I had a busy weekend!
Friday April 30.
I have a permit for the NJ Monday-Friday Turkey hunt. The season opened Monday but it was raining heavy, cold windy.It was the first day of spring Turkey season! What was I to do? Work was tough and I sure needed a break. In spite of all the encouragement to get out opening day, I passed!
I never passed on a deer opener but now I'm older and I just did not believe the Turkeys would be out. So, I did not go.
I did not go Tuesday as storms persisted.
Wednesday was clearing but heavy, heavy winds. It was killing me not to go out.
Thursday was milder but I figured I would give the birds and the woods another day to dry out. With temps predicted in the low to mid 70's I prepared to go out the next day.
Friday I head out and set up in my spot deep in the woods. I put out the B-Mobile and 3 hen decoys.
At 6:30am I hear a gobble off to my left! Here is comes! A nice Tom. I was in my Primos Gun Hunters Blind. This Tom cam up and went from my left to right and is was just enough to be out of range but close enough to enjoy the show as he is fanning his tail and gobbling to my calls. Off to the right he goes but not after over 30 minutes of gobbling to my calls and doing a little back and forth trying to find the source of those call. Off he goes. Rats!
I get up, drag the blind about 20 yards further out and reset up. He gobbles again coming back right to left! He struts looking for my call. I call again and he gets up on a log and is peering out trying to find the hen calling. Still, on his return trip he is further out still again. After 40 minutes off he goes right to left and out of sight. Rats!
Again, I get up, move the blind further out and wait & hope. About 20 minutes later he is back! Heading left to right as I look out my blind. Still too far away although he is gobbling like heck. Finally, off he goes staying out of range. Rats!
We have to be out of the woods here by noon so I pack up, happy with so many encounters although, no bird!
That night I go all over the details. I remember last year's Tom I got using Hunter's Specialty back pack blind. The Tom this year kept looking at the decoys but would not close in. I figured it may have been the B-Mobile decoy was too much for him to challenge. Although it brought a Tom in last year; this time I think he just was not going to mess with another Tom and that is why he resolved not to close the gap. I resolved tomorrow to use different tactics. My opening week permit is done but I did get the Saturday permit. My plan this time: Back Pack blind, hen only decoys and get into the woods a bit earlier even more than Friday. I finally got to sleep and the alarm went off at 3AM found Round #2 Turkey Season 2010 here!
Saturday May 1 2010
The alarm goes off , I hit the 10 minute snooze button as I am beat. Just before it goes off again I look at my watch; 7minutes later, what are you doing! Don't keep sleeping dozing off you will miss getting out in time! Get up and get hunting I told myself!
As I walked into the woods I said to myself : "You are going to have a good day". I never said something like that before and just thought it as a good omen.
I set up my back packer blind, 3 hens decoys and wait. I'm facing a bit to the left as I hope the Tom from yesterday will hit the same pattern. I figure out from yesterday's encounter, this must be their strutting zone!
There I am, waiting. Suddenly, a gobble ahead but to my hard right! There, a Tom and a good looking one! He gobbles and struts and holds tight! He keeps looking over to the decoys I sent out. I gave a call as he walked behind a tree. He was holding back. I gave another call as he went behind another tree and I gave one more call and said to myself, no more calls. He gets a little closer, and slowly closer and closer still. At 40 yards it seemed he was going to come in no further. Could this be the Tom from yesterday? At 40 yards I set the Bushnell Holo Sight on him; pull the trigger on my Mossberg Ultimag 835 with the Primos Jelly head. One load of Hevi Shot 3 1/2" # 6 and he was down for the count!!
Nice bird! I pack him and my stuff and head to the check station. 19 pounds 10" beard!!
On the way home I stopped at Lowe's and picked up some stuff but got out quick as the temps were rising and the bird was in the truck.
Breasting out a bird can be a chore so I decided to do that out behind my shed in the shade. It is about 10:30 and I am working when after a few moments I look up and see a black bear less than 10 yards from me!
I get up, at a slow pace back up leaving the bird on the ground but I come back with my new DSLR to get pictures of this bear! By the time I get back, the bear is heading back over the ridge about 20 yards away from my empty deer feeder. I stopped feeding the deer last fall but kept the feeder out there empty but as it is big and I used duct tapes to hold it from toppling over and I just left it there.
On my Trail cam I discovered, I got a picture of this bear and HER 4 CUBS!!
The trail cam photo has all 4 cubs, one partially hidden by the log it was going over.
Click on photos:
My DSLR pics I took and you can tell as they don't have my nickname on the bottom as the trail camera does. I tried to sneak up on the bears and when I saw momma bear ushering her cubs up the tree at my approach, I figured I was close enough! I got some quick pictures and then backed away.
What a day!!!!!!!!!!!! One Tom and 5 Bears on my land!!! I never knew a black bear could have so many cubs!
Wow, I am still pumped. Sorry for the long report but this has to top my experience in a long time!
Here is the Tom and I:
Remember the 343
George Johnson, Ladder 157
Dan McWilliams, Ladder 157
Bily Eisengrien, Rescue 2Scott Strauss NYPD ESU