds gobbling in all directions. We choose one to start our hike to and once we get in close he gobbles about 150yds away. We ease up a little more and set up. Bradley sets up about 40yds behind me and starts calling. After a few minutes I can see his tips shining in the early morning sunlight about 80yds from my tree. He gobbles and gobbles and two jakes walk by me at 20yds, a hen starts raising cane just below us on the ridge side. The gobbler drops off the side of the ridge and goes to her, when they come back up on the ridge she crossed about 25yds in front of me and he is still out there about 75yds away and skirts me. As they work off I couldn’t help but smile, it was the perfect hunt minus getting a shot. Bradley then split off and went after another bird and I made a loop to try to get back on this gobbler. I get set up around the last place I heard him and made a series of calls, I hear a hen call then I hear a limb pop and I see ahead pop up about 30yds from my position. It’s not a gobbler head or a hen head, it’s a person’s head and he has an orange mouth call. I yell hey, hey and the guy raises his gun to the side and stands up. I stand up and we talk for a little while, he thought I was a turkey and he was sneaking up to see if the gobbler was with the hen he had thought he had heard. When I went to walk away the gobbler spooks and pitches into the air crossing the valley. He was about 60yds away when we spooked. I can’t catch a break. We had plans to hunt him that afternoon but the gnats were beyond horrible, you couldn’t see or breathe they were so bad. I had some vanilla and it made it worse. So I cut my afternoon short after my lip had swollen up and my ears looked like I had been fighting in a mma fight. It was horrible. Friday morning I found myself on the same ridge with the same gobbling bird but this time I was able to get close but not to the spot I wanted to get because of a large opening in the woods. I watched him pitch out onto the ridge where I wanted to be and left the area. The gnats carried me off and we headed to town to find some relief from these gnats. We found some head nets at the local ace hardware, which turned out to be one heck of an outdoor store. Friday afternoon I was set up and gnat free on the ridge where I had hoped he would come back to. Around 6:30 I hear some leaves rustling and out pops a turkey from the ridge edge, he runs up to three yards from me and all I can tell is it is a male turkey. It’s so thick I can’t tell anything. I finaly see his beard and he’s a jake and I guess he sees my eyes and he spooks. About 20min later I hear the leaves rustling again and out pops another turkey, this time at 12yds working from my right to my left. Next is the jake. I’m waiting on the gobbler to come into view when I see a bird hop up onto a log and start preening itself. I told myself to concentrate on the opening and the gobbler that should be following. But I kept getting drawn back to that other bird. I eased my binoculars up and looked at the bird on the log and could tell it was a male bird but figured it must be that jake. Well I kept looking since I could see the beard and when he turned a little more I caught a glimmer of sunlight between his breast feathers, could it be. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I dropped my binos and raised my gun, I had almost let my Wisconsin bird get by me again . Not sure where he came from but he’s a cool almost white tipped bird that was 19lbs 9.5” beard and 1 1\16” spurs. I was truly blessed on this hunt. After I picked Bradley up from his spot we headed back to Minnesota in hopes I could find a bird. Bradley drove so I could sleep and we arrived at our wma around 2am Saturday morning. Saturday morning I hear a bird start gobbling around 4:45 at 7 I’m sitting 60yds from him and he’s probably gobbled 200 times. He gobbled at everything I threw at him but he flew down on the opposite ridge and then stayed on the side of that ridge working away from my positon. I crawled to the edge of the ridge and he wasn’t 40yds from me but I couldn’t see 15yds. It was so thick. While I was hunting Bradley had walked into the woods where earlier in the week we had seen some morel mushrooms, he gathered a few of them and we got the local Italian restaurant to cook some of them for us. That afternoon I found some birds in a field but they ended up not having a gobbler with them. Sunday morning I was sitting 50yds from the tree the gobbler was roosted in and he was on fire again. It was so thick I could see him in the tree but he was about to blow my hat off every time he gobbled my way. I had an open ridge to my right and left and a briar thicket in front of me. At 7 he decides to fly down and he drops off into that thicket then off the back of the ridge. I was pressed for time so I crawled down the ridge and eased over to hope to see him. Once again it was so thick I couldn’t see anything. I caught his wing flap as he flew to the other ridge. My Minnesota hopes were about gone, but I had two amazing hunts and other than not getting to pull the trigger I couldn’t have asked for much more. I’ll be back on that ridge next year before it gets thick. 2018 was a rough season but I was beyond blessed. Getting to take birds in Hawaii, Wisconsin and Mississippi was just awesome. Looking forward to see what the 2019 season will hold in store.
  4. 3seasons

    Season ending gobbler

    Congrats on another fine bird.
  5. 3seasons

    Illinois Long Beard

    Good looking bird. Congrats on a cold weather bird. I like the shadow pic. I did some of those in Hawaii this year
  6. 3seasons

    Turkeys are silent this spring?

    It’s been strange here in MS too
  7. 3seasons

    Opening Day Missouri

    Heck yeah good job Al. Congrats
  8. 3seasons

    Number 14

    Nice. Congrats.
  9. 3seasons

    We got it done

    Awesome. Congrats
  10. I’ll post the story after I get some sleep. 19.31lbs 12 5/16” beard 1 1/8” 1 1/4” spurs Truly blessed this morning. Talk about a great end to my MS season or lack there of. This season has been a depressing nightmare for me beings I’m working an outage, 6 12.5hr midnights a week. That only leaves me one morning a week that I can actually hunt normal, and the weather has been horrible on the few days I’ve been off. But I’ve walked a many a mile and found some great spots for next year on my mornings after I get off work. Birds having lock jaw sure didn’t help. I had a buddy ask me if I had any days off to hunt and I told him Monday would be my last day to hunt. He asked if I wanted to come with him that he has been on a bird the day before. I said heck yes if I can hear a bird gobble that would be a great ending to my season. We met up around 4:15 and made the drive to our hunting area. He said where we were gonna set up that we would be really tight in on the bird if he roosted in the same area he has been all year. As daylight started to break he sounded off not 80yds from where I was setting. He gobbled about every 45-60seconds for what seemed like 20minutes until it got light enough for flydown. He dropped out of the tree with a few hens and started working up the ridge away from us. My buddy started calling behind me and the bird would answer but kept getting farther and farther away. Once he got out of hearing we decided to move to another location side getting ahead of him would be near impossible. Just as we get to the truck he sounds off and he’s in a spot we know. We are wanting to set up on a old path leading to to the ridge where he last was. As we’re walking my buddy says if he gobbled far away he will take off in the opposite direction calling in hopes of bringing him in closer. As we’re getting close to where we want to be he gobbled about 70yds away and I hit the tree I wanted and my buddy sets up on the tree between me and the bird. I look at him and he points down in another direction. He thought the bird was flanking us, he couldn’t tell where he was. Once he realized he was on the end of the path as the bird he had to slide around the tree to get lined up the right way. We swapped rolls and I started calling and scratching the leaves and the bird gobbles. He goes goes quite on us and after about 15min I wanted to try to slip farther down the road away from him calling along the way. I scratched in the leaves one last time and he gobbles 40yds away. I start watching my buddy as he aims left handed and then a hen steps out at about 3yds from him. She looks around and clams back down and then my buddy shoots. I look around the tree to see a bird run and take flight, as he flies through the treetops I see my buddy trying to get his gun back right handed and I picked my gun up off my lap and rolled him as he passed by. As soon as he hits the ground my buddy’s said good gosh what a shot and runs out to him. Then I hear my gosh what a beard and spurs. We’re looking at the bird and he’s looking at his head for any sign of a hit, there was one small nick on his neck either from a pellet or a limb. I finally said well I gotta ask, who’s bird is he? He says well it’s obvious if you hadn’t shot he would be long gone and doesn’t look like I hurt him at all so he’s yours. My reply was I’m not gonna argue either way with the season I’ve had but THANK YOU!!! For a great hunt with a wild ending. I didn’t dig around in the cavity but I believe my wad was in him and I did retrieve about 1/2oz of shot out of the hole I put in him. The good Lord really blessed me with a perfect ending to a rough season. That’s a wrap for my MS season 2 fine birds.
  11. 3seasons

    Pickle slams a (another) good one !!!!

    That’s awesome. Huge congrats. That smile says it all
  12. 3seasons

    The Milestone Gobbler

    Huge congrats on your milestone bird Al. I love to watch them too my only issue with that is every second that goes by means my heartbeat get faster and faster and my gun barrel gets to shaking pretty bad. Lol. Good job
  13. 3seasons

    #2 Big Island Bird

    not sure how to edit but here is a little more Hawaii 2018 March 18, 2018 Reid and Myself decide to split up to cover more ground and hopefully find a willing bird. As it turns out the bird I was hoping to hunt was nowhere to be found but I did hear a bird past the water feeder and below the road so after 4 gobbles I take off after him. After going about 3\4 of a mile I finally got close to where he was and eased off into the rock filled hillside. As I got close to a ditch I got tripped up on lava rock and almost went down. Aggravated and tired I stopped to gather myself and the bird gobbles again and he’s close. I ease up some more and once again trip in the darkness. The next time the bird gobbles he sounds like he’s 1\2 a mile away, I figured I had bumped him but it was nothing I could have done so I just eased up the tree and after about 2 min he gobbled again but real close. He was turning on the limb but out there when the y turn away there is nothing for the sound to bounce off of so it sounds way off. I ease up a little farther and I see him in the tree and there is no easy way for me to get real close, so I eased off into the rock ditch and made my way to the next tree. I couldn’t go any farther without being in the wide open so I crawled to the base of the tree (soft purring and clucking as I went) and slid around the back side of it. As I looked where he was he was nowhere to be found and I knew I had just made to much noise, then I see him in another tree just looking around and half strutting. The small ridge he is on ends where he is and he's overlooking a bowl and can see literally over a 1/2 mile+ in any direction. He has the ultimate vantage point and even though they don’t have predators like we do here he’s not even thinking of flying down to the ground until he seen a hen under him. I make some soft calls and he gobbles and struts and looks as if he is about to pitch out of the tree in my lap. There is a runway like meadow with scattered scrub trees between me and him. It’s a perfect set up but he’s looking for the hen that keeps clucking and purring. If I had a decoy and could have somehow eased it out there I believe he would have landed on me. So the call gobble look goes on for what seems like forever and just when I think he is about to pitch out I hear a cluck on the other side of the thicket from him. He immediately turns on the limb and gobbles at the hen that he is now looking at and prepares to fly down. I know if he flies over the thicket to a hen it will be almost impossible to get him so as he squats to leave the limb I steady my dot on his head and just as he jumps I pull the trigger. Now he wasn’t on the roost anymore since he swapped trees so l see him as a smart ol’ limb hopper and proudly my second Hawaii volcano Bird. I’ve never shot a bird off the roost and I’ve had a few opportunities to but I’ll shoot one in the air if I have to and to me a limb hopping bird like this is almost impossible to kill since they won’t hit the ground until they see that live hen under them. I once hunted a bird when I was in high school for the entire season, he would light the woods up until the hens got to him. Finally I brought my dad to help me one morning and after he quit gobbling around 9 that morning we walked to see where he had roosted to try to figure him out a little better. Little did we know he was still in the tree. He pitched out of the tree and sailed through the timber and we both just stood there in awe and disbelief, He was a white gobbler or white phased and he was unbelievable looking. That was the one and only time he was ever seen, he disappeared into the timber like the ghost he was. Hawaii was one of the , if not the hardest places we’ve hunted to date but It was fun and I'll for sure go back.
  14. 3seasons

    #2 Big Island Bird

    Hawaii 2018 March 18, 2018 Reid and Myself decide to split up to cover more ground and hopefully find a willing bird. As it turns out the bird I was hoping to hunt was nowhere to be found but I did hear a bird past the water feeder and below the road so after 4 gobbles I take off after him. After going about 3\4 of a mile I finally got close to where he was and eased off into the rock filled hillside. As I got close to a ditch I got tripped up on lava rock and almost went down. Aggravated and tired I stopped to gather myself and the bird gobbles again and he’s close. I ease up some more and once again trip in the darkness. The next time the bird gobbles he sounds like he’s 1\2 a mile away, I figured I had bumped him but it was nothing I could have done so I just eased up the tree and after about 2 min he gobbled again but real close. He was turning on the limb but out there when the y turn away there is nothing for the sound to bounce off of so it sounds way off. I ease up a little farther and I see him in the tree and there is no easy way for me to get real close, so I eased off into the rock ditch and made my way to the next tree. I couldn’t go any farther without being in the wide open so I crawled to the base of the tree (soft purring and clucking as I went) and slid around the back side of it. As I looked where he was he was nowhere to be found and I knew I had just made to much noise, then I see him in another tree just looking around and half strutting. I make some soft calls and he gobbles and struts and looks as if he is about to pitch out of the tree in my lap. This goes on for what seems like forever and just when I think he is about to pitch out I hear a cluck on the other side of the thicket from him. He immediately turns on the limb and gobbles at the hen that he is now looking at and prepares to fly down. I know if he flies over the thicket to a hen it will be almost impossible to get him so as he squats to leave the limb I steady my dot on his head and just as he jumps I pull the trigger. Now he wasn’t on the roost anymore since he swapped trees so l count him as a limb hopper and proudly my second Hawaii volcano Bird. Hawaii was on of the if not the hardest places we’ve hunted to date but It was fun and ill for sure go back.
  15. 3seasons

    ALOHA!!!!

    Hawaii 2018 March 14,2018 We arrived to the big island in a rain storm on March 12. The next day we had to register our shotguns with the police station and get our turkey tags from the Wildlife department. After our morning of getting ready to hunt we made a quick scouting trip up to the mountain to see what it was going to be like and boy we had no idea. We found lots of tracks in the road and we did see one gobbler walking through and opening. We had an idea of where the birds would be the following morning. Wednesday morning greeted us with 68deg at the house by the beach 48deg raining white out on the mountain. Less than ideal conditions but we had to hunt with what we were given. We park the jeep and as day starts to break we can hear birds all over the place. While this is exciting understand you can hear a bird over a mile away, easy. We made our way to the closest bird which was up the mountain from where we were. Once we got close we set up and we could hear him drumming. He would gobble at our calls and just drum. We can’t see 30yds because of the clouds and this goes on for about 45 minutes. Bradley had to go back towards the truck and as he did so I called and the bird gobbled off to my right then Bradley called from a distance and he gobbled again farther up the mountain. I decided I had better make a more and started around the hill to try to get closer. As I walked up the hill I could see where the gobbler had been standing and gobbling the whole time, it was a big rock mound and it wasn’t 40yds away but we couldn’t even see it. I was calling as I eased up the side of the mountain and was looking for sign. I found some fresh tracks and droppings and knew I had to be close. I made a couple soft calls and walk a little higher. I call again and in the white out I see a hen step out from behind some brush up on the side of the hill, then I see the outline of a gobbler. As I get my gun up the clouds make his ghostly appearance disappear, in a bit a disbelief I just stayed on target looking and finally the clouds gave me a slight outline of the gobbler and I took the 25yd shot. I couldn’t believe it, I had taken my Hawaii bird in white out conditions it was crazy. I said my prayer and took some pics and then I hear Bradley hoot and I hoot back, it took us a little while to meet up. I shared the story with him then took some more pics, then we made our way done the mountain to the jeep.