Hunting Washington Forum

Other Hunting => Turkey Hunting => Topic started by: ctwiggs1 on May 03, 2017, 09:35:11 AM

Title: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: ctwiggs1 on May 03, 2017, 09:35:11 AM
I wish I had time to do an exhaustive report here.....

My buddy has never been turkey hunting before and we were thinking about camping in the CNF to go after them.  After talking with Rick about his lodge, I told my buddy that we should consider staying at Buck Canyon if for no other reason than to just have more time observing turkeys.  It would cost more than a camping trip but I felt we would get a lot of knowledge out of it and they covered food so that helped justify the cost as well.  I had no idea how great the experience would be.

We arrived Friday around 1:30 after a 7 hour drive.  Our only stop had been to Ephrata to get gas and some snacks (which turned out was a waste of money).  Rick greeted us outside, helped us unload our gear and offered us lunch before having us climb into his truck for a 20 minute drive down the road to a leased property to check some cameras.  After showing us around, we agreed to check another blind and he would drop us off for a few hours. 

We got settled into the ground blind and I did my typical routine for blind or stand hunting - get comfy, get water bottles out and set up for easy access, have gun available, etc.  As the birds started chirping up in the trees and the forest seemed to relax a bit, I let off a few puts to let some turkeys know we were present, ready and willing.  We sat there whispering some good hunting blind conversation for about 20 minutes when I heard some spitting and drumming behind us.  We both got quiet and within 2 minutes, 2 very eager jakes walked 30 yards in front of us.   My buddy and I are "first legal animal" types unless it looks sick or lacking any real meat.  These jakes looked like neither of those exceptions so we laid them both flat.  I remember getting the birds into the blind with us (of course we tagged them before we even moved them --- VERY IMPORTANT!!) and looking at my buddy and saying "You just got ruined.  Turkey hunting is not supposed to be this easy :chuckle:."

We spent another 3 hours in that blind Friday evening and were able to watch a lot of activity - hens milling around (2 of them stuck around for about 45 minutes), whitetail grazing on a field, etc.  It was fun to watch the turkey behavior and get to know turkeys a little better.  We arrived back at the lodge to a VERY good meal cooked up by Rick and Wendy.  Rick pulled out some large trash cans so we could clean our birds and get them into the deep freezer.  After it was all said and done, we settled down for some dessert and beer (our beer - honestly the only snack we needed to bring).  This routine was pretty consistent and yes I gained weight on this trip.

Saturday was finally an opportunity to show my friend a true turkey hunt - we all know the kind.... Where you get led around for miles chasing the "gobble gobble gobble" but don't actually see a tom.  We tried everything - decoys in the morning, falling back, pushing forward, calling more, calling less.... Nothing was going to get those toms interested in coming to us.  We headed back to the lodge for lunch (this was foreign to us, normally we eat some pre-packed bagel sandwiches in the field while we're hiking for lunch), some good conversation with Rick and Wendy, and then headed back to blinds to sit and see if anything was out and about.  At about 3:30, after some off and on puts and a couple yelps (very sporadic, trying not to overcall), we heard another round of spitting and drumming.  I stopped all calling and waited.  Sure enough, once again, a bird walked right in from behind us and settled out in front of us, no more than 25 yards away.  This was no jake - it was a double bearded big boy tom.  I really wanted my buddy to have a chance to down a tom, so I told him to get ready.  I got my gun ready just in case as well.  Well, he unfortunately missed that first shot and the tom ran out of his field of fire.... And into mine.  Down he went.  3 tags notched and I was done hunting within 24 hours of  arriving.  The forest settled down and birds started chirping again, so we did a few more calls and waited it out.  We didn't get any real responses, and after it started to get dark we decided to call it a day.  Back at the lodge we enjoyed some great steaks prepared by Rick and got the tom cleaned and in the freezer.

Sunday we woke and went after the roosted birds again.  It was a complete repeat of Saturday morning except this time we weren't getting even a single response after sunup.  I looked at my buddy and told him this reminded me of hunting Easterns over in Missouri - tons of response from the roost and nothing after fly-down. After about 4 hours of looking, hiking, etc. we finally decided to leave the area.  We have a quick lunch, get our gear organized again and decide to hit the blinds.  That's where our luck has been mid day and that's where we wanted to be.  We got to the blind we were going to spend the afternoon in around 11:30 and sat patiently for about 2 hours.  After that my complete lack of blind hunting discipline took over and we started walking around looking for turkeys.  We spent about an hour of doing that before we settled back in the blind and my buddy dozed off (he works swing shift and was running on about 5 hours total sleep over 2 nights).  Around 3  o'clock, I notice movement in my peripherals and realize a turkey just walked in on us.  I nudge my buddy and we are both trying to figure out what it is as it moves between trees.  It walks right out into the open in front of us and sure enough it's a nice jake.  My buddy starts to get his gun ready when i tap his knee as if to say "freeze" - another jake was walking 5 yards to our left.  Before we knew it, there was a bachelor flock of 4 jakes milling around 20 yards in front of us in my decoys.  They all seemed particularly interested in my submitting hen  :chuckle:.    I have to give my buddy a lot of credit here - he was able to wake up, get his gun in position, and hold it steady while waiting for the birds to separate so he could take an ethical shot for close to 5 minutes.  For a brand new hunter, that takes a lot of discipline.  For anybody, it takes some stamina to hold that shotgun up and ready that long.   When that shot opportunity came, he pulled through and notched his final tag.  Our hunt was complete by 4 o'clock.  We headed down to the lodge, cracked open some porter and cleaned a jake.

Overall I've got two big thumbs up for Rick and Wendy's operation.  I have never even thought to do a lodge hunt, a semi guided hunt, etc.  The opportunity that we had to observe turkeys both in the blinds and around the lodge was priceless - I learned so much just by watching them and seeing how they responded to different calls.  In addition, when Rick tells you over the phone that he's got your meals covered, he means it.  There was always leftovers and it was always delicious.  The only exception is when they challenged me on how much steak I could eat.... Like I said, I walked away a few pounds heavier.  I honestly felt that I arrived as a paying customer and walked away a friend.
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: ctwiggs1 on May 03, 2017, 09:41:45 AM
Tom
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: ctwiggs1 on May 03, 2017, 09:42:30 AM
Buddy's First Turkey
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: ctwiggs1 on May 03, 2017, 09:43:15 AM
Jake
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: ctwiggs1 on May 03, 2017, 09:47:16 AM
Some of the beautiful scenery we were able to enjoy on our hunt
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: quadrafire on May 03, 2017, 09:54:36 AM
 :tup:
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: buckcanyonlodge on May 03, 2017, 10:48:07 AM
Hey Curtis...Here are a few photos from your hunt. The tom on the scale was 19 # and a nine inch beard. The deer pic is from our sight seeing tour up at Butch's. Great having you guys here and look forward to muzzy deer & elk!!
One of the best benefits of operating the Lodge is making new friends! We've had 6 hunters so far and they have taken 8 toms. More to come.......
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: h20hunter on May 03, 2017, 10:52:18 AM
Cool pics, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: ctwiggs1 on May 03, 2017, 11:17:39 AM
My wife has told me I should be a full time hunter.  I always have a big stupid grin on my face when im in a hunting pic LOL
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: WaltAlpine on May 03, 2017, 01:26:37 PM
 :tup:
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: Jpmiller on May 05, 2017, 12:31:19 PM
My wife has told me I should be a full time hunter.  I always have a big stupid grin on my face when im in a hunting pic LOL

Well you always have some stupid look on your face lol. Wish I could have made it out with you guys. Sounds like a blast
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: HUNTINCOUPLE on May 06, 2017, 08:53:59 PM
 :tup: :IBCOOL:  Good eats right there.
Title: Re: Double Limits @ Buck Canyon Lodge!
Post by: ctwiggs1 on May 06, 2017, 09:14:02 PM
Turkey schnitzel tonight!

Put the legs and wings in the crock pot for tomorrow's dinner. 

Tomorrow night we will crockpot the bones for stock.  One turkey is 2 dinners and a couple lunches plus tons of turkey stock. That's a great deal!