Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:02 AM
Who else had a fantastic opener? The story is too long for me to write out but let me tell you...it was amazing. Here's the condensed version...This hunting is taking place on various stakes of private land that we have permission to hunt on in the Ione, CA area. Morning hunt...We left our vehicle at 6:00 a.m. They gobbled in less then 20 seconds, we tracked, found and made it down to their roost tree and watched them fly out and walk the field. We walk about 10 miles and go back to camp.Then the afternoon hunt...We're in our impromptu, handbuilt, oak timber blind. About 200 yards off in the field 4 hens, 2 jakes and 4 slowly strutting HUGE gobblers come strolling down the hill. We called the whole entourage from over 200 yards in to about 75 yards, the females broke off one way and the Toms went the other way but 2 super horny Jakes couldn't resist our female calls and came to within about 30 yards...hands are shaking, heart is pounding, and of course I'm in an incredibly uncomfortable shooting position and ended up shooting through brush with no turkey choke and missed (head shots only for us). They waltzed off, and we followed way behind to track their locations for future knowledge. Ended up cresting a hill with 9 more birds with a big Tom in back struttin' his stuff in the valley below the hill. We called them to about 40 yards...I my buddy to count down from three when he was sighted on the big Tom. The guy with the turkey choke aiming at big papa, me without the choke aiming at the decent Jake. My buddy has to take his shot and fires on two instead of three. He fires and my bird jumps and I don't get the shot. He hits the big Tom (or so we think)...the big guy jumped, floundered and looked hit, then ran over 3/4 of a mile uphill and over barbed-wire fences. We followed and saw the big bird fly off. We'll get him next weekend. I doubt he was penetrated and was probably just scared, not shot.So all in all, we found the roost tree, we blinded up in the perfect spot, we called them in, they trust our location...we just couldn't hit $hit.Best hunting I've ever experienced. The location and calling was textbook, something like you'd see on a hunting show. Even without birds, it was amazing. You don't always have to bring home the trophy to appreciate it.There it is. All right, it got longer than I expected.