Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hunting Fall Nebraska Turkeys

On the first 2 days after the ducks quit flying, I headed to the farm where I have hunted turkeys for several years.

The first order of business was to visit with the landowner.  This gentleman is a man in his mid-seventies and has the good health of a 35 year old.  He is just in excellent condition and hikes all over the farm with his dog.    Because of the previous cold weather and frost in that area, I asked if the turkeys were flocked up and where they were running. My experience had shown me that the turkeys are somewhat creatures of habit, and they will run in the same general area on a daily basis.  Several years ago an area was discovered where a small flock came out of the woods down a deer run to another section of timber.  This happened at 3:30 PM.  The following day, I was hidden next to the run at 2:45 PM.  At 3:20, here they came.  This was a great story and true, but it was circumstance.  I believed they would be pecking and scratching as they moved through the area. 

Sitting up high on a ridge, turkeys had been spotted this year by the landowner in the afternoon.  He also told me that a neighbor had seen a big cat, and thought it might be a mountain lion.  They have been spotted in the area.  With this in mind, sitting with my back against a big tree was the safe thing to do.  A 40 cal Springfield Armory pistol was also carried since a big cat had been spotted. 

The two pictures are taken from the top of the ridge and looking into the timber.  Notice how far you can see once the ground cover is gone.  In the past turkeys had traversed this area and the shooting was easy.  Just sit, be patient, point, and shoot.

I sat in this location for about two hours.  With the beautiful day, it was hard to hold my head up and keep my eyes open.  The thought of the big cat in the area was constantly on my mind, so the 40 cal was kept beside me.  With no action but squirrels and woodpeckers, the time came to move on.

The next area was down the top of a ridge that ran east and west.  Walking down there was horrible.  With all the oak leaves on the ground, walking quietly was next to impossible.  Flushing deer and other creatures did not help the situation. As an old turkey hunter once told me, "The deer and turkey talk to each other. They warn one another of a hunter in the timber."  That is baloney, but always makes a good story.  I do believe when a deer was flushed and took off running, it spooked the other wildlife.
The oak tree in the cent of the picture is where I was heading.  The ground throughout this area is covered with acorns which the turkey and deer feast upon.  I sat on the opposite side of the tree facing down hill.  This is where the  turkeys roam.  I have shot a number right here. 

Sitting at this location for about two hours produced nothing.  Deer and turkey were spotted as I crunched my way to the oak tree.  Hind sight being always better, I felt that staying up higher on the ridge might have produced some action.

The big oak tree is in the center of the picture.  This time I  moved down the ridge toward the tree.  The feeling was the turkeys would be moving just on the opposite side of the green scrub bushes.  They would not be able to see me as easily with their heads down to the ground pecking away.

There was no action.  The wind was dead calm. The deer did not smell me and wandered back and forth across the ridge.  I sat there for about two hours and then gave it up.  There is always another day.

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Good fishing, good hunting, and good luck.  Hank

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