Georgia Season #1

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Georgia Season #1

Post by STEROIDCHICKEN » Tue May 16, 2017 10:15 am

I was scheduled to hunt in a few different states this year but things got changed and I was only able to hunt just Georgia this year. I had a blast and really enjoyed spending more time down at my lease in Upson county.
Here is the recap:
Here we go again, 2017 Georgia turkey season is under way. I went down to my club a couple of weeks ago to do some preseason scouting and checked several areas where I have taken birds in the past. I will say, we are losing more and more timber every year due to clear cutting and the areas to hunt are getting slimmer and slimmer. A few of the spots had some sign but I wasn’t seeing what I normally see in those areas. I decided to visit a spot where I had taken several birds over the years. This one spot was always amazing when it came to turkeys but over the past few years, I guess the timber cutting and thick habitat had pushed them out of the area but to my surprise, the birds where back in there. The new growth and the thickness of weeds and briars had changed to more of an open area and the birds felt more comfortable again using this food plot. It was however, perfect habitat for nesting hens. I am not kidding when I say this but, it looked like turkey heaven. The plot was littered with turkey droppings scattered every 3 foot and the entire food plot was covered in it. I have just hit the motherlode was the first thought that crossed my mind. My best friend, Tony was with me on this scouting adventure and he too, couldn’t believe his eyes. The plan of attack was to put Tony in this spot for opening morning beings he was still fairly new to turkey hunting and this would be a great place for him to sit and do a little calling. The turkeys should visit it sometime during that day and I would go to another spot that we had recently scouted.
Opening morning had arrived as we gathered our gear with high hopes of hearing some birds gobble. I went to an area that hadn’t been cut and consisted of tall, mature pines. It was actually the same spot where my daughter had taken her first longbeard the year before. I got set up and waited to hear the first gobble of the morning and soon after, a tom had gobbled from about 200 yards away and he wasn’t alone, I could hear three jakes sound off with him. I waited for the darkness to escape the morning sky and I hit them with some soft yelps, all four of them hammered back. I knew at this point that they heard me and knew where I was located. I waited a few minutes longer and started my fly down sequence and they came unglued. This hunt may not take long as I thought to myself. I heard the birds pitch down off the roost and then gave them a series of yelps. The next gobble that I heard was closer than before and I just sat there and waited with my gun positioned for the shot. The birds were working my way, maybe eighty to ninety yards out when I heard some rustling in the trees behind me. It was hens. They pitched down right to the tom and the jakes and away they went. I tried calling to the hens but I figured that they must have spotted me when I got into shooting position and didn’t want to have anything to do with me.
My buddy Tony was hunting the honey hole that morning and he had heard a couple of gobblers behind him but they pitched down and went to another area across the clear cut. My other friend was actually hunting that clear cut area and he killed one of the toms.
Saturday evening, the sun was high and it was hot. I decided to go down towards where the birds had roosted that morning and pick out a comfy and shaded area. Beings what happened to me last year with the huge rattler, I was very cautious with my choosing. Not familiar with this area, I looked around and all I could find was a spot in the middle of the briar patch that ran along the side of a food plot. To the East of the food plot, it dropped off into a beautiful hardwood bottom. I figured this was where the birds had roosted that morning. I wasn’t too excited to say the least about the briar patch but it was all that I had in the shade. I eased in and knock a few briars out of the way and sat down in front of a small pine. The cover was good but I really wasn’t concerned beings that the Mossy Oak Bottomland would keep my movements concealed. After my first series of soft yelps, a lone hen approached my set up and was looking feverishly for the hen that she had just heard. She was about four foot from me as I sat motionless, her keen eyes never had a clue that I was there. About an hour later, two more hens came out and fed along with the lone hen and thirty minutes or so, another hen approached the food plot. She went directly up to the duo and wing slapped them both, kind of like she was jealous that they had taken her man or something. You could tell that she was the dominant hen but with all of them, no tom was in sight. They all stayed in the food plot until roost time and like I had thought earlier, they drifted off into the hardwood bottom and flew up.
Sunday morning arrived and I found myself questioning where to start. Tony decided to sleep in so the honey hole was open for fair game. There was another little spot near the honey hole that held birds and it had some sign over there as well that I had found on my scouting mission earlier in the month. I had in my mind to head there since there was no gobbling close at the honey hole the morning before when Tony hunted it. As I was driving down the dirt road, something told me to go to the honey hole, so that is where I was going to start. I could always slip over to the other spot if nothing was happening there. I got in early and walked over to the natural blind that Tony and I had built. I figured I would have a seat there and listen until making a move if needed. After getting my decoys set out and settling down, I waited for the sounds of spring to come alive. It didn’t take long and a bird erupted the calm hardwood bottom with a thunderous gobble about a hundred yards or so away and behind me. I was in business. It was still pretty dark so I decided to wait a few more minutes before giving him some soft tree talk. As I was sitting there trying to play out how the scenario may go down, I looked towards the decoy set, which would be to me left and I couldn’t really see them well from the cedar branches sticking up so high on the natural blind. I had a clear shot directly out in front of me and I was hoping that the bird would travel up the overgrown logging road and approach that way. I gave him some soft yelps and he hammered back hard, at least he heard me and knew where I was. I stayed patient and waited a few minutes longer until I thought it should be getting close to fly down time, and I did a fly down series. Again, he hammered back. I was positioning my gun in the direction out front when I heard him and two other birds fly down. This may come together as planned or it could go real bad real fast not knowing what sex the other two birds where that flew down before him. I was assuming that they would be hens since their fly down was smooth and uninterrupted unlike the gobbler. I sat there straining my ears and looking in the direction that I thought they would approach at when I heard the amazing sound of spitting and drumming. Just seconds later, I see the glowing white head coming into the food plot from the old logging road. My gun was ready and so was I. The tom strutted right into the end of my gun barrel at eight feet when I shot. Normally, I don’t shoot them in the strut position but I knew if he got by me, I wouldn’t be able to take the shot that I needed. I also aimed lower on his head than usual because of the close distance and when I fired, he was dead. My first bird of the season was down and it was a nice one. Doubled bearded three year old that weighed 19 pounds.
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Re: Georgia Season #1

Post by Denny » Tue May 16, 2017 5:39 pm

Great story and a great bird to start the season! Way to go Roger!

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Re: Georgia Season #1

Post by gaswamp » Thu May 18, 2017 6:02 am

awesome story...congrats

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Re: Georgia Season #1

Post by Cut N Run » Fri May 19, 2017 10:16 pm

Thanks for the story! Those up close and personal hunts definitely give a heart check. Congratulations, Roger.

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Re: Georgia Season #1

Post by ylpnfol » Tue May 23, 2017 10:52 am

Enjoyed reading all of your stories Roger, congrats on a successful season!
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Re: Georgia Season #1

Post by sman » Tue May 23, 2017 9:49 pm

Excellent read! Congrat!

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