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Obsessed Huntress
5,583 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Wendy White

Im simply amazed at the vast amount of hunters who get absolutely silly about opening day of Rio Grande Turkey season. Its not the same as opening day for deer, its more electric. Yea, electric is a good description. I, myself have never been as enthused about hunting turkey as my counterparts are, but I am quickly, and unwilling to admit, reaching their levels of excitement. Shhhh! Dont tell. This is just between you and me. I dont want them to know Im a convert.

The first time I actually got serious about hunting turkey, was two years ago, and only because I am so competitive with my hunting buddies. I prefer to hunt hogs
with arrows after dark. Yea, that gets exciting in the brush. I get to test my courage and skill. Turkeys just dont seem to be very dangerous. Here is how that hunt went. No one before now, knows the truth about that hunt, and Im going to tell you why.

I was set up in a Ameristep outhouse blind and hunting in a clearing over corn and milo. I had practiced calling with a wood box and thought I had gotten pretty good at it, but decided I would only call if nothing walked in front of me. I am a silent ambush hunter until the time gets down to the nitty-gritty. Then, I get aggressive.

Well, the time came to get down to business, or walk away that opening morning empty handed. I pulled the call out of my bag of tricks and stroked three series of calls. Nothing. It was ten oclock, and getting late. I hit the call once more, and I heard something in the thick mesquite and white brush moving towards me. Ah, turkeys are coming. My eyes were glued in the direction of the noise. I was anticipating a group of gobblers, when I spotted a big dark spot moving into the clearing. Oh my GOD! I called in a big boar hog! (This is the part no one knew).

The big boar was out late that morning, which is unusual. He must have heard my call and thought it was okay since he heard turkeys, to get a bite to eat before bedding down for the day. Me, I was shaking and breathing very hard, thinking he could hear me. I was so surprised at his arrival. The real story was I that I was shaking and breathing harder than usual, because the weekend before at that same spot, I was surrounded in the pop up blind by a group of large hogs, and he was more than likely, one of them. It was terrifying! All I could think of, is that I was going to get rolled and no one would know what had happened to me when they found my dead body. When they surrounded me and pushed on my blind with their snouts, I reached for my .357 sitting beside my chair, and realized at that moment, I had forgot to load the pistol in the excitement of anticipation of the hunt. I was definitely in a tight spot!

I did put an arrow in him, and he took off like his tail was on fire, through the thick brush. I could hear exactly where he went down since he was crashing through all the foliage and anything else in his path. My adrenaline level was so extreme, I thought at my age, I just might have a heart attack. After collecting him and having him scored for the record books, he turned out to be the number 1 hog taken with a crossbow, beating out my previous record.

Now, its two years later, and I am hunting the same ranch, but in an open air tower stand. Its opening morning for Rios. I have set up in the best spot possible for turkeys-and rattlesnakes. With the history of this spot, I know I will have a shot this morning at a turkey.

As I sit and wait for the show to begin, I hear the turkeys coming off their roosts by the open field behind me. The more they gobble, the more adrenaline pumps through my body. This is getting as exciting as hunting hogs in the dark alone.
I dont want to admit it, but yes, I am getting as excited as my hunting partners.
Gobble, gobble, gobble! Wow! There must be at least four gobblers down there.
I hear a hen clucking, and she is keeping those boys wound up. Every few seconds, another gobble, and they are getting closer, and closer with each series. The sun is coming up, and Im confident they are going to come my way to feed.

I peeked behind me, and oh my! There are at least twenty turkey heading my way. I cant see the details yet due to darkness, but I know there has to be at least one great gobbler in the group. Here they come. I see one, two, three-seventeen! There are seventeen hens running into the clearing in front of me. As they start scratching around, I am looking for anything with a beard. My eyes move as my head stays in place. I see no gobblers. I look them over again, and I see a hen with a six inch beard. Oh no! Where are the boys? About the time I was starting to go into a state of despair, two mature gobblers scream from ten yards behind me. It is so loud, I jump and quiver with excitement. Oh yes! I just have to be still and not turn to look at them, and they will come on in. Please, please, come in.

They waited what seems to be over ten minutes before moving around and coming into the clearing from my right side, as the hens did. The problem now is they are hung up behind some brush, and are stretching their necks to see over the top of the brush, looking right at me. The hens arent paying any attention to me. Usually, the hens are the ones that bust me, and the gobblers are the naive ones. I start thinking about the possibility of not getting a bird this morning unless something changes real fast. One gobbler is staring real hard at me to see if there is any movement, while the younger gobbler relaxes, and begins strutting his stuff for the girls.

Finally, the strutting bird makes a move out of the brush towards the hens. The other, more mature bird follows carefully, not wanting to let the young bird get to the hens, but still watching me for movement. Ah! Look at them. The young gobbler had a beard about seven inches long, and the older bird had a beard about 10 inches. Yep, thats the one I want.
**Continued on next thread Part 2 with pictures**
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