Saturday, May 3, 2014

Not With A Bang But A Whimper

General season for turkey ends this weekend so this was my last chance until fall for my first gobbler.  We arrived Friday afternoon in the hopes of climbing the ridge and glassing the meadows to scout the birds going to roost for the night.  As with most of our plans, we managed to muck that up by driving around endlessly trying to find an easier way into one of the meadows.
After unknowingly driving past our destination, we made it to a section of road where according to my maps would take us to the meadow.  After bumbling around we realized this way in was not going to happen so we continued to drive on this loop to get us back to where we needed to go.
That was the plan at least.  With only about a quarter of the loop left to drive, we were stopped in our tracks.  High winds blew earlier this week and while we drove into the mountain we only saw small signs of it we finally drove upon evidence of it.  A fallen tree blocked our way and we had to backtrack costing us more time.

After backtracking we decided to quit wasting time trying to find a way into a new meadow and go enter in the area we were familiar.  We had about an hour of light left when we dropped our packs and started to look for signs of birds.  We found a highway of tracks and headed to the new meadow.  In the darkness of night we set up our decoys among the highway of tracks and left them there so we wouldn't have to bother in the morning.
To our surprise when we awoke at 5:20 am it was already starting to light up.  That was a mistake.  We raced to our decoys and setup into the woods to hide ourselves.  We waited patiently, calling sporadically. Given all the tracks, we figured this was a good spot but it proved unfruitful.  We moved on looking at other meadows without any sign of birds.
Eventually after glassing, Chul with eagle like eyes spotted two turkeys on the far end of the meadow. Having an additional 2X power with my 10X binoculars I checked to see if I see any beards on them.  Once they gave us a profile view of them I noticed thy were both hens.  Though we weren't able to take these birds this season we decided to test our fieldcraft and see how close we could get to them.  We would try and flank them to the left using the taller vegetation to hide our movements.
On our way to them we would flush valley quail and cottontails.  Too bad its not season for them.  It's been years since I've seen so many rabbits.  One rabbit (not the one pictured above) I initially thought was a jackrabbit given its size but I doubt it as I believe jacks don't live in this habitat.  It was a beast of a cottontail. We managed to get less than 100 yards to the birds.  There we sat glassing them for about twenty minutes until we decided to see if the we could get closer.

We backtracked and would try to flank them again.  We managed to get to about 50 yards of them only  to be spooked by two numbnuts that decided to blast through the meadow.
With that we thought it wise to end this hunt and head back to camp.  After packing up we decided to check out some other areas.
One area was an archery only section so I left my airgun in the truck and act as spotter.  By this time it was getting hot and the meadow was busy with hikers so we knew hunting would be pointless.  So we called it a day and headed out for lunch.  So our turkey season ends without a bird, we'll have to wait until fall to try again.
Having not eaten other than a handful of nuts, we were starving and BBQ was in order.  We both chose pulled pork sandwiches.
Chul has been raving about these apple pies ever since we started hunting the surrounding area.  With our stomachs full, we ordered our apple pies to go.


  1. Man, you guys are awesome. Looks like a fun trip. That turkey will happen eventually.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. One of these days...