Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Turkeys hold off

ROA photo by Mac Arnold
Waiting for turkey action on May 7.  
By Mac Arnold
ROA Editor

I'm fresh off of my four-day spring turkey hiatus and was foiled in hoisting a bagged long-beard over my shoulder.

It was definitely the best chance of the season I will have at scoring a tom albeit I will hopefully have at least one, maybe two, more shots at it.

Regardless, on two of the four days, I had pretty good action. Even called in a couple of birds on two occasions but on the opener, Monday, May 5, they were a smidge out of range. Not by much. With the gun I use -- an H&R 20 gauge that has a fixed modified choke -- 35 yards out is just stretching it out too much. I've been in the turkey woods enough to know that I just didn't have the range I wanted. They even inched over some but still, the red light never went on.

Oh, but what fun. For at least an hour or more I had those two boys and maybe even a couple more gobbling their heads off all around my setup. I think they've been educated some, maybe even shot at, and they held off.

Sometimes that happens.

Then the next two days it wasn't the birds so much as it was the weather, which was lousy.

Cold and damp on Tuesday, May 6, and then it just poured all morning Wednesday, May 7. But I thought to myself, Hey, I'm on vacation so I should take this as an opportunity to rest and I did -- with a solid three-hour nap in the truck. The truck has always been good for this. I fit perfectly across the bench seats.

However, the truck and its two-wheel drive did have issues -- one of which required George the camp CO to drive all the way out from Macomb County, Mich., to the Sanilac County camp to pull me off the "ice" mud. On the second occasion, which could have been worse because I needed to be back at the house, turned out OK in the end because a neighboring farmer pulled me out with the tractor.

All of the melted snow from the past winter along with the typical spring rain has turned the drive into the camp's center an at your own risk adventure. Eventually all parking was restricted to just inside the gate ... and I STILL got stuck.

But back to the hunting, which on the final day, Thursday, May 8, was surprisingly good. Why I say it like that is because I only had a limited time to hunt: an hour or so after sunrise. Right off the roost I had responses but once they hit the ground it seemed as if they were gobbling from way out -- too far to work in that time span.

Around 7 a.m. though boom, "goooooooooooobbble," rang out straight east from me within the 100-yard range.

After another half hour, he was out in front of me yet hung up just on the other side of the thick brush that bordered the field setup I had in store for him, complete with a decoy.

And that's how it ended. He never came in.