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Posts Tagged turkey

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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2009 Turkeys

It was evident the moisture we have received has made a noticeable impact on the land.   Lakes we once viewed from the highway are filling again and the mines outside of Gillette are flooded.

We made it into the Hills way before dark and made camp on a very muddy logging road.  We quickly changed and headed down the road to try to put a bird or two to bed.  After making it to the edge of the mountain and crow calling we were able to locate 5 gobblers in the meadows below.  There were two together near the fresh burn that we knew we could find in the morning.

The next morning we got going just as the sky was showing signs of light in the East.  We worked our way down a canyon to get near the patch of trees we knew the birds would be in.  Erik sat and called and Michelle sat back with camera on shoulder and gun strapped on back.  A bird answered immediately.  It is always hard to tell exactly where a bird is or what direction he is moving, but after some time we knew that the birds were heading somewhat away from us rather than toward.  So we made several short moves in the direction we believed the birds were heading, calling at each pause.  The gobbler answered every time.  We shortly approached the side of a hill that bordered a meadow.  The flock must be on the meadow heading our way!  Erik set up against a tree close to the edge of the meadow and Michelle stood back standing tall and still, if anything came around the corner it would be dead before seeing anything.  Sure enough the tom came into view and Erik blasted him at 11 yards.  We then heard another gobble.  Erik told Michelle to drop the camera and get the gun ready.  Michelle did so and started forward heading around the base of the hill searching for a red head.   She only saw three hens – but then a ‘put’ up the hill.  She turned and ran strait up and met the other tom at the top.  Michelle pulled up and pulled the trigger.  Nothing happened.  The safety.  The tom started running and Michelle after as she took the safety off.  Michelle unloaded her gun on the bird, who started limping and was unable to fly.  After topping the hill Michelle saw the bird laying down and took a final shot to put him down.

WHAT A HUNT!!!!  The bad news is all the footage is ruined because the mic came unplugged from the camera while Erik and Michelle were dressing it in camo the night before 🙁  with-our-birds

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