PEAX Equipment

Stoking the fire

After the shennanigans this weekend, I spent the last couple of days actually working instead of scouting. Everyone has to pay the piper, I guess.

Took the dogs out for a short walk on a piece of ground that's not really turkey country, but has some potential with new cuts and older age stands, water, etc. Just not a lot of food.

On the way, a hen was out feeding alongside the road, and she had a tom with her. They were 10 yards off the neighbor's where I have permission, but they're roosting around there, so there's a plan in place between the water, grass and cover.

On the way back, the Tom was strutting on the road. Clearly, these birds are availing themselves of Michigan's regulations to spur their advance as a species.

He moved off slowly. The hen showed no concern. About 15 yards deeper into the woods, a larger Tom was standing on the edge of cover, on the property I could hunt.

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My season opens Saturday and it's supposed to be 70 degrees and rainy. The popup blind was set last Sunday at the Mossyoak (TM) bathrobe field to let birds acclimate. The rest of the week looks good. Since I'm headed out for a work trip on the 2nd, I think I'll take Tuesday and Wednesday to hunt if the weekend is a bust.

HS Undertaker choke gets here today for the 870 Express, so I'll pattern that with a 1 7/8's ounce 3 " shot shell, and my little 26 " bbl Greifelt with some 2 3/4", 1 3/8 oz #5's for shots inside of 25 yards or nice weather. Improved Modified should be fine within that range.
 
The SOB was in full strut in the middle of the road, with three hens at his side. I'm thinking the bully groups are probably breaking up a bit as the hens start to get more ready for the boys' shenanigans.

No real activity on the roost site behind the house, but they tend to use it on a rotation, which should coincide with tomorrow evening.

Rain in the am on Saturday, super windy in the afternoon. I'll likely not be too eager for opener, but the week looks better, and I've decided that I'm taking at least 2 days next week before I head out on a work trip. I suppose at some point I should get a camo raincoat, as the blue one seems a bit...obvious.
 
Letting the dogs in last night around 9, a lone gobble rang out across the road. Somewhere in the timber, about 1/4 mile from where I was watching a dog drop a load, hope waits.

So does some soggy waiting. Windy, but sunny in the afternoon tomorrow and rainy conditions until Tuesday. There are some spots that have good stands of mature trees in draws with water and good cover so I'm hoping we'll get some afternoon action. I'm planning the snack platform & ensuring there's a nice comfy wooby for warmth in the bathrobe blind. #sickforit #turkeyposse #slippers #thiscoffeecouldusesomemorecream

 
High winds & rain yesterday and some work kept me from heading out. Sat this am on the roost but they headed the other direction. I did have a lovely conversation with the 4 toms above me, 1 to the south & 1 to the west. Rain starting at 10 & going through tomorrow. Dropping the kids off at the pool & heading across the road.

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There's something about a special pair of pants. I've had this set of camp zipoff leg Cabela's pants since the 2000's. Today the crotch totally blew out while I was hunting. I was making a sweet maneuver to get close to a strutter in the field & the next thing I know my boys are gobbling out & proud.


So, swing & a miss. Changing pants & getting back out until the rain gets here.PXL_20240428_121036691.MP.jpg
 
Another chase on a couple of toms that were in a creek bottom. No joy. Apparently the tan chinos were a dead give away.

Chased a total 10 toms around this am, never more than a mile from my front door. It's raining the next 36 hours, but Tuesday & Wednesday look good.
 
You know, I say fck those turkeys. Only turkey I ever bagged I hit with my car and I’m ok with that. You sir, sound like you’re at a fine time of life to build a kit muzzleloader. https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Category.aspx/588

I don't use the one I have now.

Rain's moved out. I have some obligations this am before heading out for the afternoon & evening hunt. The solo hunting isn't as much fun as having a buddy along, so motivation tends to dip, especially ahead of a long work trip.
 
There's something about a special pair of pants. I've had this set of camp zipoff leg Cabela's pants since the 2000's. Today the crotch totally blew out while I was hunting. I was making a sweet maneuver to get close to a strutter in the field & the next thing I know my boys are gobbling out & proud.


So, swing & a miss. Changing pants & getting back out until the rain gets here.View attachment 324539
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Picked up a hen decoy today and at on a creek bottom this evening. Tucked up under the pines, I had a good vantage spot. Called with the slate, had some gobbles, they kept working away, but I knew they would circle back.

Sat and waited, clicks & purrs along with a few yelps now & again and a tom appears to the left.

Textbook. He's all redded up and coming in quiet. I swing slowly to bring him to the bead & blamo.

Right on the body, slightly ahead. Dude gets up & walks off.

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Turkeys are dicks. Resetting for the evening across the road.
 
I hunted the morning, my last for this tag.

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It was quiet, except for some songbirds. After an hour and a half I picked up & reset back to where I rolled the Tom the evening before.

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Nada. Quiet in the creek bottom, the wind was picking up. About 11 I decided to bag it for the day. Work was beckoning as was a friend who needed some help in town.

I'm on the 5:50 am out of TC in the morning so I'm done chasing Michigan turkeys for the year. I didn't fill my tag.

This was the first time I actively hunted turkeys. I never had the desire before I was living among them. It's a ridiculous amount of fun, and as a guy who has been turkey calling almost 2 whole weeks now, having a tom come in to the soft cluck & purrs while a feeding hen decoy was in the pasture was genuinely cool. Hunting with Wllm was a blast as always and his bird was tremendous. The night before was an embarrassment of riches, with 5 toms in a neighbors place, roosting on another neighbors, and all right on the corner of my place. Chasing toms around in a circle using a box call made by @BrentD, figuring out how birds use country, and having a piece of land that I can hunt literally out my door is a dream come true and it's a privilege that my neighbor allows me on.

I've spent about $110 on ammo, calls & decoys, going as cheap as possible except the decoy (flextone). I've got 7 shells left.

I didn't hunt any of the places I scouted but gaining a deeper appreciation for all that is around me gives me excitement for a busy fishing season and for big game.

The trusty 870 Express is a damned fine bird gun, snooty or not. I chased 11 toms, shot 1, missed another. I rushed my shot, rookie mistake, and hit low and forward. That sucks and while that bird gave me the finger as he trotted off, I would have rather been lethal than close. Time to start the fundamentals of shooting again.

Shaking off rust and starting boilers in the spring has been a great time, dead bird or not.

Fishing season is going to be a blast.
 
Ben,
I think you are on to something. Scouting is something I do all the time, even driving down the interstate without any intentions of hunting any of it. Just looking the lay of the land and thinking - yeah, over there. Under the lip of the hill, or whatever.

I worry less about filling my tags than I used to, but I do enjoy the excitement of the moment. Today, 20 birds beat me hands down, but tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the day. I've got a plan...


Only if you are handsome enough to carry one :)

French Darne, German Merkel, British Cashmore, British Scott, and best of all, Grandpa and Great Uncle Carl's '97 Winchester. The last is my main snooty turkey gun. It was out there today.


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Brent I always appreciate the posts when we get to see your old scatter guns! What's the make and model, how old is it?
 
Brent I always appreciate the posts when we get to see your old scatter guns! What's the make and model, how old is it?
Which one. I think there are 4 posted there. Born between 1880s and the 1980s, depending on which one you pick. The makes are all posted above the first photo.

Tomorrow, the doubles will stay home and my #1 turkey gun will go. Grandpa's 1897. It has killed more turkeys than the rest of them combined. Not sure how old it is, but it has hunting licenses dating back to 1918 in the stock bolt hole.

Calling turkeys are the one place that "buck" fever still hits me, just a little.

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