Spring of 2013, just like any other spring, or was it?
My thought was to go to Colorado and visit my son and my ever so cool grandson. I drove out through South Dakota and run into some pretty interesting weather. The rain then sleet and some big snowflake was a pretty sight in the Black Hills. I was able to make the trip in one day because I had stopped the night before in Lehr, North Dakota where I have a hunting house.
I spent a few days hanging out with my boys and enjoying the Colorado weather. Being a thousand miles away makes me a little sad. Colorado gets double thumbs up for what they do for the young children that are special.
Well, you know what’s on the back of my mind, so let’s get it to the front of my mind. TURKEYS Dropped Corgan off at school, said my goodbyes, shed a tear or two and poof, gone.
Not having a clue where to go I decide to go back east a bit and drop down south till I find the spot. I stopped in at a gas station and asked a few people about turkey hunting. I guess there are some people just out of the loop.
I tried to purchase a turkey license there and was not successful. Luckily the DNR was just up the street. Wow was I lucky, it turns out that my information was all messed up. Now, who remembers there old drivers license from years ago, not me. I had most of the numbers but not in the proper order. It was a weekday and the ladies were able to call the state of Minnesota and verify all the information. Thanks again for that. In conversation, there was a hint or two to the where bouts of the illusive Gobbler.
I looked at my atlas and noticed a river not too far away. Out there where trees are limited I thought a river would be a good place to start. When I got to the river bed I wasn’t thinking that the river would be dry. Oh boy! I turned around and pulled into the nearest farmer (Thank you) and we chatted awhile. He told me that on the other side of the road was where the turkeys roost. He shared that the owner there has a no turkey hunting rule. But he also said that the birds will go under the bridge and come towards his property.
So the next morning I planted myself about midway on the 150-yard bridge. Oh yes, the gobblers were having fun over on the other side of the bridge. Now how do we get them to come and visit? Well, just one anyway. The gobbling was echoing through the bridge like crazy. I questioned how loud to call, start out soft and get a little louder till I get a little action. I had started to give up on the action part. I could see the birds going back and forth and not towards me. It took about an hour before I could tell I had an interested gobbler that was coming my way. He crossed over about two hundred yards out at a left to right angle towards me. Then he went out of sight because of the bridge. Now, where did he go? It’s taking him forever. My mind is going crazy here. I moved quickly over towards the corner of the trees which was the end of the bridge. There was a nice log to hide behind. Sat there for a while and started to think what if he comes under the bridge as the farmer said. Now what, so I moved about 30 yards back towards the middle of the bridge. This is not a very good spot because I only have this 10” tree and some brush in my way. So I remained standing. Looking over to the left under the bridge then looking back to the right.
Where did that strutting Tom that is ten feet from the log I was laying by come from? How am I going to shoot thru this brush? Ok settle down and I can do this. I picked a hole in the brush and let it rip. What, no Colorado Full Mount!
I can’t say I’ve never missed a bird at less than 30 yards anymore. I wasn’t able to get another shot off. I think I was standing there in disbelief. Or searching in my head for excuses. How can something so simple be so hard?
I knew exactly what I had done. I had my share of HA HA’s at the sportsman’s club when I showed up to trap shoot with my new pistol grip. It is called pulling on the grip while squeezing on the trigger. To the right every time. Feeling a bit humbled it was off to town for breakfast and collect information for a new adventure.
The cook at the restaurant gave me a name and number for a place to check out. After getting a plot book from the courthouse I headed out. There was a blind out in the middle of one of the fields so that one is out. So off to the other place which was on the other side of the state land. (No hunting of course.) Being so close I was thinking the birds would use that as a safe spot. On my way over I saw about 30 birds out in the cornfield. Now the drops of blood running again.
Heading down this long driveway and oh goody there is a couple of dogs to greet me. I’m thinking the one had a problem with the way I looked. The owner was there to put them inside. They never did quit barking. After talking to him I found out that he rented the house and didn’t think the owner would want anyone to hunt there. I give him the talk about shooting birds in 18 different states and taking kids out to hunt and mounting birds from 49 states, ok I’m wasting my breath here. So I left thinking I would never hear from them again.
I ended going into another neighbor’s driveway to only find out that there was nobody home. Dang, I saw a couple of hens along the tree line too. Another good fortune, I met the owner at the end of the drive. He said that for the most of it the birds were on the land where the other hunter was set up and the other property I was trying to get on. He gave me the son’s name and number and said he was in charge of the hunting on that property. I called and explained what I was up to and he told me to go ahead.
So down the long driveway I went, of course, the renter was out there and the first thing he said was the owner didn’t want anyone out there. Then I told him that I had permission from the son to go out. Enough said I went back to the truck and got ready. Well God bless that fellow, do you think he would keep the dogs in the house till I got out of site. NO, here they come with the Blue
Heeler leading the way. I was all good till the fence was all messed up. Yup, now I have a pissed off dog that would like a piece of me. Sticking my gun barrel out to keep him in check I got far enough away that they both went back to the house.
Wow that being over we have to think about the lay of the land. Well, of course, we have daylight to think about also. I figured about two hours till closing time. There was a couple of old buildings a way out in the pasture. Once I got to the furthest one my options went down the tubes. Now what? Nothing but open pasture and a barb wire fence that bordered the state land. Oh, man here comes about a dozen birds down the hill towards a corner of the state land and the tree line that I need to get to. They must be heading to their roost spot already. Well, just then I see a couple of birds go airborne and then a couple more. Now some of them are running out right to left from the rest. Oh wow, there is a coyote ugly running towards me down the fence line. He saw me and he was out of here. As I was cussing him out I should have been thanking him. He gave me a perfect chance to make a dash for the tree line. I got to the corner of what was a 200 yard tree line. Things were looking pretty good again.
After a few minutes, I could see a few birds angling my way. Then for a couple of minutes, this boss hen just sounds off. No doubt she was trying to get the flock back together. She and two others went into the trees about 220 yards out from me. The rest that I could see went into the wood about 350 yards away. It was so that you couldn’t see some of the bird because of the terrain.
Knowing that only a part of the birds were in the trees you have to put your thinking cap on. This is what I come up with. I was vocal just like the other boss hen. I figured there must be another boss in the other group and I needed to get them to come more my way. Then I crawled to the opposite end of the tree line and sounded like the boss hen again. Now I was in the inside corner of the pasture and the state land. Here we go, let the games begin. First, a few birds go into the woods at about 40 yards. Then I was looking at two gobblers coming from two different ways but seeming to be angling to the corner. Slowly moving my gun to the top of the log there was a decision to be made. The excitement was in the air. Do I wait for the gobbler coming along the tree line, is bigger better, does it really matter which one? We’re getting close now, this one looks good at 52 yards, but the other one is still out about 100 yards. Is a bird down at 52 yards better than one out at 100 yards? BOOM, I guess so.
Them 3 inch Federals sure can put them down. Federal helping RAWESCAPES full mounts go up.
Big smile on my face I took a few pic’s and off to the truck I went..
I feel very fortunate to have been able to go to an area that I had never been to and to have had the opportunity to harvest two Toms in one day. Another state to add to my turkey fan display.
I want to thank all the people around the Wray, Colorado area for their help and kindness.