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I'll start off by saying that I got to turkey hunt a BUNCH this year and put a ton of time in. The majority of my hunts were mornings and that's when I like being out , setting up each time before the birds are awake. Probably averaged 5 hrs per hunt , many times I didn't come out of the woods till noon and was going in at 5 - 5:30 am.
Started the first 2 weeks with my bow, only came to full draw once but had toms within shotgun range on multiple hunts but never got the opportunity to let an arrow fly mostly cause I'm picky about my shot selection and how big the tom is.
Decided about the beggining of May to start taking a shotgun cause there was a very big tom I wanted and knew I might need to do some running and gunning. Well the first day I had the gun I made a move out of the blind at 11 am and set up on a ridge overlooking a valley I knew he frequented. Shortly after sitting he gobbled nearby and popped up on the opposite ridge. Had him at 60 yds but stayed there out of range. Never did see him again and the hunting got increasingly worse it seemed every day after while hunting multiple different properties. Worked one good tom in but he ended up sneaking in behind me so no shot. I then went a couple hunts without seeing a tom and then 2 hunts without seeing a tom or even hearing a single gobble !
Thursday morning May 13th I decided to set up in a fencerow spot within 100 yds of a known roosting area surrounded by fields. I was back against a tree nice and early and man were the birds there. The songbirds were going crazy, wood ducks flying , crows , sandhill cranes and TURKEYS. A few different toms were gobbling and could hear a bunch of hens clucking and dropping out of the nearby trees in the field 100 - 200 yds out. I was in the game for sure. It took awhile but a small group of hens zig zagged their way towards me and there were multiple toms around strutting their stuff. 2 toms I knew of and had been watching for quite a few years in this spot were out there. They were buddies and I always recognized them together as one had a long beard with average thickness and the other had a shorter beard that was very thick. Many times I wondered if he was a double beard cause there was so much but I never could tell any separation. At about 8 am they appeared up from a low spot in the field at about 60 yds after a couple younger toms moved through and strutted their way in , I knew it was them and ended up shooting the shorter thick bearded one. Very happy to get one of those 2 as they have been around for awhile and have some age on em.
10 " beard but the thickest I've ever got.
1 3/8" spurs
Only weighed 19 # . I've found that some of the oldest toms with good hooks out there are not the fat beach ball types. They usually look tall and skinny when out of strut. Most of the time you see them alone - not with other toms - but wasn't the case in this one.
20210513_104822.jpg

20210513_084230~2.jpg
 

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Only weighed 19 # . I've found that some of the oldest toms with good hooks out there are not the fat beach ball types. They usually look tall and skinny when out of strut. Most of the time you see them alone - not with other toms - but wasn't the case in this one.
Congrats! I have noticed the same. For whatever reason, the fattest birds I have shot are 2 year olds.
 

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I'll start off by saying that I got to turkey hunt a BUNCH this year and put a ton of time in. The majority of my hunts were mornings and that's when I like being out , setting up each time before the birds are awake. Probably averaged 5 hrs per hunt , many times I didn't come out of the woods till noon and was going in at 5 - 5:30 am.
Started the first 2 weeks with my bow, only came to full draw once but had toms within shotgun range on multiple hunts but never got the opportunity to let an arrow fly mostly cause I'm picky about my shot selection and how big the tom is.
Decided about the beggining of May to start taking a shotgun cause there was a very big tom I wanted and knew I might need to do some running and gunning. Well the first day I had the gun I made a move out of the blind at 11 am and set up on a ridge overlooking a valley I knew he frequented. Shortly after sitting he gobbled nearby and popped up on the opposite ridge. Had him at 60 yds but stayed there out of range. Never did see him again and the hunting got increasingly worse it seemed every day after while hunting multiple different properties. Worked one good tom in but he ended up sneaking in behind me so no shot. I then went a couple hunts without seeing a tom and then 2 hunts without seeing a tom or even hearing a single gobble !
Thursday morning May 13th I decided to set up in a fencerow spot within 100 yds of a known roosting area surrounded by fields. I was back against a tree nice and early and man were the birds there. The songbirds were going crazy, wood ducks flying , crows , sandhill cranes and TURKEYS. A few different toms were gobbling and could hear a bunch of hens clucking and dropping out of the nearby trees in the field 100 - 200 yds out. I was in the game for sure. It took awhile but a small group of hens zig zagged their way towards me and there were multiple toms around strutting their stuff. 2 toms I knew of and had been watching for quite a few years in this spot were out there. They were buddies and I always recognized them together as one had a long beard with average thickness and the other had a shorter beard that was very thick. Many times I wondered if he was a double beard cause there was so much but I never could tell any separation. At about 8 am they appeared up from a low spot in the field at about 60 yds after a couple younger toms moved through and strutted their way in , I knew it was them and ended up shooting the shorter thick bearded one. Very happy to get one of those 2 as they have been around for awhile and have some age on em.
10 " beard but the thickest I've ever got.
1 3/8" spurs
Only weighed 19 # . I've found that some of the oldest toms with good hooks out there are not the fat beach ball types. They usually look tall and skinny when out of strut. Most of the time you see them alone - not with other toms - but wasn't the case in this one. View attachment 767233
View attachment 767234

He's a dandy! :cool:
Check your pms.
 
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