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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:20pm - Jan 18,07
Posts: 250

Post Posted: 01:47pm - May 11,18 
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Quiet morning in the wood this mornning, thankfully the rain stopped as I pulled into the parking area. Made a 1/2 mile hike back into the woods & set up two hen decoys in a clearing. I did bring in a popup blind thinking it would keep me dry when the rain started back up. There didn’t seem to be any birds where I decided to set up, not a chirp or gobble from any turkey in hearing distance on the roost.

After not hearing or seeing anything for the duration of my first sit, I decided to move. Thankfully, the rain held off during my hunt. I’m not a fan of hunting out of a popup blind, unless using a bow. I have a preserved turkey skin from a bird I shot years ago that I wrap around a store bought decoy. It’s delicate but works really well. I left the popup behind & moved 100 yrd down a logging road. Set up the decoy & made a few soft clucks. The sun was peeking out periodically & my lack of sleep was catching up with me. I sat for a 1/2 hr fighting to stay awake, still not seeing or hearing anything but songbirds & a distant train whistle.

I usually sit for 1/2 hr to 45 minutes then move. At about 9:00 I slowly moved another 100 yards down the logging road & set up in another clearing. There was a great looking brush pile 10 yds off the clearing that I settled next to to begin my next wait. There was just eniugh cover in front of me to make seeing my decoy slightly challenging. I set up too close to the decoy, under 15 yds away from me. 20-25 yds is the ideal distance that I’m comfortable with. Not feeling comfortable with my set up, I didn’t want to move the decoy or myself, figured that I’d wait the 1/2 hr then move again.

After making a few soft clucks I was resigned to just enjoy spending the morning in the woods without seeing anything. I adjusted the forearm of my shotgun into my left hand & moved the sling from around my right knee, I wanted to minimize any movement if any birds happened to show up. The sun peeked out again, making me a little too warm in my rain gear. I felt my head bobbing as I once again fought the urge to take a quick nap.

In an instant, my heart rate went through the roof. Less than 10 yards away, two brilliant red headed toms were aproaching my decoy. They never made a sound, I didn’t see their approach which, I hate to say, was disappointing. Both birds looked exactly the same, mature toms. They didn’t care or notice as I shouldered my weapon, settled in on the bobbing red target, eased off the safety & sent a 2 oz load of # 6’s to the target. The tom made flapped its wings a few times & expired. The other bird stood there wondering what happened. It was so fixated on the decoy, it didn't run even when I stood up! It would have made the perfect double but, I only had one tag. I only sat that time for 5 minutes.

10 1/4” beard, 3/4” spurs, not my largest but a public land trophy nonetheless. Only regret, my favorite hunting partner, my Dad, had a stroke years ago & can’t go anymore. Enjoy your time with your hunting buddies! Be safe

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 09:43am - Oct 19,07
Posts: 980
Location: Chicago

Post Posted: 02:13pm - May 11,18 
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Great story and congrats! Sounds like a blast! My buddy is a huge Turkey hunter but I just haven't gotten into it. With a wife and two small kids I don't want to push my luck and taking more time away from the family. I think my deer hunting passion with a few day trips pheasant hunting is enough for her. One of these days I would like to get a turkey though.

Quick question, were you hunting in the general Chicago area or was this farther away? I'm just curious if anyone gets any birds within an hour or two of Chicago.

Congrats again!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:11pm - Jan 12,14
Posts: 381
Location: Fourchon, LA

Post Posted: 04:24pm - May 11,18 
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Awesome.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:20pm - Jan 18,07
Posts: 250

Post Posted: 08:30am - May 12,18 
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I used to have access to a big chunk of land in JoDavies county. For about 35 years my Dad & I hunted deer & turkey there until it sold. There is some good public ground there. I always appreciated having access to quality ground. We were/are friends with the person who manages the property. My friend still manages the property but it is leased out for a crazy amount of $. I really appreciate having the opportunity to get a bird now. Most years, I dont get drawn for the areas I like to hunt. Shawnee is another option but its even farther.

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Salmon Unlimited Member
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Joined: 08:06am - Sep 18,06
Posts: 1759
Location: Montrose

Post Posted: 05:17pm - May 12,18 
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Congrats! No matter what you're hunting, they seem to know when you're not completely ready for them. Sounds like it went down real fast. That had to be awesome.

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Dave
Big Ken
Formerly Anchor Management
Montrose Harbor
Channel 7
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