Vanish and FireTiger's 2019 Journal

vanish

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Last night we shared one bird with friends. Tried something new and did it in the Insta-pot. It came out pretty tasty, but a little drier than expected. I think we left it in a little too long. We will attempt that again.

Next up, we will be going for OTC Merriams. I'll try some local roosting this Tuesday and if that works out, will go for a short attempt in the morning. This weekend will also be local, but Saturday I intend to try a new area. Sunday we have some plans in the afternoon, so will probably be our fallback location. Past that, we want to head to the West Slope and try to get my Dad his first Colorado bird.
 

vanish

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I took my bow to a local spot tonight. Managed to have one light up immediately, so i tried to predict where he was headed (and failed), but he shut up 45 minutes before sunset. It would not have mattered as I realized I did not have broadheads! Dork.

I did manage to slip up to 100 yards from a couple bull elk while trying to strike another.

I got about 1/3 of the way out once darkness fell after failing to locate anything, gave a coyote howl and got him to gobble. Have his position down to within 30 yards.

Plan is to take the bow (with broadheads) and set up a couple decoys where I expect him to pitch down. I wont have much time though as i'll have to get to work.
 

vanish

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OK,Question.Did you have any arrows?
Or just no broadheads?:cool:
Forgot i had switched to target arrows in my quiver.

Dont know what happened this morning. Everything was going according to plan. Was all set up in position by 5:20. A car miles away honked at 5:30 and he gobbled. There was at least on hen. He gobbled a dozen times until 6:00, then went silent. Never heard any fly down, and i was less than 100 yards.
 

bobbydean

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Vanish,

not into archery, but would the target arrows still do the job? May not be the best, but is what you had.

Curious!
 

vanish

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not into archery, but would the target arrows still do the job? May not be the best, but is what you had.
If you shot him in the head, it sure would. I actually don't see anything in the turkey regs about a minimum diameter broadhead ( unlike big game ) but I had/have no reason to chance it and am in no rush to fill the tag.
 

vanish

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Headed to the west slope tonight. May get there in time to do some roosting, all depends on traffic. I have 5 spots marked down, but expect we'll only check out one or two.
 

vanish

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In other news, four $50 charges on the credit card, so looks like more goat and sheep points for us.
 

vanish

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Saturday morning, we were up at 4:00am with the intention of being set up near their roost. As we were creeping in, we could see turkeys up in the tree. I estimated it at 150 yards, but was concerned we were too visible. The tree was at the top of a steep bank, and we were approaching from below. It was much closer to our access than anyone had guessed, as we had been glassing around a bend.

There was too much oak brush to approach from below, so we had to circle to the left uphill. The cover ended and we weren't sure what to do. FireTiger set up on an opening lower down, while Dad and I took the upper side. I figured the birds would pitch to the higher ground.

I was furthest away from the tree and couldn't really see much. Eventually I caught the flicker of one bird fly down. I put out some quit clucks and had the decoys uphill in front of me. Nothing continued to happen and eventually I stood up to fix my shirt, and caught site of a turkey not 50 yards away over a slight rise. I couldn't tell if it was a hen or tom. My Dad was halfway between us, but where he was positioned, he couldn't se it either. Another half hour passed, and I decided to sneak up for a look. The bird was gone. We had been far closer to the roost tree than we had perceived in the darkness. We were only 60-80 yards from it, however where I had seen the one bird, they would have never seen the decoys.

I did eventually spot two birds working their way into private through some sage. It was amazing how hard they were to see in the sage. Also, I didn't have my binos which really sucked.

On to the next spot...
 

vanish

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We did some driving around checking out the other hunting pressure. Plenty of hens around.



We were about to head into a couple a different spots my Dad had been before, but kept finding other hunters parked in a different access point.

Finally we decided on a spot where there was nobody and looked good on the map. We worked our way in and found tons and tons of deer and elk sign as well as beautiful green, but no turkeys. I think we were making a mistake working our way along the edges.



It was getting later in the morning, maybe 10:30 and my Dad was starting to think the hunting was over. I've actually had a lot better luck in the mid-morning. Out of nowhere, my Dad says there was a gobble straight up the hill we've been working our way around, calling every few hundred yards. Why now? My dad doesn't have the best hearing so I questioned, but immediately upon FireTiger giving a few yelps there was a response.

We worked our way up the mountain as he continued gobbling. He didn't seem really committed to the idea of investigating.

Finally, we were on his elevation as he continued in the direction he had been headed, and this seemed to help our cause. He was responding better to FireTiger's call so she held while Dad and I set up. He took a higher position and I the lower.





To say the terrain was different from our Eastern CO and Front Range hunts would be a severe understatement.

Well, he continued to close the distance. He was close enough that we could hear his feathers shaking as he gobbled. There was a drop off about 25 yards in front of me and I was expecting his head to pop up at any moment. Well gosh darnit neither of us ever saw him and next thing we knew he was fading away again. Furthermore, he continued to circle up hill, heading back towards where we heard him initially ... Unless we were being fooled and there was two birds. It had sounded like he moved all the way back to the top and away from us, completing a full 540 degree path. Very confusing, and after about half an hour we totally lost him. I don't think he ever saw us, though my darling may have been calling a bit excessively. :D

We climbed to the top of the mountain, and made our circle back to the vehicle, having made plans to meet my mother for lunch.

We had a plan to sit that roost tree in the evening though...
 

dirtclod Az.

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Great story,smart Tom.Keep at it and It will happen.
Like the terrain,looks like Az Juniper Elevation. 😎
 

vanish

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We were a bit slow in getting back out there in the evening, as we walked in trying to figure out where each person would set up safely, upon rounding the bend to the roost tree I saw a turkey already underneath it. Gah, we're too late. I backed off after deciding it was a hen. She had noticed us but was not spooked. We finished our plan and I looped around to another possible roost tree. As I was getting positioned, that same hen walked over and hung around within 30 yards of me. It was painful trying to not be noticed. She eventually turned back around and walked over to FireTiger, getting as close as 5 yards. She got some decent video but its a pain to work with video still.



Eventually the hen decided to roost, and she flew up into one of the trees in the distance there, directly above me. That was not the plan. Luckily, she wasn't as happy with that tree and after about 5 minutes flew back to the one closer to FireTiger.

My dad was further out, and had two come past him, which he judged to be a hen and a younger hen. I never saw the younger one, but the larger walked right past me about about 10 yards, circled over to FireTiger, and then roosted.

We had to be very careful sneaking out of there, but if only one of the toms from the evening before had come in! We were definitely in the right positions.
 
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