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hobbes

Dad's First Merriam's

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hobbes

My parents are here visiting, so I bought Dad a NR turkey license.  He's not hunted turkeys the last few years, but I wanted him to finally kill a Merriam's. 

 

Dad's feet and ankles  hurt too much to hike up and down steep terrain, so I planned on hunting Monday to Wednesday in some riverbottom country that I thought he could handle.  We moved slow, but the distance required to hike across the fields to the river was making him sore even in the flat ground.  We hunted Monday morning and evening then Tuesday morning. We'd been on birds both mornings but they were loaded up with hens.  I typically assume that I can get something to work after some time, but I couldn't do anything with them early and Dad didn't feel like moving on them or waiting for them to get lonely.  We started our drive back home after a short hunt Tuesday morning.

 

I told Dad that I was keeping my camo on because I was going to take a detour in a couple hours and see if we could get a bird going close to the road for him mid day.  Dad changed into a grey sweatshirt and blue jeans and said he'd just let me go after it if we heard one.

 

Two and a half hours later I handed dad a camo shirt and said "If we here one put this on and don't worry about the blue jeans". I was stopping in good listening spots along a dirt road and yelping loudly to try and find a mid day gobbler.  I turned down a side road at about noon and got a bird to respond at my third series of yelps from a long way off.  Dad said "he's a long way...too far".  I decided to drive the road another 1/4 mile and see what response I got.  I opened the truck door and the tom gobbled on his own still another 1/4 mile in an area I've hunted, so I drove to my normal parking spot and told Dad we'd just drop off the ridge 75 yards from the truck to see if he'd come.  

 

I checked the bird after dad got his shirt changed and gun loaded and it sounded like the bird was closer so we rushed downhill to set up.  Over the next 30 or 40 minutes the tom made it within about 100 yards but wouldn't come across a ravine and up on our side.  When the tom moved away and further right, I moved behind dad 50 yards or so and the tom moved back and to about 60 yards from dad but just below the end of the ridge out of sight.  He moved away and around another small ridge after 15 minutes which made him sound much farther.  

 

Dad thought it was over and got up to come back to me.  I quickly made my way to him and said let's move ahead 75 yards where we can see the spot that he was gobbling from and see if he'll come back.

We sat up and were looking down at a grassy bench where the tom had likely stood.  A few yelps later and the tom was coming back.  We first layed eyes on him strutting into the open on top of the ridge across the ravine at 100 yards. I went quiet and after 5 or 10 minutes he started down through the trees into the ravine.  I could here him strutting and gave him a few barely audible yelps.  I didn't see him come out of the ravine due to a rock outcropping, but heard Dad whisper "oh man, here he comes", then "how far is he?".  To which I replied, " I can't see him."   Dad lost sight of him and he stood down there in range somewhere for 5 minutes and finally gobbled to the left and within 20 yards.  He immediately was in strutt, drumming, and his fan was cresting 15 yards away at about 10 o'clock.  I whispered he's left dad, and just as I could see his head tucked into strut dad shifted his gun left.  He'd no more than shifted left than the tom' s head came into view for him and ever so slightly started to raise before Dad let him have it at 11 yards.  

 

He almost missed him because those #5 Longbeards should have taken his head off at that range.  They did take out a swath of back feathers and three tail feathers that were in line with his shot.  It made no difference,  Dad (we) were thrilled with his first Merriam's. 

 

 

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dogrunner

Good job on getting your dad a bird. 11 yards is mighty close. 

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Coalman

Better than shooting one yourself.

 

Congrats!

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Dogwood

Well told and quite the sequence of events.  Good job.  clearly a very experienced caller and stalker. I'd have been second guessing myself the entire time!

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Scrappy

Great job, and great bird!

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CodyM

Good job, you guys are putting it to them!

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hobbes

More photos from our riverbottoms hunt and dad's turkey.

5wmnnb.jpg

n5ppv.jpg

6xvo74.jpg

2yw5nyg.jpg

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TTSpringers

Congrats.  A memory to last a lifetime!

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Bluegill68

Outstanding Hobbes! Well done.

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