TURKEY HUNTING 2010
Our annual spring
turkey hunting season came in this year on April 10, 2010 and procrastinated
until about the last day before getting all my gear ready. John Gaddy
of Polkton, NC and myself shot our 12 gauge Super-Mag shotguns at his back
yard range at about 32 yards to pattern our guns. I purchased a couple
boxes of the new Environ Metals Hevi-Shot Magnum Blend composed of a
combination of shot in sizes 5, 6 and 7 and anxious to see how they
performed in my shotgun. I only had to fire one round to make a
believer out of me....it was totally awesome to say the least. John
Gaddy aka "Big John" fired one through his shotgun with the same results.
He later ordered a couple boxes from Cabelas and they arrived in time for
opening day. Pix below:
I planned to hunt again this year with Randy Steele of
Cason's Old Field, the lower part of Anson County on opening day but his
Mother had medical complications and he was unable to go opening day and in
fact hasn't been so far this season and today is April 17.
all my gear loaded in the ole Buick and got into the woods around 0615 hours
and heard a couple gobblers sounding off. I gave a few soft yelps and
they immediately responded so headed toward one of them to get set up on
him. After attempting to jump across a small creek and making a very
hard landing and still getting one boot wet above the boot's water
line....grin if you must.....I was about unable to climb the steep bank
to get locked in on the gobbler sounding off. I realized the hard way
that I am 64 years old and not 24 which does make a difference in my case.
Later that evening my neck had all the symptoms of "whiplash" and it
has taken a week to be able to move my head left and right without any
serious pain...back to the story now.
I got within 100 yards of the ole gobbler sounding off which was around 0630
and far too much daylight to attempt to get closer and positioned the hen
and jake decoys. After giving a few soft yelps, he fired right back. I
had high hopes Mr. Long Beard would come in and after he flew down he
apparently had hens with him since he started heading away and to my left
continuing to sound off. A mature hen started clucking and made her
way within 20 yards of my position and another hen down the creek starting
yelping giving that distinctive hollow type yelp that is hard to reproduce
unless you are using a wing bone type call or a "snuff can" call. There is a different tone
or timbre which I describe as a very hollow and throaty sound from some of
those ole mature hens.
It didn't take long and another long
beard was sounding off to my left about 100 yards off and he was all fired
up to. It was around 0730 and a pair of nesting Goshawks were screaming like crazy.
Prior to the Goshawks screaming, a couple Great Horned Owls were all fired
up too and that kept the ole gobbler sounding off.
I retrieved my
decoys and headed toward the other gobbler and got too close to him and he
flew out of a tree about 20 yards in front of me but I could not tell for sure
was a gobbler or hen, but I think it was the gobbler since he was in line
where I heard the second gobbler hammering away.
I stayed in the woods
until around 11ish or so and saw one other hen working a recently plowed
field while positioned in a blind and that was it for the morning
hunt. I took a few pixs from the blind:
I didn't get a chance to hunt again until yesterday April 16, 2010 due to my work
schedule and a medical appointment for my bride and will give a few details
of that morning hunt.
I got into the hunting area around 0600 hours
and the weather was around 52 degrees, a little on the foggy side with
the wind fairly calm. I couldn't get a gobbler to respond to my
favorite owl call and it was after 0630 before I thought I heard a faint
distant sound of a gobbler and might have heard another one but it was off
in the distance and not sure. I set my decoys out and stayed for less
than an hour without getting anything to respond to my call and decided to
move and hunt the edge of a field where turkeys had been working it in the
past. I got my decoys out around 0735 and would make a few clucks and
yelps every 15 minutes but could not get anything to respond. Around
0843 I decided it was time to move and tried to talk myself out of moving
since PATIENCE is a must when turkeys are not responding to calling
and knew I should give it another hour because such tactics usually result
in spooking a gobbler that is coming in silent to your calling and decoys
but against better judgment, I slowly walked out to my decoys while still
fully camouflaged and sure enough there was a gobbler in full strut about
100 yards down the field and was behind a small knoll and he apparently
didn't spot my movement since he didn't run off. I slowly eased to the
ground and got below his line of sight and crawled on
all fours back to the edge of the field where I had my turkey lounge seat
set up in some cover. I gave a few yelps on my Porter Dual Hens walnut
base box call that has a cedar lid and I didn't get any response. A
few minutes later I saw moment coming over the knoll of the field and saw
some bright red and got my binoculars out and could make out a scraggly
looking jake slowly working his way toward my position, however I was sure
that wasn't the gobbler I had seen a few minutes earlier. I gave
a few soft yelps and the jake raised his head straight up and could see the
color getting more intense on top of his head as he looked my way. I was
concealed pretty good by the undergrowth, small trees and foliage with a couple
good openings in line with my decoys and felt pretty good with my set-up.
At about 0905, I saw a long beard and the jake about 75 yards from my decoys
coming in from the right heading straight toward the decoys at a fast pace
with the long beard leading the way.
The long beard ran up to the jake decoy and puffed up seemingly twice his
normal size and the jake was behind him and directly in the line of fire and could
not take a shot and had to wait until the jake moved out of the way.
The Long Beard was aggressively posturing trying to intimidate the jake
decoy into running away which is the norm and didn't want to risk letting
the ole boy get away and touched the trigger and the Magnum Blend shot
bowled the Long Beard over. The jake was confused and didn't know what was up and stayed around
while the Long Beard made a few death kicks and finally the jake realized
something was amiss here and headed for cover. Pix below of the harvested long beard:
beard weighed 21 pounds, had a 10 inch beard and 7/8 inch spurs.
Sometimes it pays to be lucky and I certainly had the golden horse
shoe with the prongs up this morning. Normally, such a hunting
error that I made earlier sends the turkeys running at neck break speed
getting away from the immediate area. I had trouble getting the little
tripod for the digital camera positioned and the grass was about too high in
this field to get much detail but that is the way it goes some times.
I "guestimated" the age of this long beard at least two years old and he
sure felt heavier than 21 pounds before I got back to my vehicle which
seemed like a mile away. I have those "beautimous" breast fillets
vacuum packed and frozen for some deep fried wild turkey nuggets or either a
wild turkey stir fry!
of one of my personal Porter Dual Hens box calls that is a couple years old.
It has a pretty good raspy sound and the Long Beards seem to like it.
Click on the above picture to listen to a .MP3 sound file of this call:
Bill aka Mickey Porter 04-17-10.
ARCHERY HUNTING 2010
Our archery season came in this year on September 11, 2010 and the
temperature has been ten (10) degrees above normal so far this month and it
appears we will top an all time record of the most days above 90 degrees.
I have sit on stand a few times mostly on Saturday mornings and a
couple in the afternoon but the deer are moving and feeding mostly at night
where I do most of my bowhunting and plan to hunt when the weather gets in
the lower 80s in the afternoon/evenings. Bill aka Mickey Porter,
September 19, 2010.
The weather finally took a turn back to being seasonal with the temperature
hovering around the 80 degree mark or below for a high and the nights down
below 60 degrees and time to climb back into a tree stand and wait on Mr.
Deer to show hopefully during legal hunting time.
On September 28th, after a day or two of good solid drizzle rain of which
was much needed to help relieve our 3 to 4 inch deficit of rain in our
moderate area drought, I got a chance to get into my hunting standing around
6ish PM with a variable wind direction from the SW and from the North which
was pretty fair for the selected stand location. It felt extremely
good to be back in the hunting mode again with my 3 year ole Matthews
Drenalin model Solo-Cam bow with Easton 2315 XX78 arrows cut to 31.5 inches
in length with New Archery Products Thunderhead 125 grain 3-blade
broadheads. The sun finally began to settle behind the trees and
things were very quiet and serene with an occasional breeze rustling the
leaves whereby a light shower of autumn colored leaves would slowly descend
to the ground as if giant colored snow flakes engulfing the ground flora. A cottontail rabbit was
the first to come into the shelled corn along with plenty of Cardinal and
Doves and helped themselves and as usual, the Cardinals were very
territorial about the broadcast corn and would chase one another from the
At about 7 PM, I saw movement to my right and spotted a doe about 40
yards out using an upper trail coming into the area where I broadcast the shelled
corn for this stand and she came in silently and checked things out and
looked toward my stand and everything must have looked Ok since she started
eating the shelled corn immediately. She was approximately 17 yards
directly broadside in front of my stand location and I started inching my
way into a shooting position since I already had the bow in my shooting
hand. About a minute later a small spike buck appeared like a ghost from the
shadows on the lower trail which is around 12 to 14 yards and he settled
down after a minute and started munching on my shelled corn offering a good
broadside shot of which I slowly drew the bow back when both deer had their
heads down finding my anchor with my left thumb at the base of my neck and with the string touching the center of my nose
with the deer centered into the 1/4 inch diameter peep sight. I
touched the hair trigger of the Scott wrist strap release aid whereas the Florescent Rocket Red dipped arrow
with the three 4 inch length yellow vanes left the bow without hesitation
and struck the spike buck high behind the left shoulder slicing through the spine
and he went down like a fallen log. He still had mobility with his
front legs but didn't get but a few yards before I quickly descended the
tree and dispatched him with my small 3 inch field dressing/skinning blade
after pinning his head/neck down to the ground. Pix below:
After having much trouble last season with a left eye dominance problem, I
retired the Bushnell HoloSight and went back with the one pin vertical fiber
optic Cosmic model sight manufactured by Impact Archery which is mounted on an HHA pivotal sight bracket which stays
locked in position for 17 yard POA (point of aim). The
clear housing of the Cosmic sight allows more light to enter the optical
fiber and is the brightest one I have found and used. The
deer was quickly field dressed and by 8:13 P.M., I had him quartered up and
aging in my game refrigerator waiting on slicing and grinding the upcoming
weekend. This little spike will make some "beautimous" ground venison
and as one of my friends David Stewart of Ellerbe, NC says, "He sure will
look good on a biscuit".....grin if you must. I have seen a
couple of spike bucks where I do my main bow hunting that have one horn much
shorter than the other and hope I get a chance to remove the Daddy Rab of
those spikes to remove those bad genetics from the herd.
One of my friends has offered me to bow hunt in Hoke County and plan to take
him up on it when the weather cools down further.
Bill aka Mickey Porter 09-29-10.
Tagged a small doe on 10-02-10 with the above Drenalin bow and will be some
beautimous tender eating for sure!
Muzzleloading this year had an extra week added for a total of two (2) weeks
and haven't seen a shooter buck yet much less a big fat doe which is
unusual. I have a couple friends in the Eastern Section of NC that
offered me to hunt some prime deer country of course at undisclosed
locations....grin if you must.....Below is a good freezer buck that was
harvested on 11-11-10 at about dusk dark with my antique Knight MK85 .50
caliber left hand with a Grand American thumbhole laminated stock with a
Leopold 3.5 x 10 x 50mm heavy duplex scope and used a Knight 260 grain
solid lead bullet in a sabot for a total bullet/sabot diameter of .508
inches which groups very well in this rifle using 100 grains of Triple Seven
This 8 point buck had a nice little 12 inch basket rack and will be some
"beautimous" eating! His neck was swollen and he smelled so a good
indicator the rut is getting ready to be in full swing next week. A
good double lung shot at about 17 yards and buck ran about 80 yards before
crashing to the ground.
Bill aka Mickey Porter 11-12-10.
NOTE: When I processed the above buck on 11-15-10 after aging
out in my game refrigerator, I found a bullet lodged in one of his shoulders
that was healed and incased in gristle. The bullet was separated from
the brass jacket if it had one and there was no evidence of other fragments
in the deer's shoulder area. Pix below:
Click on thumbnail for a larger view.
Bill aka Mickey Porter 11-16-10.