There has been some discussion amongst turkey hunters about hunting specific birds and the advantages and disadvantages of doing that. My good friend and hunting partner Patrick and I, both seem to have a little bit of a problem with that. Patrick in particular, feels such a bond with the animals that he chooses to give them names so as to differentiate between them during hunting discussion.
We have put in countless hours of scouting and effort into trying to figure these birds out, including 4 am wake-ups on Saturdays and Sundays throughout March and April.
Since May 1st we have pursued these two particular birds relentlessly. They were chest deep in hens, and very difficult to dictate their behavior with calling. Plus, PA ain't the easiest place to be hunting these Easterns let me tell ya....Although, they did not feel the hunting pressure, they seemed to have a 6th sense and tended to avoid our setups just out of range, usually between 60-75 yards.
Although these birds were difficult to get in front of, they had certain habits that we knew we could count on and could exploit.
At around 7:00 on 5/16, after about 10 different setups on "Tommy Tailfeather" in the previous three weeks, he finally corralled all of his hens in the wrong direction, and we were formally introduced. RIP Tommy Tailfeather, you will be missed but never forgotten. Had to take a little bit of a poke at him, he was 40 yards exactly, the furthest shot I ever have and ever will take on a turkey.
10" beard, 1" spurs, 19.5 lbs.
This guy had some colors on him...
The Circle of Life...
Well, Thursdays seem to be not working out so well for our bird friends, because it was the previous thursday when Patrick and I set up together, and after having a couple hens in the decoy for a litte bit, "Tommy Strutsalot" showed up to pay a visit, and got the hammer courtesy of Uncle Patrick. Sorry Thomas, Rest easy brother.
10" beard, 1" spurs, 19 lbs.
As it stands, Larry Longbeard lives on, and he will be quite the specimen by next year when Patrick gets ahold of him!
And lastly, I just thought I'd share that a close friend of mine, who I do a ridiculous amount of waterfowl hunting with, was able to take his first spring bird ever (who will remain nameless)this year on the opener during our annual trip to Sullivan County. He played Lacrosse in Middle School, High School, and College, and although he's been hunting since he was a kid, the amount of time that he has been able to put into spring turkey hunting during that time is probably equivalent to what many of us can put in during a season.
Congrats to Colin on the first of many to come. This bird was well earned, and I'm happy for you.