Bagged a spring gobbler!


April 16, 2016, 04:49 PM
Got woke up by a turkey gobble this morning. It was in the front yard. Ohed and ahed over it. Took a shower, got dressed for working on my chicken pen. Danged coons got all my chickens by reaching through the 1" mess and grabbing 'em one at a time. Neighbor gave me some fine mess wire to armor the pen with which I've been working on. So, I went out and started tacking wire on and heard a gobble. It was coming from way out back in the woods. Figuring it might be a while if I pass on this one, I went inside, camoed out in my leafy wear, grabbed my .22 magnum out of the gun safe (totally legal in Texas) and eased back into the woods. When I got to the power line sendero that cuts through the woods, I looked both ways, then hear a gobble coming from further back. Not wanting to spook the turkey and standing right next to my box blind, I sat down in the blind and put the rifle on the rest and pulled out my electronic turkey call I bought a couple of years ago and never used. It sounds pretty tinny, wasn't sure it's work, but I ain't worth a toot with a mouth call, makes me gag, I've tried it. I've only killed one other turkey in my life on a lease 25 years ago. We bought this place 4 years ago and we have turkeys, I just haven't gotten into it.

So, I start calling with purrs and yelps and I'll be damned if that turkey doesn't start gobbling back at me! Wow, just like on the outdoor channel! Well, by this time I'm getting excited. I yelp and purr and hit a couple of other buttons on the thing, LOL, and he keeps gobbling closer. Soon I see his head other side of my hog trap. He stops in the clear by the fence about 70 yards away. I probably could have called him closer, but he was well within range of my very accurate Remington M597 Magnum, so I set the crosshairs on his chest and BANG. He ran a ways, got off another running shot and missed, then he ran up and fell over. I put another round into him and he flopped and quit.

Well, the first shot hit him square in the chest and exited with lots of expansion in his back, he wasn't going anywhere with that shot. :D The finishing shot was through a leg. I couldn't make out his head, just a blob of feathers I shot in to. Didn't need to do that, but didn't want him going anywhere and wasn't sure I'd made a good shot, though it felt good and the gun is a tack driver.

I picked him out. Wife said just fillet his breast meat, legs 'll be tough anyway, but when I got to picking, he didn't have any down on him like a duck, was WAY easier to pick, so I just picked the whole bird, have him soaking, going to wrap and freeze him and probably cook him on the smoker later. :D

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April 16, 2016, 05:03 PM
Great! In my estimation turkey are slightly smarter than redhead ducks but are wary as heck. "Never look a gift horse (turkey) in the mouth.

I had a jake walk through the front yard last week. My dog was barking like crazy but by the time I got the shotgun and shells, he was out of range.
I shot one in the back yard about 3 years ago while his buddy flew into a tree right next to the house.


April 16, 2016, 06:02 PM
Good job- at least you got a little something for the lost chickens! The legs aren't too bad if you smoke them long enough. I got a nice one last spring when I was back stateside. Maybe you can get the coon tonight! Get some meat, some revenge, and maybe a hat!

Barry the Bear
April 16, 2016, 06:12 PM
Love me some turkey legs!

April 16, 2016, 06:12 PM
Must be nice to have birds in the yard. I have to drive 10-30 miles to hunt them. Used to get serious with them. Hunted 21 out of 28 days in 2 states one year. That is about as close to divorce that you will get.

Went out today, opening day, and played with a gobbler for over 2 hours. He is still out there.:cuss:

April 17, 2016, 12:48 PM
Good Job MC!

Just my .02,

April 17, 2016, 01:46 PM
Good shooting MC, congratulations. I've tried cooking turkey legs in a pressure cooker so they wouldn't be so tough, it still didn't seem to help. Hope you have better luck.

April 17, 2016, 07:05 PM
Nice. I love a story with a happy ending...and a bird on the smoker is a very happy ending.

April 17, 2016, 08:05 PM
Me too. Got one with a bow the same size the week before this one.

That is a 30lb 10" beard with 1 3/8" and 1 1/16" spurs. 104 year old rem model 11 shotgun.

Taurus 617 CCW
April 17, 2016, 08:23 PM
Last spring I didn't fill my turkey tag so it rolled over to the fall. I ended up getting a special unit deal where you get 5 more tags for $5 each if you don't fill your spring tag. I filled every tag last fall and it was a great year! The first photo is one of the larger birds I shot. The other photo is one where I got two with one shot using my double barrel Stevens 311 shotgun. They were all good eating. I cooked two in the crock pot after soaking them in white wine vinegar overnight. The other one I cooked in the oven stuffed with garlic and onions.

April 17, 2016, 08:50 PM
Wish we had the same rules in Kansas so I could use a rifle. Been out twice so far and both times have had many goblers about 75-100 yards away, but couldn't coax them any closer. Would have filled both of my tags with my 22 Hornet, the perfect turkey round.

April 17, 2016, 08:55 PM
Wish we had the same rules in Kansas so I could use a rifle. Been out twice so far and both times have had many goblers about 75-100 yards away, but couldn't coax them any closer. Would have filled both of my tags with my 22 Hornet, the perfect turkey round.
I don't know how your calling but it's not to hard to get them to come in even if they have hens. They will leave the hens when they are done breeding for the morning or afternoon. Try a decoy. A good calling rythm if a gobbler is with hens is an excited cut sequence once every 7-10 mins. Without hens the same cut call maybe toned back as in not so excited but ever 1-4 mins.

Also the right bow will reach out to 60-70 yards.

April 18, 2016, 02:37 PM
I never get excited when turkey season comes but I never miss a chance to take one of those big Rio Grand toms. Just a hint about cooking one of them if you're new to cooking a wild turkey. Been doing this for 50 years and when I clean a turkey I filet the breast just like you would filet a fish. The legs are always stringy so I never keep them. Soak the breast halves in salt water overnight and then rinse in clean water. Cut the breasts in small strips like chicken strips and deep fry the strips. They are really good eating.

April 18, 2016, 02:44 PM
Save the legs! You can boil them and use them for soup! Real good and tender if boiled then peeled/cut to small bite sized then added to soup for slow cooking. Easy to do, just had fall Turkey legs made into Turkey and noodle soup.

April 18, 2016, 03:51 PM
Sage- like the idea of the deep fry turkey strips- I'm going to try that next time. Also like big bore's idea on the soup- going to give that a try too.

April 20, 2016, 09:40 AM
Well crap!! Third trip out yesterday and no turkey. Went to a new spot and watched 6 toms fly down, but they went after the very aggressive hens instead of coming my direction. They answered my calls, but chose the real hens. Did call in a coyote, but elected not to shoot him. My calls fooled him. So, I'm giving up for the next few days; going to shoot prairie dogs. I'll return to turkeys next week.

April 20, 2016, 01:12 PM
I'm thinkin' I'll cut the drum sticks off, cut 'em up into pieces, and make a stew in the crock pot/slow cooker with it. I want to smoke the breast. It sure LOOKS good, figure I'll cut off the legs and smoke the breast. That's the plan for now, not really into frying that much except for catfish. :D

Wish we had the same rules in Kansas so I could use a rifle. Been out twice so far and both times have had many goblers about 75-100 yards away, but couldn't coax them any closer. Would have filled both of my tags with my 22 Hornet, the perfect turkey round.

For my whole life, one could shoot turkey, Rios, with a rifle and my grandpa took a few with the .257 Roberts I inherited when he passed. Most of the hill country, you can shoot 2 in fall and even hens. Colorado county, where I am, you're only allowed one in the spring only.

I hunted on a lease out south of Junction, across the highway on a ranch from South Llano River state park for the Texans that might know. Turkeys everywhere there. It was spring and club rules required shotguns, so I wrapped up my old Sarasqueta twice pipe with camo tape figuring it's full choke barrel would work as it patterns really tight with 4s.

I shot one, about 40 yards, wouldn't come closer. I shot a bit low and it got away. Came back with the ranch patrol and we found it next to a tree. He kicked it out and I shot it again on the wing, like flushing a big quail, and managed to bag it, but I got lucky to find it again. I swore right there if I ever had the choice on another turkey, I'd take a rifle. I didn't have my .22 mag then, but traded a guy out of it years later. I had no real use for it when I traded for it, but had thought it'd make good turkey medicine. Range with it is maybe a bit over 100 yards, but in the woods out here, I can't see more'n 100 yards and calling this one was kinda easy as he's a young tom and had no harem and seemed like a lonely tom. :D Now, with a decoy, I suppose I could have gotten him into shotgun range, especially my 10 gauge H&R turkey gun I actually bought for goose hunting. That thing patterns REALLY good and is drilled and tapped for an optic, though not sure I could find a mount for it anymore. H&R quit making the single shots, only import Chinese fake 870s anymore. And, the 10 gauge was on a special frame and no doubt had a special scope mount.

But, I don't like the idea of hunting with a shotgun even though I know I could do better than with the old 12 gauge SxS. I just think they deserve putting down post haste and I can do that with a rifle. I'll always default to the rifle vs a shotgun where appropriate. Archery is another story. I can't shoot a bow worth a toot due to eye dominance problems, but do have a crossbow I took my first archery deer with last season, red dot scope, shoot it lefty with my good eye just like a rifle or shotgun, and it's REAL accurate inside 40 yards. But, not being a big turkey hunter, I'll stick with my .22 mag for now. When I start working on points for style, maybe the crossbow. :D

Yeah, I'd think the .22 hornet would be awesome as a turkey rifle.

I know some probably think it unethical to take a turkey with a rifle, but I just don't understand that. If you have a better tool, why not use it, especially if it'll avoid wounded game? Now, in Texas, Rios have always been legal to take with a rifle. The state has stocked easterns in the piney woods and they're in huntable populations now. The state requires shotguns only, probably archery is okay, but haven't looked. I am not sure why this is so, but I suspect they wanna make it a bit harder to take a tom than sniping it from 300 yards across a clear cut with a .223 because populations of the easterns are still pretty low especially compared to rios in the rest of the state. I suppose legislating the use of shotguns in open country keeps the harvest numbers down, too, and might be a reason for the law. I just don't consider using a rifle as immoral on turkeys and never will. I think it's more moral to put the bird down positively and I can do that better with a rifle. I don't know that hunting with a rifle is legal anywhere else than Texas, though, so I'm sure there are other opinions in with state regulators. Morals vary with region, anyway. Here, we use feed corn to bait and it's even legal to do so for turkeys. It sure was exciting talking to that bird and getting him to come in, is one of the things that addicted me to duck hunting in my youth. I used a box call, one of those push button things, on that first bird I took in Junction. I picked up this electronic caller a couple of years ago and this is the first time I've used it. Heck, purists probably think an electronic caller is unethical. Some might even think those mouth reeds unethical or box calls, should learn to do it with your mouth unaided. To each his own. I'll do it my way, others are free to do it theirs. Main thing is, follow the law. There might be a good game management reason for the law, after all. Game regulations isn't ALL about politics. :D

April 20, 2016, 01:24 PM
Great! In my estimation turkey are slightly smarter than redhead ducks

That dumb, eh? ROFL

April 20, 2016, 02:20 PM
MC- Arguing the "morality" of a legal technique of hunting is a wasted venture, IMO. Someone could argue that a rifle is more difficult to use than a shotgun at closer ranges. Grazers from PETA say its all immoral. As long as a hunter is in compliance with the law, and acting in a safe and responsible manner, who cares. Where I'm from people hunt deer with dogs. In Maine its legal to bait bears. So on and so on. I guess everyone else has the right to look down their noses, and opt out of that particular method, and that's all there is to it.

April 20, 2016, 11:09 PM
Totally agree, FL. :D

April 21, 2016, 12:19 AM
Nicely done sir !

I daresay a bit more meat on that than my first spring harvest !

April 21, 2016, 05:53 PM
Nice job

April 22, 2016, 05:48 PM
Well, well...3rd post on this subject. As you know from my previous offerings, I was crying the blues about my bad luck and had thrown in the towel for this week and planned to shoot prairie dogs. My not-so-good luck continued when I got rained out. Those dirt rods out there are impassable following 3+ inches of rain. Never been a quitter, so I went after turkeys again this morning with my buddy. Had moved the blind to a more likely spot and it had been there for 3 days. The woods were alive with gobbling, but the first one flew down about 100 yards away and went away from the blind and decoy spread. Few minutes later 2 hens walked through our decoys seemingly unconcerned. Their clucking was no doubt better than mine so I did no calling. The hens moved off to the side and ceased clucking. About the time I considered calling the remaining roosting gobblers flew out of the trees directly into our decoy spread. There were 8-9 of them. Now that, my friends, is a rush; seeing a flock of gobblers flying directed toward you. I had 2 tags and my buddy had one and we filled all 3 in about 15 seconds. It was special for all sorts of reasons. It was Bill's first turkey ever and my first double. Took us quite awhile to calm down after that one!

April 25, 2016, 06:11 PM
Sniper, that sounds like a huge adrenalin rush. :D CONGRATS!

April 27, 2016, 08:17 AM
My turkey hunting in Michigan starts on May 2 and lasts the rest of the month. There are two one week hunts prior to mine for the hunters that are not confident in their hunting skills. They need to get to hunt the dumb toms I guess. LOL

In Michigan it is shot guns only, no shot bigger than number 4. With it not being as open as the western states I see no need for rifles. I have killed a few birds out to 40+ yards with #6 copper plated lead shot. I have never seen the need for any of the heavy shot type stuff.

I pick and oven roast all of my turkeys. They are done in a roasting bag the day prior to my wanting to serve them. I let them cool, then carve, put the meat in a casserole and pour a little of the juice from the bag onto the meat keeping the meat moist when reheating. Coming out of the bag the breast is always juicy as it is but reheating might dry it out.

The carcass is boiled and then cleaned of meat for soup. I tear apart the legs and the meat minus the tendons goes in the soup

April 27, 2016, 09:40 AM
Had two gorgeous days in the field this week. Monday I had 6 birds fly down 100 yards from me. 5 gobblers and 1 slutty hen. Of course the hen took the big birds away from me leaving a pair of Jakes to sneak in as soon as the boss birds were out of sight. I had them at 15 yards and had to let them pass. Jakes aren't legal here.

Made a big circle and bumped a longbeard while I was trying to cross a creek. He had gobbled at my call and came looking for the hen before I could cross. I talked to the foreman of the farm and was told that there were birds in that creek bottom every day.

Yesterday morning at daylight I was in the creek bottom under a large cedar with a decoy in front of me. Sat there for 2 1/2 hours when , low and behold, I see heads 100 yards down the field. 8 birds were working their way to me. I gave three yelps on my Chatter Box and all 8 came on a dead run. 7 jakes and one 9" longbeard put on a show for several minutes before the big bird finally got out of the crowd far enough to bust.

My shotgun has a 20" smooth bore slug barrel with rifle sights, a White River extended choke and shoots #6 Winchester Longbeards tigher than any load that I have put through it. At twenty yards I nearly took the birds head off. If you haven't tried these shells you need to do yourself a favor and try them. I have taken over 30 birds and these are the best shells that I have found.

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