Hunting 2010

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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. 

I got 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 it 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:

The long 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! 

Above pix 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 immediate area. 

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 2010

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 powder:

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.

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