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Author Topic: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap  (Read 1657 times)

Offline h20hunter

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Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« on: May 07, 2017, 03:32:47 PM »
Well, home safe and sound after my first turkey hunt. As the title says I was a guest of Craig at YJ Guide Service out of Davenport.

This was my first trip out to this part of the state and it really has its own appeal. Rolling hills, field after field of 'falfa and wheat.

I got in on Thursday and met up with Craig while he was working on some equipment. Drove around the corner, down the hill, and into camp to get my stuff offloaded. Craig came down a bit later and gave me a quick tour of some of the property. Not enough time in a day to see it's a lot of ground. It's also deceiving...just when you think your are looking at a flat field you notice it drops off into timber, open little meadows, small finger ridges, and more nooks and crannies for all the critters to hide in they would want. The first evening I was left to my own devices. I drove around a bit, watched deer across the valley, saw a small flock of birds, quail.....and stormclouds on the horizon.

Going in, watching the weather, I knew we were in for some less than stellar hunting and was (for the most part!) ready.

First morning Craig shows up at o'dark hundred and we are off. I'll throw this in....I could tell Craig, my guide for the day, was feeling like garbage. He had bee running hard 18 hours a day guiding and working up to my arrival. He is a machine. We got settled in for the first hunt of the morning and got comfy in the blind. No action and not much making any sound in the area. We pulled up and moved to the fencepost blind and did have a hen come in. We could hear a gobbler over and to the left a bit but as soon as he would sound off the hens would speak up and lock him down tight. During these first couple hunts I learned more than I ever knew about these birds. They are cagey buggers indeed! The previous nights thunderstorm and wind...and off and on rain was not doing us any favors. We called it a morning after doing a little looking around for the tom and went back to camp for a break and lunch. Back up...we did a quick drive, spotted a few birds out and about, a few in the woods, a small herd of muleys, and some other critters.

Evening hunt had us on the edge of a 'falfa field. We could hear some birds off a bit and a few gobbles. Again, Mr. Tom was henned up and not coming in. However, we did have 4 hens come right to us and put on a show. They would scratch and pick at bugs, dust themselves, and basically behave just like turkeys! It was cool being that close to them, watching, and just hanging out. This stand was the 2nd best highlight of my hunt. Not much else to report on the evening hunt other than I was a bit concerned about the wind blowing the blind right off us!. The hens braved it fairly well and the thunder in the distance of course again...did not help us find and kill birds.

Called it a night and was set to hunt with Bobby of Big Game Rush TV. Bobby picked me up even earlier than Craig. This is the morning that was rough. It was windy, cold, and giving us a mix between rain and drizzle. We walked out to the blind and got settle in. By settled in I we got chilled to the bone over the next three hours. The wind was howling and blowing right into the blind. We buttoned up the best we could, Bobby was layering up best he could, and I was getting colder and colder. You know that cold, that chill that seeps up from the bottom of your feet and settles in. Cold. By 7 I was for sure ready to take a break and Bobby was not arguing one bit! We had not heard a single bird sound off, had a pair of hens peak out, and that was it. Later, reports from one other hunter was the same thing, cold, wind, rain, no action. Looking back I'm very glad we called it a morning as I needed an hour just to warm up. Got a coffee in me, an hour in the rack, and we were back at it by 10am.

The 10 am hunt was going to be a test of endurance. We were set to sit in that blind for about 8 hours. Long sit. I had my book, two extra layers just in case, and off we went. The day cleared a bit, the wind settled, some sun peaked out, Bobby took a nap, and I read my book. After a bit we heard a gobble here....a gobble there. We knew there were birds to the right and a far off gobble behind and possible to the left. The temp had come up, Bobby and I swapped stories, he tried a few times to destroy the blind, was a good sit. After oh about 6 hours my book was done and Bobby was swapping calls with the same tom. He would get close, then move off. He would call, get all raspy, the tom would sound off pretty close. Closer than any gobble I had heard to this point. Close enough I had the gun on my lap and was ready to kill a bird. Two hours he called to this bird. On and off. Soon it was clear that he was moving closer...Bobby called it...said he is coming and going to come out at that point. I figured he was coming out where the hens had...nope, right at the point out pops a tom. Big tom. He has  beard that almost touches the ground, is just under 150 yards out, strutting and doing his thing. He is fired and, I've got my face cover on, gun in hand, and I think oh yeah it's on. Well, dumb bird stares at our dekes, gobbles and struts, and then drops back into the draw. Words were said by us both that were directed at the Tom. I think, and the two hens we busted about 20 minutes indicate, that he was with a few hens that had not come out yet. I think they let him get just ahead of them but either he didn't like our dekes or just had that turkey sense that I was going to blow his head off. Either way it was clear he wasn't coming out. Bobby asks if I care if I shoot a bird off camera, heck no I don't care, let's go! He grabs a call, I got a few extra shells, and we book it. Now remember friends and neighbors, this is private property, no other hunters that we have to worry about thinking we are birds moving through the woods and takes a shot at us. It was the two of us and a tom. Game on. We jammed down the ridge moving at a good clip. We would pause, call, hear the gobble, and keep moving. Well, I'd like to say we got ahead of him and ended his little turkey life but we did not. Man those birds can move! We caught up to him but I think we were spotted right when I hunkered down behind a tree. Just like the that, he would not respond. Game over. on the way back up the draw we never did hear him again but did jump two hens that flew off.

That chase, the run and gun, taking the hunt to the bird was a great time. Hearing him gobble knowing we were racing hi down the draw was a great time. Bobby called it perfectly, we were just bested by the Tom. Essentially, in the process we blew out the whole draw and effectively ended my hunt. I wouldn't have done it any different because that was a ton of fun.

Only being a two day hunt, plagued by wind, rain, intermittent storms, hen'd up birds, and a rough previous week of hunting I went in knowing it would be less than ideal conditions. Seeing the land, learning about the birds, meeting Craig, hunting with Bobby.....all I all a great experience. Do I wish I would have killed that tom, a jake, heck a bearded hen....of course. Would I go back and hunt again, absolutely! I've already got myself, bro in law, and dad booked for deer come October and am now looking forward to it even more. I just may end up back there in the fall to see if I can't fill a tag or two after all.

Thanks to Craig and Bobby for taking me out, showing me the ropes, and getting me a chance to run down a tom and beat him at his own game. This was only round one....I'll be back!

@YJ Guide Service

Online huntnfmly

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Re: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 05:06:04 PM »
Great write up.glad you had a good time Craig runs a good will enjoy the deer season even more
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Re: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 09:07:13 PM »
Slap some bacon on a biscut and lets go, were burrnin daylight!

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Offline monster

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Re: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 07:02:33 AM »
Top notch guy and ranch.   I hunted this year and did really well.  I will be back

Offline h20hunter

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Re: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 09:52:17 AM »
I did 100% better than if I was on my own. I too will be back for vengeance on those birds.

Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 10:17:23 AM »
Hunted on his leased property a couple years ago and had a great time.  No bird but a good time.  Your situation sounded just like mine.

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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 11:22:43 AM »
Sounds like a cool service. Better luck next time! :tup:
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Two Day Turkey Hunt With YJ Guide, 2017 Spring Recap
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 11:30:32 AM »
A true hunt. Thanks for the write-up!
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