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Strut10

1st 2020 PA bird

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So.......... I was in the woods and set up tight on a group of 7 gobblers (2 longbeards and 5 jakes) shortly after 5 AM this morning.  Long story short, I spent the next 5 1/2 hours playing cat and mouse with them.  Twice I had the hammer back and a longbeard 1-2 steps from dying, only to be picked off BOTH TIMES.  I still have no idea how..............

Anyways.........at 10:30 I headed back out the ridge to where they roost.  Wanted to do some recon on tomorrow morning's setup.  Got almost there and I hear somebody calling out in front of me.  It was coming from very near the property line.  So I put the stalk on......taking a step.......glassing for 5 minutes......repeat.  Got to the point where I thought I should be able to see the guy.  The calling was coming from a little ways off our property........from a big tree line at the end of the neighbor's field where it drops into our woods.  Lots of overhanging limbs along the edge but I can't see the guy.  Then I glass a little past where he's at and there's a mature bird in full strut !!!  He was in a roll in the field terrain.  That's when the lightbulb went on.  It wasn't a hunter.  It was a hen.  And I knew which one !!!   She and I had quite a discussion Saturday morning.  We had a real shouting match for a while.  Then she settled down as did I and called her and 6 other hens right to me.  Wasn't a gobbler within 500 yards.........  But that was Saturday.  I know she's mouthy.  So I started to work on her.  Copy-catted her every sound.........plus threw some purrs, whines and even a couple kee-kees in because she did that to me Saturday.  She started coming.  But she swung a semi-circle into the woods and around below me.  The hill slopes off pretty hard.  So sitting down, you don't see very far very well.  But I could follow the gobbler by his fan tips and occasionally his big, fat white head.  She was headed to a small gas pipeline that went down over the hill between us.  I figured when the tom got to the pipeline he might strut right up the hill to pick me up.  I was sitting just yards off the pipeline.  Then the hen started coming at me.  Straight up the pipeline.  She popped up about 25-30 yards from me.  But she didn't see what she thought she would, apparently, and queered a bit.  Not spooked, per se.  But not all cozy either.  She turned and started back down the pipeline.  I just kept calling reassuringly to her.  Now, I'm thinking this tom HAS to be RIGHT HERE.  But I can't see him.  I decide to slide my back up the tree I was against..... into a standing position ever so slowly to see where he was.  Initially as I came up, I was looking across the pipeline where I had last seen him.  But oops !!!  He's straight down slope from me !!!  He's in full strut !!  He's behind some stuff.............  A step and a half in front of me there's a small maple I can get a finger wrap on.  He goes behind a huge triple maple and I step up and brace my gun on the maple.  He comes out from behind the tree clump in full strut.  He comes out of strut but his head.......all but the very top.......is behind a log.  Slow as slow can be, strutting again, he takes a couple steps in the right direction.  Comes out of strut......still the stupid log.    Back into a strut.......takes a step or two..........starts to drop strut and his head came clear.  Bang.  It is done.  11:59 AM.  We gotta quit at noon.

 

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That sure was down to the wire Don.  Congratulations!!!   Sounds like you had a fun hunt too.

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On 5/16/2020 at 12:02 AM, 3seasons said:

Fine place to kill a bird  congrats!!

Thank you !!

Irony is...........this IS one of the most perfectly beautiful places on the Strut10 Ranch to kill a spring bird.  Problem is, the way it is laid out, it is, without a doubt, THE HARDEST place to make it happen.  So many variables.  It's frustrating most of the time. 

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