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2shot

First bird of the season

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2shot

The weather here has been absolutely crappy most of this week. Lots of rain and high winds and on Thursday the farmer where we hunt called to tell us our blinds had blown over. We always tether them to a tree so I knew they didn't go far. I went out yesterday and got soaked getting them back I'm place for this morning's hunt. The fields and woodlot were very wet and muddy and despite more rain in the forecast I was bent and bound I was going to get out Saturday morning. We had a decent sized tom that we haven't been able to get within range since the season opened a week and a half ago. We had him pretty much patterned so I knew it was just a matter of time and we should be able to get him.

 We'll, my day began at 4:00 am, or so I thought. Apparently when I set my alarm I bumped the regular time up an hour so it was actually 3:00 am when I got up. Didn't notice until I was up and dressed so I just stayed up. I figured I might as well head out to the farm early and that was a good thing as when I got to my blind I found it had blown into the trees again. I did my best to be careful and quiet getting it back in place as the birds roost about 60 yards away from my setup. It was still quite windy so I used some branches to stake out the blind and when I got in it I realized the back half was in about 6" of water. I ended up putting my chair further forward than I normally like on what I thought was solid ground. Well, all that rain had made the ground so soft that my chair kept sinking in. To top it all off, when daylight started breaking I could see my blind was not ideally positioned. Too late to alter the setup now so I figured I'd just work with it. The rain had started up again and wind gust were threatening to launch my blind once more. Frustration was setting in as I never heard a thing, not a gobble, not a cluck. I was beginning to think the flooding had changed their roosting patterns and I was out of luck. One of those "what the heck am I doing out here in the wind and rain when there's a perfectly good warm dry bed at home" moments was setting in. I figured I was already there so I may as well wait it out for a bit do some calling and see what happens.

 Well the waiting paid off. About 6:20 three hens came out of the bush and headed for my decoys. About 30 seconds later the tom followed. As soon as he saw my decoys he went into full strut! I was somewhat caught off guard as these birds never made a sound up to this point. Anyway, the tom headed for the decoys snd presented a perfect shot. I dropped him at 18 yards. :-) This is the second bird I took with my 1955 16 ga Ithaca 37. He weighed in at 22.1 lbs, 9 3/4" beard and just under 3/4" spurs. Great ending to what seemed like less than perfect morning. :-)

 

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tut

Great. job.  Geez those wet birds looked like drowned rats. :)

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dogrunner

They rarely gobble in wind and rain, I have seen many roost up in trees over water in flooded woods. 

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Brad Eden

Way to persevere....birds down!

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TJK68

Nice, Congrats!!

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Michael Stenstrom

Nice!  Congrats, way to keep at it.  My alarm always goes off at three herre in Maine.  First shoot is somewhere around 4:30 now.

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Dogwood

There you go!  Well done sir.  What load in the Ithaca?

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vabirddog

Congrats! Real thing beats the dreaming about em.

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