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TURKEY HUNTING

VIDEO/HUNTS FOR 1997

BY

DEREK FOWLER

MARCH 22, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #1
LOCATION: JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPS, CUTTING, CLUCKING, PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, CALLED IN JAKE

After a disrespectful hunter ended my hunt before it had actually began on Cedar Creek WMA, I quickly exited to relocate to the Cullum farm. As I stepped out of my truck, I immediately heard a gobble across the road from where I hunt. It was already an hour into daylight so I quickly hurried to my setup and heard a shot from the direction of the gobble. After setting up the cows entered the pasture, so I took a nap until they left. Afterwards I called up a jake.

MARCH 22, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #2
LOCATION: JONES COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DWAYNE MORGAN
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: MID EVENING HUNT, CALLED IN 2 GOBBLERS

Dwayne and I left for our evening hunt at about 2:30 in the afternoon. We arrived and were set up at about 3:30. After a short series of calling with no immediate answer, we sat back thinking it might be a long evening. After about 20 minutes, however, Dwayne caught movement in the hardwoods just above the small pasture where we had set the decoys. I immediately got the camera going but could not see the turkey. Only after the gobbler had moved within 25 to 30 yards was I able to see him. Soon after this I realized there were two gobblers. I began to reach for my gun which was lying by my left side. As I continued to video and ease my gun up, I could only think that I had but 1 area near the decoys to take a shot. If the birds made it to the second set of decoys, the shot would be dangerous since Dwayne was positioned to my left front. The birds were moving too fast to prepare for a good shot, however, I gave the signal to shoot hoping I would have time to make a good shot. Dwayne's shot was first and hit it's mark, mine however didn't, but the second shot put the bird down momentarily. Before we could get to the bird he had regained his conscienceness and began running off. Another shot at about 40 yards did not penetrate the plumage. We tracked the bird about 200 yards with no success. Dwayne's bird weight 18 lbs., had 1 3/8" spurs, and a 11 " beard. Final note my opening day was one of many mistakes and blunders! See this footage on my Collectors Series 2 Video.

Dwayne's Turkey

MARCH 23, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #3
LOCATION: BLECKLEY COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: TOM MICKLE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATE AND DOUBLE TROUBLE DIAPHRAGM
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, AND PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: PM HUNT, CALLED IN 1 HEN

Trying to make a first turkey kill and also do it with a bow would no doubt be difficult but Tom only hunts with a bow and is dedicated to achieving this feat. Although he had heard 3 gobblers on the previous morning, there were none to be heard on this morning. We called up 1 hen and gave up the hunt.

MARCH 24, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #4
LOCATION: JASPER COUNTY, CEDAR CREEK - FOOD PLOT/PASTURE
PARTNER: FRANKLIN SMITH
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATE AND DOUBLE TROUBLE DIAPHRAGM
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, AND CLUCKING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: MID MORNING HUNT, GOBBLER KILL

After being unsuccessful during the early morning hunt, Franklin and I relocated to a pasture on Cedar Creek WMA at around 10:00. After a short series of calls we sat back. It was not long until a lone gobbler appeared at the lower end of the field. The gobbler seemed suspicious at first but finally made his way toward our decoys. After confronting the jake decoy first it appeared he wasn't eager to hang around. Franklin took the shot and as I recall on the video "smoked" him. The gobbler had a double beard 9" and 4", had 1" spurs and weighed 17 lbs. See this footage on my Collectors Series 2 Video.

MARCH 26, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #5
LOCATION: JASPER COUNTY, CEDAR CREEK - FOOD PLOT/PASTURE
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES AND DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING CUTTING, CLUCKING, AND PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: PM HUNT, CALLED UP HEN

After calling to numerous gobblers during the morning and afternoon (with no success) I made a late evening hunt on a food plot at Cedar Creek WMA. After a minimal amount of calling a hen appeared and fed for about 2 hours.

MARCH 27, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #6
LOCATION: TWIGGS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND - FOOD PLOT
WILKINSON COUNTY, BEAVERDAM WMA HARDWOODS
PARTNER: KEITH SMITH
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TROUBLE DIAPHRAGM, TRUMPET, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: CACKLE, YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, FIGHTING PURRING AND GOBBLING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, GOBBLING

Keith and I had planned to attempt a bowkill on video. He was confident the birds would be roosted down the hill in the edge of the hardwoods from the clear-cut and food plot which we had set up on. He was right and the (3) birds were hot. They flew down and continued gobbling but would pace back and forth as if there were an obstacle between us and them. After a couple of hours the gobbling subsided. We weren't sure if they were coming so we hunted a couple more hours and left. Afterwards we scouted the area and determined that the birds were probably across a small creek. We left this location and traveled to Beaverdam WMA in Wilkinson County. After walking nearly a mile we found an excellent hillside and set up to call. After an hour we moved closer to the edge of the hillside overlooking the river bottom. I cutt on a diaphragm and immediately got a gobbling response less than 150 yards. We set up as quickly as we could and began calling . He responded eagerly to every call. Finally we saw him and that was as close as he would come. At first we wondered if the slight hill was stopping him, but then we could see two or three hens. For an hour he gobbled strutted, and drummed but we couldn't get him close enough for a shot. We could not get the hens to respond and come in either. The gobbler finally walked (strutted) off with the hens.

MARCH 29, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #7
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY, DWAYNE'S HUNTING CLUB - PASTURE
PARTNER: DWAYNE MORGAN
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TRUMPET, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, PURRING, FIGHTING PURRING AND GOBBLING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, GOBBLER KILL

Desperate to kill a bird and eager to get some good footage, I agreed to go with Dwayne to his club where he had been hearing and seeing quite a few birds. The first gobble rang out long before light and we hurried to complete our set up. The gobbler was hot and must have gobbled a dozen times before most birds do. As the hens around got cranked up so did I and he continued to gobble at all our calls. He actually flew down before the hens did. He had been roosted approximately 150 yards off the end of the pasture. It was flat ground between us, but the opposite side of the pasture led to a hardwood ridge. As long as he stayed down low we would be OK. After an hour of Gobbling he became silent. Thinking he may be approaching I cutt to get his location only to find he had moved to the top of the hill in front of us. Although disappointed, we had high hopes he would run the ridge and circle back into the pasture. In the meantime I kept calling and even done a couple of fighting calls. We called up 3 hens (one at a time) which came from the direction we thought he might come. After the last hen passed I began glassing the pasture with by binoculars when I caught sight of a hite head just above the high grass. I knew then that he was sneaking in silently. I told Dwayne that it was a gobbler but couldn't tell how big. Dwayne had brought his bow along in hopes of arrowing a turkey. When we finally saw the bird's beard Dwayne agreed for me to take the shot. The bird began strutting as soon as he saw the decoys. He came in to the jake decoy first. I had whispered to Dwayne that I would get some footage and try to wait until they got to the left side decoys. As the gobbler gave some aggravated purrs to the jake decoy and was facing away, I decided to position myself for a shot at that location. If the gobbler gave me a head shot I wasn't going to wait any longer. Thinking I was ready I called to get the gobbler to turn and as he turned and gobbled I shot...or at least tried to. I had not taken the safety off! I quickly flipped the safety off and called again. The gobbler appeared to get a little nervous but turned to the other side and gave me enough view of his head to take the shot. The gobbler was probably my best gobbler weighing 20 lbs. With 1" spurs and a 10" beard. See this footage on my Collectors Series 2 Video.

Derek's Turkey at Dwayne's

MARCH 31, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #8
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY, BHC - FOOD PLOT
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: PM HUNT

A short evening hunt at the BHC (Baldwin Hunting Club) produced a hen with fed through the food plot for about 30 minutes.

APRIL 10, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #9
LOCATION: BLECKLEY COUNTY, POWER LINE
PARTNER: TOM MICKLE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TRUMPET, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, PURRING, FIGHTING/GOBBLING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: PM HUNT

Another short evening hunt called up 1 hen.

APRIL 12, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #10
LOCATION: JASPER COUNTY, HILLSBORO PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: CHASE FOWLER
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, GOBBLING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, CALLED 3 HENS, 1 JAKE, 4 GOBBLERS

This was to be Chase's first hunt of the 1997 season. He had looked forward to going back to the Cullum farm for redemption of the 2 jakes he had missed the year before. Gobbling seemed to be in a lull, at least for the past 4 days. But I knew whether we heard any or not, we had an excellent chance to see a gobbler. A front had moved in and rain was expected throughout the day. It had rained on and off during our 65 mile drive, but we were prepared and planned to hunt throughout any rain showers. We arrived at the gate on schedule but by the time we made it to the blind with all of our rain gear and accessories it was breaking day. We heard a hen soon after we started calling and soon saw her come across the pasture. As I glassed the pasture, I saw another hen appear to join the first. After a while they isappeared, so I did some gobbling and fighting purring in hopes of calling up a jake. Not long and a jake did appear from our left and had come in quietly. We quickly prepared for the anticipated shot but the bird never presented the shot I wanted Chase to take. Although he was a small bird with a small beard, he gobbled like a champ. He was the same bird which I had called up opening day and appeared leery of the decoys. Whether turkeys have a long memory or not, it appeared this bird did. We sat there a while longer waiting to see where the cows would go as they appeared through the bottom in front of us. They obviously were interfering with our confidence to call in a turkey, so we set out to the pastures across the other side of the ottom. At about 10:00 we set up at the first available spot to prevent "spooking" any nearby birds. After a half hour we decided to move over the hill and a couple hundred yards closer to where I expected the birds to be. After setting up here and calling we immediately had a response but it was across the creek and up the other hillside. We waited a half hour making sure the bird was not going to show and to determine the direction the bird was headed. We then crossed the creek and the pasture and positioned ourselves on the up hillside of a small acre size pasture. It took some time to trim the vines and brush so that we could both hunt from the same tree, but I didn't think the bird was out of hearing range. The first call gave way to a distant gobble which we could not pinpoint. I gobbled on a tube after a while and followed it with some excited cutting. The response was then very close. I told Chase to get his gun up and in position. Within 5 minutes the birds appeared. Chase saw them first 1, 2, 3, 4, no 5 jakes" he said. After a few seconds they appeared from behind a tree that had been strutting my view, and I could tell there were at least 2 good gobblers. The best bird as it appeared would arrive at the jake decoy first, so I told Chase to take him. When he shot, it appeared that he had only stunned the bird. The gobbler just stood there while the others ran a short distance. I had a good view of the next best bird at 40 yards, so I took the shot. My bird dropped and the others began to attack him. Chase's bird was still just standing, so I told him to reload the 20 gauge single barrel and shoot him again. The shot this time dropped the bird in his tracks. Chase's bird had an 11 3/8" beard, 1" spurs and weighed 17 lbs. My bird had an 11 3/8" beard, 1 1/16" spurs and weighed 16 lbs. Chase's first turkey had turned out to be an excellent bird and we had captured it on video as well. What a way to start out your "turkey hunting career"! See this footage on my Collectors Series 2 Video.

Derek and Chase's Double

APRIL 13, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #11
LOCATION: WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: HAROLD FOWLER
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, PURRING, GOBBLING AND FIGHTING PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, CALLED 2 HENS, 3 JAKES, 1 GOBBLER

After the workout from the previous day it was a little tough getting out of bed. I nevertheless had told my Dad that I would go with him for a short while. The private land we would be hunting had pastures which was surrounded by hardwood bottoms so I thought it would be an excellent place to get some footage. We had only left the truck a 100 yards when I owl hooted and had a response off the edge of the pasture that we normally hunt. We quickly backtracked to relocate and set up on the corner adjacent to where he was roosted. We immediately heard a hen yelping in front of us. After beginning to call, he immediately responded but after flying down would not come in. We suspected hens! We continued to call for the next 1 hours using a variety of calls ranging from clucks and purrs to gobbles and fighting purrs. At this point we had brought him out of the woods into the corner of the pasture that he had roosted. A few more calls and he strutted in with 3 jakes and a hen following to the jake and hen decoy which we had set out. Dad took the shot at about 35 yards. The gobbler weighed 18 lbs. had a 9" beard and 1" spurs. See this footage on my Collectors Series 2 Video.

Dad's Turkey

APRIL 22, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #12
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, GOBBLING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: PM HUNT, SAW HEN AND GOBBLER

After getting the double kill on film with Chase I was now determined to kill a bird with the bow. As I approached the field I stopped to glass the field several times before I proceeded. As I started to round the curve in the road I saw him in full strut. I looked closer and finally located the hen he was showing off for. I backed up circled, and set up to try to call him down the road. He answered several calls but left the field gobbling. Had he seen me, I wondered? After a while, I eased out to the edge of the road to take a look and saw the hen still feeding. Apparently there was another hen he followed when he left the field. I left with intentions of trying it again on a morning hunt in a couple of days.

APRIL 24, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #13
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TRUMPET
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: CLUCKS, PURRS, YELPS, CUTTING, GOBBLING AND FIGHTING PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, SAW 3 HENS, 1 GOBBLER, AND COYOTE

By arriving early I knew I would make it to my set up location this time. If arrived at lease one hour before flydown time and set up decoys and camera. As light began to bring the world to life I heard a distant gobbler making his presence known. He would have been an easy bird to set up on but he was too far and on other property. I did clucks and soft yelps and then began cutting sharply to get a response-----nothing. I began my next series with my trumpet and followed-up with the cutting on my diaphragm and there he was - a gobble from only a couple hundred yards. When he finally showed he was following 3 hens. He was not about to leave his hens and they were as unresponsive as it gets. They fed and he strutted all the way across the field. They entered the corner and I expected them to follow the hardwood/pine transition that ran about 500 yards until it opened up into a loading dock from a previous timber cutting. I quickly gathered my equipment and moved to set up on the other end. After setting and a few series of calling I heard something, turned and saw a coyote leaving the seen of my decoys after pouncing on one of the jakes. I didn't get a shot and barely got the camera on in time before he left the scene. I hunted a while longer but the birds never showed.

APRIL 25, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #14
LOCATION: JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, PURRING, GOBBLING AND FIGHTING PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, CALLED 1 HEN, SAW GOBBLER AND 2 HENS

I had not planned to hunt the Cullum farm again since Chase and I had taken 2 good birds, but I knew it would be an excellent location for a bowkill. I set up and began calling and heard 1 gobble within 300 yards. I continued calling but he didn't answer. After I heard the beagles, I knew why. I finally got up and walked close enough to run the 8 beagles and rabbit off. After allowing things to settle I called in a hen. By this time the rain had began to get harder. The weather man had completely missed these clouds I guess because he had talked of clear skies and a beautiful day. I like to hunt in this kind of weather but was not prepared on this morning at all. At 9:00 I decided to leave and get my camera out of the rain. I climbed back up the hill to the upper pasture and stopped to glass the field before I entered. There they were, 2 hens and a nice gobbler. I waited at the edge to see which way they were heading. After about 10 minutes they had moved towards the corner and appeared to be headed to the lower field where I had just come from, so I went back and set up for another hour. I then left and went back up to the upper pasture and after "thoroughly" glassing the field began walking towards my truck on the far corner. They had been standing behind a dead tree all the time. Needless to say, they made their exit.

APRIL 26, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #15
LOCATION: TWIGGS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAVID SHEPHERD
CALLS USED: DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, CALLED 2 HENS AND 11 JAKES

David had told me the chufa we had planted had been demolished and should make an excellent place to video. We called a little and it wasn't long when four turkeys entered the field. It was a rainy day and we expected to see birds in the immediate area come to the field during the rain, but didn't expect to see what was to follow. Five more came out and soon three or four more. A total of 11 jakes and 2 hens. We hunted about 3 hours and finally had to run them out of the field to leave. See this footage on my Collectors Series 3 Video.

APRIL 27, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #16
LOCATION: TWIGGS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: MATT HARLAN
CALLS USED: ROHM DOUBLE SLATE, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TRUMPET
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, IN PROCESS OF CALLING UP 7 GOBBLERS, 1 HEN WHEN BIRDS WERE SPOOKED

To capture a "first bird" kill on video is always my endeavor and this hunt was no doubt going to be a possible treat. Matt owns about 1000 acres with over 75 acres in pasture. Matt said he was seeing birds everyday and mostly in the front pasture which was by his drive which leads to his house far back behind the pasture. It was again a rainy day so it took some time setting up with all the umbrella's and rain gear. We picked a spot on the far side of the pasture and set up facing the direction the birds should come from. After a minimal amount of calling we had a response from a hen and 1 gobble. They were almost directly in front of us. After a while of glassing the pasture I noticed a lone gobbler standing on the far end of the pasture. Shortly two hens joined him and they all continued feeding towards us. As I continued to glass the pasture I noticed another bird in front heading towards us. It was a jake and was soon joined by another jake. At this time the worst thing that could have happened did. A car came driving in the pasture, visitors to Matt. The birds all sprinted across the field in our direction and into the woods to our left. Needless to say we hoped our second trip will prove more successful.

APRIL 29, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #17
LOCATION: WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM DOUBLE SLATE, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, GOBBLING, FIGHTING PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: PM HUNT, BOW-KILLED JAKE

I had originally not planned to hunt on this afternoon, but decided to check out the chufa patch on some land I had not hunted. As I approached the field I saw several tracks in the road which were very fresh. As I continued to the field a bird flew down along the far edge. (I'm not sure why he was in a tree at 4:30 pm.) I set up on the edge of the chufa which was on the end of a two year old clearcut. After my second series of calling, I heard a gobbler in the bottom in front of me. The second time he gobbled he was closer, but I had my doubts that he would come in. He gobbled several more times but did not get any closer. At this time I heard something walking in the leaves behind me. As I turned to look, I could tell that it was a turkey. After a few minutes I could tell it was a jake and decided that if he presented a shot, I would take it. He did and I made a good shot on him at about 15 yards. He weighed about 15 lbs and had a 5 inch beard. See this footage on my Collectors Series 3 Video.

Derek's Bowkill Jake

MAY 01, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #18
LOCATION: BALDWIN, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM DOUBLE SLATE, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TRUMPET, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, GOBBLING, FIGHTING PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT:AM HUNT, CALLED UP 4 GOBBLERS/1 HEN

I still was not satisfied and didn't feel I would be until I killed a good bird with the bow. I revisited the Brumfield property where I had previously saw a good gobbler several times. This time I would get in the corner of the field where he seemed to want to travel. Instead of being roosted in the usual spot, he was roosted on the opposite side in a cutover section. While waiting on him, I called in a hen and decided the best thing to do was spook her in the opposite direction. An hour after he flewdown he presented himself but did not present a shot. He appeared nervous of the decoys. I relocated to a different area and called up 3 additional gobblers. I was also unable to get a shot at these birds. Whether they could see the hen decoy or not, they would not present a shot.

MAY 02, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #19
LOCATION: TWIGGS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: MATT HARLAN
CALLS USED: ROHM DOUBLE SLATE, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TRUMPET
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, GOBBLER KILL AT 9:30

Matt and I had planned to make this hunt during a weekday to hopefully keep from getting interrupted by visitors or other hunters. To add insurance we decided to go to the far pasture to start which is also where Matt saw the birds the day before. We set up well before daylight and as daylight approached heard a couple of hens clucking. Soon we saw birds come into the field from directly in front of us. A good gobbler started sounding off in the other (middle) pasture. The jakes and two of the hens made their way towards the middle pasture. We called and almost every time the gobbler answered, but did not sound as if he would come. After about 2 hours of this bird gobbling we decided to try to relocate. As we entered the middle pasture from the lower road a hen began yelping and clucking and the gobbler sounded as if he was headed our way. We circled to try to enter the pasture from the upper road. As we did it was obvious that he couldn't see us from the rise in the pasture. We set up and began calling and in less than 10 minutes the gobbler arrived. Matt took the bird at 25 yards with my 12 gauge 3 " Mossberg with Federal #6 shot. This was Matt's first bird and a good one. The bird weighed 17 lbs., had an 11 " beard and a little better than " spurs. See this footage on my Collectors Series 3 Video.

Matt Harlan's Turkey

MAY 04, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #20
LOCATION: WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: DAD
CALLS USED: ROHM DOUBLE SLATE, DEADLY TRIPLE DIAPHRAGM, TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPING, CUTTING, CLUCKING, GOBBLING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, JAKE KILL

We revisited the same tract of land that I had previously killed the jake with my bow in hopes of attracting the longbeard I had heard before. After setting up at the same location we thought we heard a gobble toward the back side of the property. We called and listened for about an hour before we decided to move. After setting up the second time I ran a couple of series of calls and heard nothing. I then gobbled and followed it up with some cutting and yelping. He responded eagerly and within 5 minutes I saw him coming. Although I had a clearer view than my dad, we neither could tell or thought it could possibly be a jake, at least from the sound of his gobble. When the bird was within range, he stopped facing us and I gave the signal to shoot whenever ready. My dad took the shot and the rest is history. A jake it was, about 15 lbs. with a 4 inch beard. See this footage on my Collectors Series 3 Video.

MAY 8, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #21
LOCATION: HILLSBORO, JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE, AND TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: YELPS, CUTTING, GOBBLING, FIGHTING PURRING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, CALLED IN HEN AND GOBBLER

I decided to try the Cullum farm again with my bow although late season bowhunting was a tough as it gets. After setting up on the far side pasture I heard three different gobblers in a "triangle" around me. The first and closest gobbler came in from my front. He was with a hen and came out very early. The second bird was across the creek and the third behind me on the hill. As the third gobbler ran the ridge pasture behind me the gobbler and hen turned and made their way to him as he followed the ridge. As the bird turned I could see his beard was thick for about 4 inches and stringy for another 4 or 5 inches. I hunted a while longer and left.

MAY 9, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #22
LOCATION: HILLSBORO, JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: ALONE
CALLS USED: ROHM SLATES, DEADLY TRIPLE, AND TUBE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: CLUCKS, CUTTING, YELPING, AND GOBBLING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: PM HUNT, CALLED IN/TO HEN AND 2 GOBBLERS

I revisited the Cullum pasture on this evening, but this time I decided to carry the gun. That was decided after the previous hunt and the conversation with Nelson. He had seen a couple more "super" nice gobblers and I seemed to be having a tough time getting a shot with the bow. Before I entered the pasture, I could see the cows were in the near side end of it, so I stopped to glass the area. I could see him through the cows heading the other way and feeding, but I couldn't tell how big he was. When he rounded the curve in the pasture I followed and eased my way toward my blind from the previous day. This probably was a mistake, as it turned out. I should have setup on the farside of the upper pasture above him. I finally made it to the blind and could not see the gobbler. "This could be good or bad" I thought. At any rate when I finally started calling and a hen soon appeared. Soon after two gobblers crossed the far end of the pasture. As I called they expressed no interest and made their exit. The hen did express interest and began cutting but could not call the gobblers back for me. I prepared a blind at the far end of the pasture in anticipation of bringing Chase or Heath on the following day and then left the pasture. After looking at the video I could tell at least one of the gobblers had at least a 12" beard.

MAY 10, 1997 VIDEO HUNT #23
LOCATION: HILLSBORO, JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: HEATH
CALLS USED: ROHM DOUBLE SLATE
DESCRIPTION OF CALLS: PURRS, CLUCKS, CUTTING
DESCRIPTION OF HUNT: AM HUNT, GOBBLER KILL AT 9:15

I decided to take Heath on this last Saturday of the Georgia turkey season. We were about thirty minutes late getting to our blind and walked by a gobbling bird on the way in. I carried extra decoys and set out a small flock of 3 hens and 3 gobblers including a half strut jake. I camouflaged our setup to help hide any movements. The cows were already in the pasture but I thought they would probably leave. The gobbler we had heard continued to gobble but not from the end of the pasture the birds had exited the previous day. Temptation was great for moving towards the gobbling bird and getting away from the cows, but I knew we could not find a better and more concealed place. A hen entered the pasture and came within 10 steps of our location, maybe she heard Heath's snoring as he had fallen asleep. The cows were all around and the hen finally flew over them in her effort to get to the other side. The gobbler at this point was closer and appeared to be coming. I had yet to make a call since the cows had not left. I had changed shirts and had forgotten all my diaphragms, but now it seemed this was for the better. I woke Heath to get him ready as the gobbler rounded the curve in the pasture at about 150 yards. The bird strutted slowly toward us, the cows, and the decoys. As he approached he hesitated a few times so I clucked, purred, and cutt on my slate. He stayed interested but was soon ran into the woods by more approaching cows. Heath was not able to be still and the cows were going to present a tough shot, so I decided to shoot the bird if he presented another shot. He did and I made the shot at about 35 yards. The bird weighed 17 lbs., had a 12 inch beard, and 1 3/16 inch spurs. We heard another bird gobble, hunted a half hour longer and made the long "grueling" walk out. No doubt, this was to be the end of a terrific turkey season. See this footage on my Collectors Series 3 Video.

Derek's Cow shy Turkey

THE END

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