The weather turned bitter cold with high humidity and northerly winds. I had to bundle up for this venture. I had enough clothes on that I walked like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, but it beat freezing.
I arrived at 7 AM, just a little early, and made my way to the first spot I was going to hunt. This was along the fence line bordering the no hunting area. If you look at the previous posting, you can see the position where I was sitting. I sat next to a huge cottonwood tree with a wooden ladder that went up to a tree stand. I stayed on the ground. When it started to get light, the range finder showed I had a 30 to 40 yard shot when the birds came upon the levee.
It did not take long. Around 8 AM the hens began to yelp as they came off the roost. Soon the noise behind me, to my left, and straight south was really loud with all the yelping, clucking and carrying on. By 8:30 a few more came off the roost and went west into the pasture behind me. I could hear them, but not see them without turning around. There was no way I could get a shot, and this was not the location I was planning. Now the birds had to go with my plan and not theirs.
To the south hens flew out of the trees and started making their way up the hills west to the corn fields. They were way out of range. By 9 AM it was really getting cold, and I felt the north wind against my back as it blew down to the bottom of the hill where I was sitting. I should have brought my tent blind. By 9:30 I started wiggling my toes and stuck my hands into my pockets and moved my fingers. I had been here over two hours and reminded myself that I was having fun. I should have brought my tent blind.
At 10 AM five really big birds came out of the woods to the south and moved up the hill. They were way out of range, and I was getting concerned that I was in the wrong place.
Then it happened. Up out of the ditch to my left came several small hens slithering under the barbed wire fence and onto the ground in front of me. They were not quite in range so I waited. Another fifteen minutes went by before some more birds arrived. This time bigger birds, but still small. They were all on the edge of gun range and most started moving up the hill towards the corn fields. I waited patiently.
Within fifteen yards, three small turkeys came out of the woods. I was not going to wait any longer. I could have probably taken two out of the three and had my limit or wait for more and bigger birds. I eased the gun up very very slowly to reduce any signs of movement. This was a good thing because I could take my time lining up. I pulled the gun into my shoulder. They stopped, stood still, and turned back looking at the woods. They were going to bolt for cover as I think they had picked up my movement. I should have brought my tent bllind.
Just as I was ready to shoot, out of the woods stepped a really nice size hen. She was five yards beyond the three small turkeys. She was toast. There was no hesitation. A slight upward adjustment was made and meat was on the table.
|Not the biggest bird I have ever shot, but she will eat well.|
I gathered her up and put her behind me. All the noise stopped. I decided to wait for another hour to see if some more came out of the woods in front of me. After I shot, It got extremely still. I thought that after 20 to 30 minutes the woods would settle down and the birds and forest animals would start making some noise. Not this time. I left at 11:30. It was a really fun morning and now because I still have one more bird to harvest, I will be back tomorrow. The temperature should be down in single digits then.
Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck Hank.