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Posts Tagged shotgun

Good (great) Friday!

This time of year we focus on our Savior’s sacrifice and what that means to our salvation. Ever think of what it means for our daily life? TIME. No more tedious preparation for time consuming rituals. We can truly take advantage of the beautiful world our Lord created for us!!!!!
We went with our good friend Jeff Harmsen to the Black Hills. His wonderful parents put us up and took very good care of us!
Jeff and Erik put some birds to bed Thursday night Friday morning we got going early and got within 60 yards of the roosting tree and set up to wait for light. Samantha nodded off with mommy while we listened to the gobblers sounding off in the twilight. Jeff and Erik each made a couple soft calls to let the birds know they had company. The toms, fortunately, were alone and when they left their bed they came right to us!! Erik was set up closer than Jeff and shot one tom which dropped like a rock. The other started in the direction of Jeff and didn’t make it but a few yards before Jeff took him. It was all over in a flash and Samantha, startled from the shots, opened her eyes to see two birds on the ground.


Posing with the guys

But it wasn’t over yet! One tag to go, so Samantha hopped on board with daddy and off we went again. We were taking a snack break at the top of a hill and listening for gobbles when Jeff prompted us to get moving. Before we took a step Erik stopped us. There was a flock of hens with a couple toms just inside the tree line in front of us. We were able to back down the hill and skirt around where we assumed the birds were heading. We topped in a spot perfectly in the path of the oncoming birds. Michelle had an open shot at one of the toms but did not get him on the ground before all the birds headed for the hills. Feeling defeated on that attempt, and not having any vocal birds in the area, we headed back to town to get a bite and wait for evening. After a delicious meal (Joyce always cooks the best food!) we headed back to the hills. The birds were so quiet, we weren’t sure if we would have another chance that day. We happened upon a lone tom, but he spied us right away. More hiking, calling and listening ensued. The crazy thing about hunting, all hunting, is it can all change in a flash! For more than an hour we walked with nothing and then not far uphill from us a gobbler sounded off and the chase was on. We worked our way in the direction of the gobble and he sounded off again. We got in position and the gobbler came and went. He was with some hens and a ghost hen was not going to draw him away. We needed to get in their path for a chance. We were in some thick oaks which helped conceal our movement but also made a clear shot difficult. The birds were milling around one small area and we moved well within shooting range, but the cover was so thick it seemed a chance to shoot would never come. Thanks to Jeff and his engaging conversation with the hens, they stuck around long enough that an open shot finally presented itself. It was a narrow one, but that’s all it takes sometimes.

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Gearing up for Turkey Season

Yes we know its already here….

new camo

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late season turkey blues

I expect the birds to come my way

as I sit near their roost at the break of day.


I call, they answer in my direction you see

indicating they might just come toward me.


Toms and hens fly out of the trees

landing on the ground they begin to feed.


Their heads are turned, the decision is made

sometimes those darn birds just go the other way!


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Crazy Rainbow Pheasant Hunt

We invited our good friend, Matt to join us on a hunt at the Crazy Rainbow pheasant farm. Anyone who has ever hunted wild birds in South Dakota or Nebraska knows that pheasant hunting in Wyoming is like walleye fishing in an aquarium. But that has all changed with the opportunity we now have with Crazy Rainbow. Their birds are healthy, the cover is phenominal and the experience is just as that of a wild hunt. It was a great day, we bagged at least 20 of our 24 birds and had a fun time trekking across the country.

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Turkey 2010, 2nd weekend

Jeff couldn’t make it this weekend, so we headed out with Chad and made it to the hills in time for Erik to hit the rim and listen for birds before dark.  With a stiff east breeze nothing could be heard. The next morning we were out of the camper and headed in listening for birds at 4:15 a.m. We walked till 7:oo a.m. before we heard our first bird. The wind was still blowing and gusty making it difficult to hear the birds.  After hiking for a mile or more and calling several times we finally hear a gobbler.  We spent time working slowly in the direction of the birds and never could see them or hear them again, yet we continued to work in the direction we thought they were heading.  We somewhat gave up at one point and took a breakfast break.  After starting to circle back to the South(where we came from) we heard the birds after a crow flew overhead.  We were right behind them all along, but the wind wouldn’t allow us to hear much.  We set up on a hill where we figured the birds were feeding and Erik ended up with the biggest Tom we have ever taken from this area.  We didn’t have any luck the rest of the day, but enjoyed listening to a few birds and hiking around our favorite spots, reminiscing of old deer and turkey hunts.

Erik and Michelle put a flock of 20 plus birds to bed and Chad pinpointed a group of 5 or 6 at dark.  In the morning we decided to start with the flock Chad had spotted.  We did not get a good chance at these birds when they came out of the tree, but we heard gobblers in several places at the base of the mountain as it was a beautiful, calm morning.  We really took our time, knowing we had all day to find and set up on birds.  We worked our way North to South calling along the way.  The birds were all going crazy.  Some mornings the gobblers only call until mid morning, we lucked out and had birds talking through early afternoon.  We missed a good opportunity when some birds walked right by a spot we had just debated sitting on.  So we hustled to circle up a big ridge and catch the birds on the other side.  We made it in time but didn’t get set up very well.  But, it wasn’t over.  We had split the group and we spread out to catch a loudmouth tom.  Erik ended up catching him on a barren ridge just East of where we split the flock.  It was a nice 2 1/2 year old bird.

We walked over 17 miles, got into 6 different bunches of birds all in a day and a half of hunting public land!

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Turkey season begins

We took Chad and Jeff and headed for the Black Hills Friday night.  As we reached the Hills we discussed the storm that had hit a week earlier and the 2 foot we saw further East after that storm.  When we turned on to the Forest road, it was evident the storm made an impact on this area.  We followed only one set of tracks in to the area.  As we neared our camping spot the tracks ended and we had to plow our own way for the remainder of the drive.  We made it safe and sound to our spot and talked turkey until it was time to say good-night.

In the morning we made our way to the edge of the mountain to make some crow calls down to the trees and meadows.  Nothing.  We worked our way down to a clearing and made another call.  We did hear gobble after this call below us, so we made our way in his direction.  By time we made it to where the turkey had called they were long gone.  It seems these birds are not spending any time in the Hills yet.  There is no green grasses or bugs and the birds are heading back to private in the mornings to feed.  We took a nice tour of the area double checking for any stragglers to no avail.

We will try again next weekend.

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Crazy Rainbow pheasant hunt

We wanted to take a trip to Nebraska to do some ice fishing for the weekend, but the weather did not look too promising, so we called the Ugly Bug Fly shop and booked a hunt for the Crazy Rainbow pheasant farm.  We arrived shortly before 1pm and checked in.  We learned that there had been several hunts lately and many birds released.  We love to hear this, it means hunting will be much more exciting with all those birds out there.  As in many a bird hunt, the first few birds got away, the boys really just needed to warm up, because the rest of the day was filled with great shots and amazing retrieves.

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