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      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

      To the Guests who have decided to register for Membership. PLEASE read Terms of Service, not just checking it off. This is covered there: Add more info than just "hunting" or "Upland hunting" or "birds" or "outdoors" or similar nebulous terms in the required INTERESTS field. Despite this Boards strong spam filtering function, some Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Also please do not use a business name as your User Name. Thank you.
bmeador

VA Opening Day

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bmeador

Good luck to all that venture into Virginia's uplands in search of gobbling birds. May you all find a lonely two year old. I'm waiting for the first gobbles as I write, gonna be a tad windy...

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SODAKer

No gobbles this morning, but a beautiful morning to wake up to. Now I just gotta get my 12 year old to mow the lawn as I'm too tired.:D

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EB&Me

Took my Dad out, we watched a nice one strut for about 40 minutes. He was drifting to us, had cut the range from 200 to about 100 yards. Then a hen showed up, that was that. He never once gobbled although he'd snap into strut after a call.

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bmeador

I had one hang up at 70 yds, uphill in a disked field, with 2 jakes.  For over 45 minutes. Then he drifted away and I couldn't get back in front of him.  I did call in a hen later, nobody was following her. Maybe tomorrow before the rains arrive will be good!

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tut

Sat for multiple hours.  Had one quick fight with a hen who did not care for me at all.  As I as leaving saw a hen step into some switchgrass.  Didn't hear a gobble all day.  Did find the following two pictures on my trailcam.  Pretty cool with the deer laying down in the field with the turkey's.

HUNT0043.JPG

HUNT0032.JPG

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SODAKer

Cool pict, Tut. 

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tut

Well, the Strutter in the picture met his maker this morning.  Was one of the more exciting hunts I've had and I have had some nice ones over the years.  After a quick stop for coffee I was in a ground blind that's right under the biggest Cedar tree you see in the center of the picture at 530 and it was dark dark.  Have killed 3 gobblers over the years in that blind.  Great area as its located right in a funnel between two fields and the birds filter through that funnel off and on during the day as they are walking in Rye grass and can look out for predators  (we have a ton of yote there).  

 

Anyway, first gobble at 548 and it was close enough to make me jump a bit.  Sounded like a full size bird as he was deep throated.  Then a few minutes later a few more gobbles that sounded like two different jakes.  Never heard a hen sound off at all.  In front of me about 25 yards away in the rye field was my DSD hen deke.   Well, the big bird and the jakes gobbled about 20 times in total and I just sat there listening.  Finally I thought one of the birds was on the ground and figured I'd better call a few times so they would think that DSD hen in the field was the real thing.  Had a slate call and did some soft calling and the gobbler answered back and he was still in the tree, so I shut up and waited.  Then I heard what I thought was the Jakes gobble again and they sounded like they were on the ground going away, so I put together a serious of soft yelps to let them know I'm still there.  

 

Next thing I know is I hear a flydown cackle and three hens pitch into the field about 20 yards from my DSD and two of them quickly sprint over and start beating her up.  Wing flaps, drop kicks, body bumping and serious pecking on the top of her head.  All of this time they are just screaming at that DSD.  Well, that gobbler can't take it anymore and he pitches down into the far corner of the field and lets out a monster gobble and breaks into a strut at about 80 yards away.  The hens are still pounding away on the DSD and I'm focused totally on the gobbler and he has broken strut and is now running towards the battling hens as fast as his legs will take him.  Slams into a stop about 40 yards away and gobbles one time and starts strutting again.  Think he is saying "Girls don't fight that girl, there's plenty of Daddy right here to take care of all 4 of you". :)

 

At that point I have the 20 gauge front bead on him and am waiting for him to get a bit closer (although, I knew he was in range, but 30 yards is better then 40 yards).  Out of the corner of my eye, I see only one hen beating up the DSD and the other two are now headed to go see Big Daddy.  At that point I surmised that they might take him away from the DSD intruder (and therefore me) and drop the hammer on him.

 

Down he goes, flops around like crazy, but I can see he's not going anywhere.  Some of the hens take off and one remains behind cutting like crazy and I enter into a battle with her and hear another gobbler in the distance sound off.  I texted Vagrousehunter who is hunting on another farm not that far away and ask whether you can kill two birds in a day and he does a quick Google search and advises nope.  Decided then stop calling and stand up to run off the loud hen as I don't want to educate another gobbler who might be coming in.

 

Tale of the tape is 21 lb 4 ounces (thanks to the local butcher at the Shop and Save who weighs him for me).  Beard is a healthy 11 inches with 1" spurs.  Very nice Va gobbler and a very very fun morning. A few pics taken with my cell phone. 

20180415_065817.jpg

20180415_073932.jpg

20180415_074034.jpg

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polecat

Sounds like a great hunt.

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Brad Eden

Thanks for that narrative Tut. Got my heart a beatin! Congrats on a great hunt.

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SelbyLowndes

Nice bird Tut! Good way to start the season.  How late does the VA season last?...SelbyLowndes

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tut
3 minutes ago, SelbyLowndes said:

Nice bird Tut! Good way to start the season.  How late does the VA season last?...SelbyLowndes

 

I think the second Saturday in May is when the season is out.  We are running behind this year.  Been a very cold spring for sure. 

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mccuha

Nice bird. Congrats 

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Jacquidog

We open in a couple of weeks. Turkey sightings have been rare.

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vagrousehunter

  Great story, Tom.  Congratulations.

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Coalman

Congrats Tom!

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