Lets see those turkeys!

Congratulations! Well done.

I tagged a good one during NJ opening week ( April 24th) but damp cool weather has slowed it down since then. I have 2 more tags to try and fill.
 

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I had a pretty good season. Nuggets in the making...
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Nuggets....
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12 pounds of nuggets (trim from squaring up the breasts), these are what we didn't eat fresh and are for the deep freeze.
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Made 12 pounds of turkey burger from thighs, cut with a little bacon.
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Trimmed and rolled breasts...
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Breasts ready for the deep freeze all set for sous vide in the off season...
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Of course made lots of stock...
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siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh I am just going to have to be jealous of y'all this year. My season closed without a shot fired. Strange year for me.

The first two weekends, the birds would not talk. At all. The third weekend had very active gobblers, all with multiple lady friends that I could not entice over to me. The fourth weekend saw 10.5" of rain in 12 hours so my woods, being flood plains mainly, flooded spectacularly. The areas that are more upland were not accessible to me because I refused to take the truck through questionably deep water across the road and all of the WMAs around me where I would normally hunt turkeys were flooded like this.

i-kvtBCRw-L.jpg


This is an example of one of the shallower crossings. I have no cell service in this particular stretch of woods and I also have twice ended up stuck in water like this in the FJ and had no desire to take apart the truck, all the way down to removing the flooring so I could dry it all out if I got stuck in this crossing.

I did park the truck a few times and wade through the crossings with my chest waders and I am glad I didn't take the truck since some of the deeper spots were waist high. For the jacked up trucks, maybe no problem but I learned my lesson in the past. But the woods on either side were flooded like crazy

i-3Ss6j2x-L.jpg


The Wacissa before my rain inundation

i-7KwcDFq-L.jpg


After and also after peak flooding

i-D4dCDJ5-L.jpg


I had multiple hens that wandered by me throughout the season but none had boy friends. I also had a couple of regular raccoons

i-4GBnjDh-L.jpg


Almost every trip required watching my feet

i-S98q5tv-L.jpg


With the flooding, other critters were seen where I wouldn't normally see them.

i-hwX9Rjs-L.jpg


But, being springtime meant that the flowers were gorgeous

i-MsXgPsJ-L.jpg


i-Gct3hBF-L.jpg


i-5dC6JPh-L.jpg


i-ZKhHw6p-L.jpg


i-hd7fcXJ-L.jpg


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Oh well....there is always next year...
 
siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh I am just going to have to be jealous of y'all this year. My season closed without a shot fired. Strange year for me.

The first two weekends, the birds would not talk. At all. The third weekend had very active gobblers, all with multiple lady friends that I could not entice over to me. The fourth weekend saw 10.5" of rain in 12 hours so my woods, being flood plains mainly, flooded spectacularly. The areas that are more upland were not accessible to me because I refused to take the truck through questionably deep water across the road and all of the WMAs around me where I would normally hunt turkeys were flooded like this.

i-kvtBCRw-L.jpg


This is an example of one of the shallower crossings. I have no cell service in this particular stretch of woods and I also have twice ended up stuck in water like this in the FJ and had no desire to take apart the truck, all the way down to removing the flooring so I could dry it all out if I got stuck in this crossing.

I did park the truck a few times and wade through the crossings with my chest waders and I am glad I didn't take the truck since some of the deeper spots were waist high. For the jacked up trucks, maybe no problem but I learned my lesson in the past. But the woods on either side were flooded like crazy

i-3Ss6j2x-L.jpg


The Wacissa before my rain inundation

i-7KwcDFq-L.jpg


After and also after peak flooding

i-D4dCDJ5-L.jpg


I had multiple hens that wandered by me throughout the season but none had boy friends. I also had a couple of regular raccoons

i-4GBnjDh-L.jpg


Almost every trip required watching my feet

i-S98q5tv-L.jpg


With the flooding, other critters were seen where I wouldn't normally see them.

i-hwX9Rjs-L.jpg


But, being springtime meant that the flowers were gorgeous

i-MsXgPsJ-L.jpg


i-Gct3hBF-L.jpg


i-5dC6JPh-L.jpg


i-ZKhHw6p-L.jpg


i-hd7fcXJ-L.jpg


i-CMBM3Mv-L.jpg


i-xW9m2Lp-L.jpg


Oh well....there is always next year...

Thanks for the pics, I love seeing your spring pics! You will get them next year.
 
siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh I am just going to have to be jealous of y'all this year. My season closed without a shot fired. Strange year for me.

The first two weekends, the birds would not talk. At all. The third weekend had very active gobblers, all with multiple lady friends that I could not entice over to me. The fourth weekend saw 10.5" of rain in 12 hours so my woods, being flood plains mainly, flooded spectacularly. The areas that are more upland were not accessible to me because I refused to take the truck through questionably deep water across the road and all of the WMAs around me where I would normally hunt turkeys were flooded like this.

i-kvtBCRw-L.jpg


This is an example of one of the shallower crossings. I have no cell service in this particular stretch of woods and I also have twice ended up stuck in water like this in the FJ and had no desire to take apart the truck, all the way down to removing the flooring so I could dry it all out if I got stuck in this crossing.

I did park the truck a few times and wade through the crossings with my chest waders and I am glad I didn't take the truck since some of the deeper spots were waist high. For the jacked up trucks, maybe no problem but I learned my lesson in the past. But the woods on either side were flooded like crazy

i-3Ss6j2x-L.jpg


The Wacissa before my rain inundation

i-7KwcDFq-L.jpg


After and also after peak flooding

i-D4dCDJ5-L.jpg


I had multiple hens that wandered by me throughout the season but none had boy friends. I also had a couple of regular raccoons

i-4GBnjDh-L.jpg


Almost every trip required watching my feet

i-S98q5tv-L.jpg


With the flooding, other critters were seen where I wouldn't normally see them.

i-hwX9Rjs-L.jpg


But, being springtime meant that the flowers were gorgeous

i-MsXgPsJ-L.jpg


i-Gct3hBF-L.jpg


i-5dC6JPh-L.jpg


i-ZKhHw6p-L.jpg


i-hd7fcXJ-L.jpg


i-CMBM3Mv-L.jpg


i-xW9m2Lp-L.jpg


Oh well....there is always next year...
Well, that stinks with all the flooding. But thank you for taking us along with the photos.
 
Well no turkey for me this year, just didn't have much time this year for myself. Took the oldest boy out and unfortunately had 2 misses on turkey this year. First bird he just freaked out because they came out of no where and he forgot to take safety off. Once he realized the nerves were too bad and turkeys were on alert and the shot went way off which was his first missed, no longer 100%, but he handled it well.

Second bird is the one pictured. He was at 5 yards so I understand how he missed with using a turkey choke.

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Well no turkey for me this year, just didn't have much time this year for myself. Took the oldest boy out and unfortunately had 2 misses on turkey this year. First bird he just freaked out because they came out of no where and he forgot to take safety off. Once he realized the nerves were too bad and turkeys were on alert and the shot went way off which was his first missed, no longer 100%, but he handled it well.

Second bird is the one pictured. He was at 5 yards so I understand how he missed with using a turkey choke.

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Wow that's a great image! I've found with the kids a blind with a chair and shooting rest tames a lot of the shakes and shimmies. I think that was my 16yo sons 15th turkey and he's been on the ground for the last 4 or 5 feeling them spit/drum. LOVES it.
 
I tagged my second bird of the season last week. This one was quite a bit more challenging than the first. The area I was hunting was overrun with coyotes. I had them come in and attack my Decoys on three separate occasions. One of the coyotes was eliminated.

My Decoy took a little bit of shrapnel in the process. I was wondering why these particular birds have been much less vocal this year. I think the predator situation reveals that answer.
 

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Great bird. I've noticed they are definitely "different" this year. Very little gobbling and they seem to "cool off" very fast so hard to trigger that come in hard and fast response
 
I tagged my second bird of the season last week. This one was quite a bit more challenging than the first. The area I was hunting was overrun with coyotes. I had them come in and attack my Decoys on three separate occasions. One of the coyotes was eliminated.

My Decoy took a little bit of shrapnel in the process. I was wondering why these particular birds have been much less vocal this year. I think the predator situation reveals that answer.

What I've seen is two things: 1) a decline in bird numbers, not a huge decline, but I believe a decline in numbers and 2) birds are in larger groups which makes them tougher to hunt (impossible to call in traditional ways). Over the past 20 years the number of big flocks (3+ gobblers with jakes and hens) has increased so that it is the norm and single gobblers out on the prowl is the rarity - a complete flip from what it used to be. An increase in flock size is an observed response to predation in many species (they tolerate more competition in the group to obtain the security more eyes gives them). I've also seen a big increase in predators, going from rarely calling in a bobcat or coyote to it becoming commonplace. The golden days are past, I'm glad I was there for the ride.
 
I still have plenty of opportunity here in Maine. Predator #s are up but as a direct result of turkey and deer #s. Flock dispersal does seem different though. Yesterday had a Tom and 4 Jakes in one group and a Tom by himself. The larger group cutoff the lone Tom as it was coming to me at 50yds but instead of turning around and coming it they continued to push the other bird away ignoring me and my decoy which is why the should have been there in the first place !
 
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