11th hour gobbler

sierrahunter1

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For obvious reasons, fall is my favorite time of year, but turkeys are not easy to hunt this time of year.

I have a tried and true location I hunt both spring and fall turkeys, but this year, the birds simply would not leave private land. So, I began exploring a new location, and was able to pinpoint where birds in this area roosted during the fall. The problem was that the area was incredibly dense with briars. So dense, that I couldn’t penetrate their home range. After several outings resulting in failures and bloody hands, legs, and ears, I finally found a way to crawl through about 50 yards of pure hell before reaching an opening. Over the course of the season, I was able to learn this group of turkeys daily habits, and with two days left in the season, today was the day I would put that knowledge to use.

I decided to ambush the turkeys on their way to roost. I made my way through the thickets at about 3:30, but the birds were further along than I anticipated. When en route to my setup location, I flushed a flock of Toms. They all flew up to the trees, out of gun range. I was totally bummed, but knew more birds would be coming, so I continued on. After a few more steps, one final Tom flushed into the trees. This one was within range, with his neck fully extended as he looked for his buddies. I didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger, and he fell to the ground, wings out and twirling like a helicopter. He was a two year old, with short but very sharp spurs. What an amazing end to a fun season!
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