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#32 - 12/30/12 11:06 PM Scouting Trip
Warren Offline

Boss Gobbler

Registered: 12/22/12
Posts: 90
Saturday, March 23 10:00am
I wasn't feeling well on friday or friday night, so my trip to Deep Creek Lake was
postponed until Sat.
My brother-in-law (Sean)drove the nearly 3 hour trip to our friends home in the woods off
of Interstate 68, near Route 495. At almost 1:00 in the afternoon, it wasn't exactly the
time I wanted to get started. After Stopping to say our hellos we went to park the truck
and nearly got stuck in the 6 inches of snow that fell Friday night. This wasn't going all
that great so far, but at least I didn't have to spend the night in the truck in freezing
temperatures. Anyway we got the truck parked and headed to some of the usual spots we liked
and started our ritual scouting, after an hour or so, we hadn't seen a single track,or heard
a single bird, or seen a feather or poop or any damned thing!
Where are they?
We headed past the spot where I shot last spring's Opening Day Gobbler and proceeded to where
I shot a "Jake" the following Saturday. About the only thing here is a rabid raccoon.
We decided it was time for a rest, and to "re-think" our plans. To our right was a big fallen
log which we decided to use as a break from the strong winds blowing across the field in our
faces. Then I showed Sean the nice view overlooking the woods from the stone wall in front of
us, and mentioned it was a nice way to see Turkeys coming up the hill from below, and maybe
we should climb the wall and use it to break the wind. At the same time we could see much
better if something were to come nearby.
I took out my glass call to give a short series of Yelps and see if anything would
respond, after calling a few times and hearing nothing in return, I put it back in my pocket
and waited, watched and listened. NOTHING.
After looking around a bit I noticed Sean trying to get my attention, (without having
feathers on you, this is a tough thing to do) he is about 15 feet away and is indicating he
sees 2 birds, so I raise myself up to see over the crest on his side of the hill, and sure
enough, here come a couple of big fat Longbeards. We watched as they looked for the hen they
*knew* was in the area, then noticed there were actually four birds, another Longbeard and a Jake.
Two of the birds moved on up the hill above us, while the other two stayed and tried to find
the hen. Neither of us was completely hidden, infact I wasn't even in camo pants. I had an
old faded pair of blue-jeans on. But we were never seen by them, and they came to within about
20 yards. They finally went to join the others up the hill. This gave us an opportunity to
check out their trail and where they came from, as well as see where they went.
While walking up the hill far behind the birds we checked for other signs as we went, but
these seem to be the only birds in the area. After about a 1/2 an hour, I looked ahead and
saw one of the birds scratching in the snow for food. We took cover and watched with our
10x50 Jason binoculars,(best $40 bucks I ever spent)then noticed many more birds were there.
Counting one at a time, the total came to 8. We watched them under the same tree for almost
2 hours before our feet nearly froze, but it was fun and we were able to sneak within 40 yards.
We headed back to the truck and decided not to stay the night,(Too damn cold) but rather go
visit my sister in Hagerstown and sleep in a warm bed, get up at 4:30am and drive to another
location about 25 minutes away in Washington County.
This worked out well, as we got to visit my sister who I hadn't seen since Christmas and we
were closer to home when all was said and done. Also there was no snow on the ground on this
side of the mountains.
We arrived just as the sky turned a little pink in one corner, and rushed to get a few things
together, and headed down across the fields to the edge of the woods. Once there we got
situated between two fields in a slim break of trees and I gave a few calls. Several
Gobblers answered me but they sounded as though they were together and a thousand miles away.
After 45 minutes or so, we moved on to the deeper woods and then some more open fields where I
shot a nice 1 year old, two Springs ago at about 11:50am. (10 min. before the end of the
hunting day) I almost didn't even go out that morning, but Sean had talked me into it. Then
he got jealous because I got one.(He didn't) Well there wasn't much here to look at so we
headed back to the cabin on top the big hill and sat around talking about this and that, and
I made a few more calls and the Gobblers were still there,(a thousand miles away) when nature
called, so I put the call on the tailgate of the truck and answered the other call.
As I was preparing to leave the outhouse I thought I heard a loud gobble but wasn't sure,
(with all the noise inside those Jiffy Johns, it's hard to hear anything on the outside)
it could have been a rooster on the farm not far away. I had a little trouble with the latch
and made a lot of noise getting the door closed on the John and when I came up the hill there
was Sean again telling me to be quiet because he sees birds. He had gone to the truck and
picked up my glass call when he heard the gobbles and started calling them. I never even heard
him calling, so the Gobbler I heard must have been close. Sean handed me the call and I gave
a few calls and got cut off by 2 birds. I put the call down and we waited to see them.
Here they come running at warp speed right to us. We screwed up! BIG TIME.
All we could do now was hope they don't find us and spook away.
It was not our intention to educate these birds. After a few minutes we saw a jake walk
within 15-20 yards and headed for the road, but the two big Gobblers we saw were not
following suit, we lost track of them behind a woodpile and down over the hill. It was
mutually assumed (that oughta tell you something went wrong, right there!)the birds
followed the jake on a lower route to the road. I gave a few minutes to let them get
some distance between us and then gave a few more calls to hear them gobble again and
maybe they would come back and spend a few more minutes in the area so we could watch
them some more.
After a few calls we heard some leaves rustling and I put the call down on the picnic
table, I was just about to get up and stand on the table to get a better look down
through the woods, when Sean stretched his neck to look over and around the woodpile.
He came eye-to-eye with one of the Gobblers and the other
was just beside the first, right behind the woodpile 15 feet away. I don't know for
sure who scared who the most but at least Sean didn't go running in the other direction
as fast as he could go.
Oh well, you DO learn from your mistakes that's for sure. I will be much more
conservative with regard to calling when I scout these usually elusive buggers.
I bet when the season starts, I'll have to wait 'til I see 400 deer before I see one Turkey.
At least it WILL be worth the wait.
I Hope everyones scouting goes a little better then mine and Good Luck on Opening Day!

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#43 - 01/01/13 12:19 PM Re: Scouting Trip [Re: Warren]
ExtraFullChoke Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 6
Dude, that's a book. smile
Nice reading though.

#47 - 01/01/13 12:28 PM Re: Scouting Trip [Re: Warren]
Warren Offline

Boss Gobbler

Registered: 12/22/12
Posts: 90
Yeah, I tend to do that...sorry.

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#117 - 01/18/13 07:20 PM Re: Scouting Trip [Re: ExtraFullChoke]
Byhalia Offline

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 8
Loc: South Central Pa.
Originally Posted By: ExtraFullChoke
Dude, that's a book. smile
Nice reading though.

Keep writing them.... lol
love the story!!!
Listen to the wind

Scout from afar and hunt very close......


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