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Brad Eden

Find the right bird...

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Brad Eden

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20 lbs, 10" beard, 7/8" spikes. 

 

Find the right bird...

 

My time to hunt has has been more limited than usual this week with my Mothers Memorial preparation, writing assignments, and crappy weather. I've been out a few times as described in earlier posts. Passed on some Jakes, passed on a possible double on a couple smallish 2 year olds because of conditions, and worked a reluctant and gobbling Tom for over an hour yesterday morning. No go.

 

Find the right bird...

 

Headed out this morning, late, around 7:30 to try to get a hunt in before all the rain starts mid day. Headed to a gorgeous spot with sloping fields close to home, where I had located two gobblers preseason. Nothing was home, not a sound.

 

Find the right bird...

 

Got back to truck and scratched my chin...where to go, where to go? Then I remembered we had gone to dinner last night in Belfast and drove side roads to get there. We saw a nice Tom cross the road at 6:00PM, and JoAnn remarked "He's got a nice beard", as he scooted into the woods. I had made a mental note of exactly where he crossed. Never hunted that area. What the hell. I drove to the spot and pulled over. There weren't any posted signs on either side of the road. I got out and called towards where he had gone. Nothing. I noticed a muddy jeep trail on the other side of the road where people drive in to launch canoes at some ponds further in. I walked a little ways down that road and threw some calls. I got a faint gobble, way the hell back, far enough away that I paused about working it. 

 

FInd the right bird...

 

I went back to the truck and geared up, and headed further down that muddy two track. Called, got a gobble, sounded closer but muffled. There was a large wash out from a stream that crossed the road, and I figured I should get on the other side of it. I waded through and called. Son of a bitch he was closing the distance. But still plenty of time. I kept walking, looking for a good set up spot. I came to where the road forked, which created a nice open spot in the woods. I chose not to set out the decoy and found a big birch tree to set against. But I kept sliding since it was on a slope. I noisily got to my knees to scoot to another tree when he gobbled again on his own. HE WAS ON TOP OF ME! 

 

Find the right bird...

 

I was caught flat footed, I was crouched, shotgun in my lap pointing to left, and the bird was coming in on my right. He kept shaking the ground with gobbles. I could hear him walking through the leaves down the hill across from me. I waited. Finally he stepped out on the road about 60 yards to my right. He strutted, gobbled and....walked across the road into the woods on my right. That gave me the opportunity to shift around, get my shotgun up and in position, while doing light yelps with mouth call and scratching at leaves like a feeding turkey.

 

Find the right bird...

 

He was hot. Then he stepped back into the road and started walking towards me. 60 yards, 50 yards, 40 yards. Even though I could see him and the road clearly, I had a bunch of branches and crap between us. I needed him to get as close as 20 yards for a clear shot. He stopped at just under 40 yards and telescoped his head, gobbled, looked for the hen that should be right there. He started to turn, took a step away, if I waited he might have turned back and kept coming, but I wasn't gonna chance it. Bead was on his head through a hole in the branches and I dusted him. 20 gauge turkey choke tube, Magnum Blend HeviShot, 35-38 yards.

 

I found the right bird...that could be killed this morning.

 

End of story.

 

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WPG Gizmo

Nice hunt I found my right bird yesterday

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Brad Eden
1 minute ago, WPG Gizmo said:

Nice hunt I found my right bird yesterday

 

Well, tell us about it ole boy. Don't forget you can upload photos right to Posts now.

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mister grouse

Good job Brad.  We are all MUCH better turkeys hunters when the old boy is by himself.:D

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Brad Eden
29 minutes ago, mister grouse said:

Good job Brad.  We are all MUCH better turkeys hunters when the old boy is by himself.:D

 

Yes, like I said....ad nauseum....others can sit and listen to the songbirds and even a reluctant gobbler who won't commit. I'll give a bird some time, some angles, and the best call of all....silence, for 15 minutes to a half hour. If I call after that and he doesn't respond I'll wait another 15 minutes hoping to hear him coming, or more typically if he gobbles again from the same general distance, that's enough for me. I'm not interested in finessing that bird all day.  I go prospect for a bird that can be killed on that day. Run and gun. (Although if have found a huge grudge bird I'll commit to him)

 

When Maine first started a spring wild turkey hunt in 1986, after successful reintroduction, Maine hunters (New Englanders in general) got little if any woods cred....stupid birds, easy to kill, blah, blah, blah...yet somewhat true. Well, we may never get the props of deep south turkey slayers, with generations of evolved gobblers, but after 31 years our birds and us hunters know a thing or two. B|

 

 

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WPG Gizmo
55 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

 

Well, tell us about it ole boy. Don't forget you can upload photos right to Posts now.

 

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Natty Bumpo

It was his time to die. Good job. Very nice play by play, Big Kahuna.

 

As an aside, Hevi Shot has made the right 20 Ga setup into a solid gobbler killa at any sane distance. Great innovation.  At the moment, I am gathering components to setup a 3" REM 870 for next season's run and gun.

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NCgrouse

Thanks for the write up. Great reading.

 

Had that same "stuck in the road" 5 years ago.

 

Had tried to roost a bird the night before, but couldn't tell if I got a shock gobble because I was hooting too loudly and was drowning myself out.  Figured what the hell, I'll come back in the morning and see what happens.

 

Next morning, I got to my spot, stood in silence. Heard him gobble, knew about where he was between a bunch of fields in kind of a woods lot with an access road cutting through. So I says, "go get near the edge of the lot and along that woods road and he'll walk right out and you'll pop him. I walked down, set my decoy out, and then walked to find a spot between the decoy and where the bird should have been. Got set up. Legal shooting time arrives, but I felt awkward and thought, "this would be better if I changed to the other side of the road for when he pops out..." and was I was about half way across the road, I heard 'fuff fuff fuff fuff', looked up, and here comes this B-52 of a tom flying down towards me. He landed 15 yds from me while I was still standing in the road. Just as surprised as me, he kind of stretched his neck out and started to turn to leave. I pulled up and shot just like jump shooting ducks on the river before he could take flight or run. Hunt was over in 10 minutes.

 

Sorry for the story, but this jogged my memory.

 

Again, good read and congrats on the nice turkey, Brad.

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Fur and Feathers

I was able to score my first 20 gauge gobbler a few days ago. A slim, light weight 20 sure feels nice after toting around an 8+ lb. 12 that feels like a 4x4 in your hands. I opted for a Franchi Affinity 20 gauge.  I'm looking forward to pattern testing more loads with it. 

 

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Brad Eden

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Remington 870' Special Purpose Turkey 20 gauge. They sold this particular model just one year and marketed it as a HeviShot setup, with a HeviShot Turkey choke, and fiber optic sights. With 3" HeviShot loads its as effective as a 12 gauge with Magnum lead turkey loads and much lighter and quicker to carry. I have almost the same shotgun in 12 so can compare. (HeviShot has gone throughchanges and configurations over the years from wierd shaped shot to the current version. I've had luck with all, mostly #5 shot but now use their Magnum Blend load, a mixture of a few size shot.)

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mccuha

Nice bird brad. I find it no need to use a 12ga any more. With the new ammo they have a 20 will do all you need. The plus for me is  I use a youth model Remington and I like the short stock and the 21" barrel also can be had for pretty cheap used. Don't like to but have killed them out to a little more than 50yds.

How many turkey are you allowed in Maine?

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WPG Gizmo

I also use a 20Ga 870 with a 21 inch barrel have for many years but for ammo I am using 2 3/4 Prairie Storm #5 loads I give up a 1/4 ounce of lead over a 3 inch but at 1350 fps they are faster then the Kent Diamonds I was shooting plus you can buy 25 for the cost of a box of 10 Turkey loads.

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tut
4 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

rem870.jpg

 

Remington 870' Special Purpose Turkey 20 gauge. They sold this particular model just one year and marketed it as a HeviShot setup, with a HeviShot Turkey choke, and fiber optic sights. With 3" HeviShot loads its as effective as a 12 gauge with Magnum lead turkey loads and much lighter and quicker to carry. I have almost the same shotgun in 12 so can compare. (HeviShot has gone throughchanges and configurations over the years from wierd shaped shot to the current version. I've had luck with all, mostly #5 shot but now use their Magnum Blend load, a mixture of a few size shot.)

 

Let me add one thing.  I switch two years ago to Federal Heavyweight size 7 in 20 gauge and I've never seen a load hit harder and pattern tighter.   FWIW, I'm using a Benelli Nova with a .570 Sumtoy non-ported choke tube.  It shoots as good as any 12 gauge I've ever owned and I've owned some long range turkey slayers in my time.  That Federal load is 1 1/2 oz of number 7's and the heavyweight is denser then Hevi-shot and thus penetrates better.  PS.  I once had your exact Set-up and like and idiot sold it.  They are impossible to find now or I'd own another.  That gun was flat out awesome and had great sights for turkey hunting. 

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TJK68

Congrats!!

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Michael Stenstrom

Found mine this morning.  Had a bird on the roost who blew out a different way.  Crossed the road, and called up to the edge of my buddies property.  Gobbles.  Sit down side by side.  Some more clucks and yelps on the box and they are coming.  A string of jakes with a tom strutting in the caboose position.  The jakes all ball up on the field edge looking in the woods at us.  Tom struts past and lifts head.  My buddy can't get a shot due to branches and jakes.  iI pull the trigger and he does a back flip and flaps a few times.

 

 

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