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Brad Eden

Nice guys finish last...

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Brad Eden

My buddy Scott was at the door before dawn despite steady rain. We prospected a bunch of spots, stopping, opening truck windows and throwing out calls. When the rain would let up we'd hoof it and call. Drove around a lot, saw a bunch of birds in fields including mature gobblers, but they weren't in huntable spots. Rain, rain...finally struck a workable gobble, geared up and tried to work him but he shut up. Only drizzle so we walked trails to a Powerline. That's where we found a bird in the open 200 yards away, he gobbled, we set up in the line against a mossy, and brushy hummock area. Scott is splitting his time working on a project in NH and his home in Maine so has very limited time...so being the good friend I am, I deferred and gave him first up to bat status. I might have called once or twice more, saw the gobbler was coming and we basically watched him make his way down the Powerline on the main trail. I never made another sound. He got to within 70 yard and stopped where he thought he should see the hen, and displayed and milled about. I almost called when he started walking away, but he turned again and walked right into our laps....well actually he was at the fringe of range as he passed below us. I hissed to Scott that he better take the shot. He did, a little over 40 yards with his 12 gauge and 3" Remington Duplex loads, best load ever that of course they no longer make. The results below. 22.5 lb., 10" beard, 1-1/4 spurs. 3 year old most likely. Might have put me high in the UJ Gobbler contest...but hey, I'm a nice guy....sometimes.

 

IMG_0292.JPG

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EB&Me

Thats a heck of a gobbler, unless 19"was a misprint. Either way still a good bird for a rainy day.

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hobbes

Congrats to both!

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Natty Bumpo

Congrats on a Dandy Maine Gobbler in the rain.

 

You are a good buddy, Brad.

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Coalman

Yup youda wun.

 

Congrats Scott!

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Fire Marshal Bill

Nice shooting Scott. Being a good friend/sport Brad is more important than a bird any day. Good for you!

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Brad Eden

Ha! 10" beard not 19! Typo that has been corrected.

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TJK68

Congrats to you both, and good on you Brad for being a good friend.

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mister grouse

good day for all parties except the bird....congratulations

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Roost em 1st

You are why that bird died. Like the way you let it happen at the end. Callers call but killers kill. Nice 3 yr old. 

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vabirddog

congrats to you both!

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Scrappy

Congrats! Great looking bird.

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Brad Eden

Yeah, that's a real nice bird for Maine.

 

I snuck out to a couple spots on my morning errand and PO Box check run. Same rainy and drizzle conditions, struck a gobble, hiked in and called in a Jake. Let him live. Saw a bigger bird in an adjacent field and got him to gobble once. Never saw him again. Ran into that same gang of Jakes mentioned in a previous Juvenile Delinquent thread I started. Numb nut birds, down to 9 total, maybe one got got. I just enjoyed the show. Anyone notice how a bunch of turkeys scooting away look like those small dinosaurs in the Jerrasic Park movies? One was a little bigger with a 5" or so beard, but too early for a Jake. This rain really puts a damper on the gobbling and the hunters enthusiasm. (Oh, I glassed a Tom mating a hen way at the back end of a field, the rain apparently didn't curb his enthusiasm. Too big of a commitment to get to him this morning.)

 

If I can get some work stuff done, I might try a spot late this afternoon if it isn't pouring out. But, I'm a morning turkey hunter and haven't fully embraced the all day hunting we now have in Maine.

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Brad Eden

I'm getting soft....spotted a bunch of birds in a local field on my way to my PO Box. About 8 hens and two strutting Toms. Both two year olds that I've seen in this general area now for awhile.  I know the area well, and despite the difficulty in taking a field Tom, especially those with hens I decided it was worth a try. It took me a while to circumvent the field and come out above the birds. I could see them a couple hundred yards away, and crawled out and set a hen decoy. I called, they telescoped, but didn't move my way. I'm pretty sure the decoy was out of sight due to the contour of the field. After a while they meandered to the right out of sight. I closed the distance through the woods as quietly as possible, tried again to divert them close to me but they simply roamed randomly. I finally found myself back close to where I had parked my truck, which I could see, and within sight of the road and houses on the other side. I was hunkered inside the wood line and the birds were now less than 100 yards in front. But close to the road with vehicles buzzing by. I did some lost hen calls that I usually reserve for fall, and some yelps etc. they continued to wander about, not in my direction. In the meantime I could hear a little kid at one of the houses and cars kept driving by. I was legally far enough away from the houses and road but it didn't feel right. Just as I was about to back out, the hens started my way and made their way to within 10 yards of me....with the Tom duo not far behind. Those thin bearded but full fanned toms passed within 30 yards, totally doable. They were elbow to elbow so a one shot double would have been possible and legal. As they passed they had a backdrop of road, cars and houses...I'm typically a killer but have a small degree of aesthetic in my hunting expectations and this wasn't how I wanted to murder my first bird of the year. In full view of cars driving by and  people and including kids close enough that they would have been alarmed at the shot. In my younger years and maybe even as a late season desperation bird, maybe. But not today.

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Michael Stenstrom

Congrats to Scott. Finally got out this morning for first time.  Ended setting up around 4:10 in the woods on a route birds have been using.. When light filled the woods we were 30 yards from two hens roosted in a maple.  They never knew we were there. Decoys were about 15 from them.  Tom came from totally wrong location based on scouting and ended up skirting us out of site once he entered the woods.  I think someone tried to hunt them at roost time yesterday and buggered them.  I wish Maine would go back to a noon close during spring.

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