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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Get ready for the longest post of your life!! SORRY!!!

The weeks prior to the Utah general season turkey hunt I found myself more and more excited each day. The hunt draws closer and closer and I can't seem to get enough YouTube videos and after work scouting trips to ease the much anticipated spring hunt. The weather was hot and dry leading up to the hunt. Just a few days before we left the rain moved in. I kept a close eye on the forecast and prepared myself for mid 50's. Perfect! Or so I thought…
Wednesday night we planned to pack most of the gear but the rain didn't make that very easy. We decided to keep the bedding and clothing in the garage until Thursday after work. I was supposed to get off around 3:30PM but around 1:30 I just couldn't wait anymore. I called my uncle Gary who was traveling in from Reno and prayed he would be passing downtown as I walked out of the building. I got lucky and he picked me up not 15 minutes later. No slow train ride home for me.
We left the house around 4PM and arrived later than we hoped. I quickly unloaded the side by side (first hunt with it) and mashed the go pedal. I was hoping to locate the birds for the next morning hunt. Darkness was setting in fast. I was surprised to look down at the speedometer and see I was doing over 50MPH on a wet dirt road but I was pumped to hear a thunder chicken ignite the forest with a loud gobble. I arrived at a small creek where I have had luck in previous years. I let the crow call sing and waited…. And waited…. Nothing! I was sure I would hear the birds. I jumped back in the razor and went down the road another mile. I quietly stepped out and closed my eyes as I called once again. That when I heard the sweet sound. The sound I had been waiting for… two or three gobbles rang out! I fist pumped the whole ride back to camp even knowing a sleepless night was ahead of me.
4:50AM the phone alarm goes off. I must have dozed off because I was checking it over and over… 4:24…4:31 and 4:37. Finally! I jumped out of bed and started the truck. My dad gets up much faster knowing a warm truck is waiting. Just a 15 minute ride to the trail head. I double check all the gear and push everyone along. Only a few minutes to turkey time now.
Nicole, Andrew, Gary, Dad and I all get out of dads truck. We start up the trail which was once a ATV trail. The area is familiar to us all and we can walk in the darkness very easily. About 40 yards from the truck a gobble rings out. Everyone stops and looks left. It wasn't more than 150 yards away. Excitement sets in for us all. It wasn't just 10 minutes after that we had turkeys calling all around us. We didn't know which ones to chase. We kept up the trail in attempt to get onto a flat we knew the turkeys loved to cross. One after the other gobbling and gobbling the turkeys seemed to be on fire. I found a spot on the grassy flat to setup Andrew and Nicole for a chance at a strutting tom. I setup the decoys and moved back behind both shooters. I called and called. The turkeys were responding but didn't seem to be getting close. My uncle and dad are about 60 yards to our left. My uncle soon radios over and tells me he can see a few tom sneaking along the top of the ridge about 150 yards out. They are strutting but seem to be heading straight left of us and down the back side. I decide to pick up our decoys and move up on the ridge. We walk up another 200 yards. Turkeys are still coming up the ridge. My dad and Gary move to the right and I take Nicole and Andrew to the left. Gobbling every minute or so the turkeys are making it easy for us to locate them even in the thick yellow pines. I move in on sounds only. I can't see them yet. As we get to what I like to call the "living room" the gobbling stops. I signal to the group to stop with my raise hand. "Did they see us?" I radio over to Gary. Silence, never a good feeling when turkey hunting. I wait another 2 minutes. I begin to get worried. Gary radios over that he can see the turkeys moving away from us. We must have done something wrong. Disappointed we decide to walk down the hill and try to locate the other toms that passed us by earlier. I let out a crow call and was quickly answer by a tom. We headed down the mountain fast but quiet. This tom wasn't nearly as vocal but we kept on his trail in attempt to head him off. I look up and see an opening in the trees. I rush up and poke my head through the oak. No tom in the field. Instead I was greeted but a dark cloud fast approaching. The fog was setting in. I could see the snow wasn't far behind. The tom had shut up completely and Nicole was starting to get cold. It was still early in the morning but I had to bite my tongue and get her back to the truck. The snow was going to beat us there. As we walked back I radioed over to Gary and Dad. They were still up on the hill and dad had heard a gobble just a few minutes ago. I told them our plan and they decided the snow wasn't worth the trouble. Just about to the truck I hear and loud thud and clank. I look back towards Andrew and see him lying on the ground. Not 30 yards from the truck Andrew rolled his ankle and cut his hand. The gun had hit the ground but seemed to be ok. I helped him up and he hobbled back to the truck. Dad and Gary got back just 10 minutes later and we drove into camp for some bacon, hash browns and eggs.
Mid-morning is one of my favorite times to hunt turkeys. We didn't get the chance this day however. We needed to get water and few forgotten items. We drove down to the spring and filled the two 5 gallon jugs. We had forgotten the stove grill top and cooking was tough without it. 2 hours and $50 later we were back in camp with a new frying pan and a few treats and drinks.
Afternoon was setting in and we decided to drive up on the other side of the mountain. We would drive for a few miles and stop to crow call in attempt to locate a gobbling turkey. After getting passed what I thought was turkey heaven and not hearing one bird the disappointment set in. My only hope was a certain ridge the family has properly named Turkey ridge. We stopped at the top and I got out of the truck. The first sounds out of my crow call were immediately interrupted by multiple gobbling birds. YES! We found them! The group piles out of the truck. I grab my shotgun and jack a round into the chamber only to see it jam after trying to load two shells in at once. I don't take much time to mess with it and just leave it in the truck. Nicole and Andrew are with me again and Dad takes Gary down further. We come to a small stream and the birds seem close. We are in the thick pines and aspen trees. We are high on the mountain and the temps are in the high 30's.We crossed the creek and look down the steep canyon. Snow lies below. We are on the north side looking over to the nice grassy south side. I think to myself "what turkey would want to be here?" Nicole wasn't sure she wanted to hike down this steep canyon to where the birds were. I look back at Andrew only to see him already in pain from the ankle roll this morning. My gun was stuck jammed and back up the hill in the truck. Dad and Gary were already 200 yards down the stream and closing in on the birds fast. This wasn't looking good. I decided my only hope is to get Nicole fired up and getting on the birds fast. It didn't take much from me as a turkey let out a close range gobble not 100 yards away. Nicole started down the mountain without me. She wanted that bird dead. I caught up to her 30 yards down from the top and I look down through the thick pines. I can see the bottom and the small creek running down it. Just as I was scanning up the opposite side I see movement. A big Tom was strutting in the bottom. I sat Nicole down and we watched him put on a show. I called softly a few times praying he would start up our side. He didn't seem to want to cross the big snow drift and after a short 2 minutes he moved down the canyon towards the other birds. Nicole and I both decided we were going aggressive and started crossing waist deep snow drifts. The snow was wet and cold but we had to keep going. The terrain was steep and filled with dead fall. We both felt more like we were chasing elk vs turkeys. The gobbles seemed to be getting further and further away. We tried to keep up but the birds knew something was up. We ended up pushing that nice tom within 15 yards of Gary. Dad and Andrew were just seconds away from shooting but it just wasn't in the cards. The tom spotted Gary and dad wanted Andrew to get the first shot. Before it was started it was over. Nicole and I didn't feel like hiking back up through the snow so we went up the equally as steep south side but no snow made it easier. After we got on the other side and on the flat top we heard another gobble not too far away so we decided to chase it. We ended quickly with the birds going quiet and we were left with only turkey tracks. The area seemed to be covered with sign. We radioed back to the others and they met us with the truck up on the main road. Nicole and I were pretty tired from the steep hike and she was getting hungry so we pulled into camp for dinner. The plan was to take it easy and locate birds for the next morning.
The next morning was completely different from Friday. We had a few more hunters in the area with it now being Saturday and I wasn't able to locate birds the night before. We decided to try the creek spot first where we knew birds had been the previous morning. Andrew was going to hang back and take the razor on a few back roads. We walked up the same trail and didn't hear a thing. I called in attempt to locate something but nothing wanted to play. We hike back down and drove all over the mountain trying to locate a bird to hunt. Nicole enjoyed a warm truck and a morning nap while bouncing around the back seat. Finally towards the end of the morning hunt we got answer back on a birds but he was on the move and wasn't really huntable. It was sure nice to hear one though. The weather didn't help us much either. We had rain, sleet, and snow off and on all morning. Andrew pulls up next to us in the razor and tells us he had about the same luck. Only locating when lone hen.
Back at camp for breakfast and we see a break in the weather headed our way. We decide to give it another go. We crow call 5-6 with no answers. We are getting frustrated and the birds seemed to have left the mountain. As we are driving back up to sit on turkey ridge wouldn't you know it we hear a gobble about 20 yards from the truck. We all almost fell out of the truck with excitement. The mad scramble began. Guns were in cases and the turkeys were nervous. Andrew asked me repeatedly for his gun but my mind was going 100 MPH I handed Nicole my 12 gauge figuring the birds were just too far for a 20 gauge. This was my biggest mistake. My gun is heavy and just not suited for her. She held on the head of turkey but we couldn't confirm a beard. They were moving left to right. The last one in the group was a smaller tom and I told her "shoot the left one" A smoke from the barrel soon followed and the turkey flapped once and kept walking. Andrew gave chase but they moved out of the area quick. Nicole was super depressed. She didn't think it was possible for her to miss. She learned a lot that day. In the end I think it was good for her. Hunting isn't always killing. That evening hunt was a bust. No other turkeys spotted and we didn't back to camp until 9:30. Late dinner after a rough day of hunting makes for an unhappy Nicole. One desperate attempt on the razor to locate a bird paid off. I talked Andrew into coming with me right after we got back to camp. We found a few birds roosted for the last morning. I was lucky to hear them that late at night but it gave me the confidence I needed.
Last morning hunt… Its 4th a goal and we don't have a game plan. Turkeys were everywhere Friday and we got lucky off the road on Saturday to make up what was going to be considered a bad day of hunting. Not only do I have to leave today but I get to work early the next morning. I wake up Dad and Gary. Nicole is out for this morning hunt and Andrew is slow to get up and going as well. The three of us make a late start for the yellow pines I had birds roosted in the night before. As I get out of the truck and quietly close the door I hear a gobble. The smile on my face could have been seen from camp. I had a good feeling about this morning hunt. As I started to walk away from the truck I came to a nearly hunt ending crash to the ground. I had stepped on a barbed wire fence that was laid on its side and became stuck. Luckily I caught myself before it got too bad but the noise was my main concern. I stand up and brush myself just in time to hear another tom calling away. The three of us walk up the ridge line. We can see down into a steep draw and I keep a close eye for movement. We walk about 200 yards when I realize the birds are moving up hill and away from us. I quickly make a new game plan and have my dad and Gary head back to the truck and drive around on top of them. They rush back and I can hear the truck start up and drive away. It's just me and I tell myself it's time to get aggressive. I can hear a hen not far off but the gobbling toms are moving fast. I start hiking and what seemed like a full on sprint. I keep calling every 200 yards in attempt to relocate the toms. I hear a gobble that sounds close to dad's truck driving up on the main road. I radio up to him with no response. Just as I reach for my radio for the 2nd time I look up and see a turkey looking at me. The turkey stands just 25 yards away and I stand perfectly still. The turkey waits for about 20 seconds and begins to feed. From behind I can see more moving up to join this one. A hen clucks and purrs as the turkey feeds. My heart sinks deep into my chest thinking that I have just run into a flock of hens. I strain my eyes staring into the deep dark timber and pray a beard shows itself. I can't seem to make any of these hens turn into a shoot able bird. I just about give up and decide to walk a little closer when a shot rings out from the road. Right on que the all but one of the birds gobble at the shot. My heart begins to pound. The birds start to move away from the shot. I know there is a legal bird in here somewhere. I can't seem to calm down. I get antsy and start to move on the flock as they slowly head downhill out of sight. I take 3 soft steps and one turkey turns around to look at me. A beard moves with him as he turns. It's just a jake but I wasn't about to pass him up. I raise my nova and quickly place the bead on his neck. I know what is about to happen but it all happens way too fast. The 3 ½" Remington Nitro 4 shot lets loose and the turkey hits the dirt. That 2 oz of powder didn't even seem to kick me as the birds flutters on the ground. The other birds in the flock run up to him and begin to follow him around as he does the death dance down the hill. I was so amazed by the other bird's reaction I almost didn't chase him down in time. Luckily I was able to find him and his 3'' beard was a trophy I will not soon forget. As I slung him over my shoulder and smiled I heard a 3rd shot from up above. I later learned after hiking back to the truck that Gary and my dad spotted the two bigger toms moving along the road and after 3 shots he was on the ground. What a morning! Now back to tell the others. They were not happy about deciding to skip the morning hunt.
Nicole and Andrew rushed out of the tent to see the two dead birds. They grew excited and wanted to head back out on the razor. After all it was only 7:20AM. I agreed to take them with a big grin on my face. Dad and Gary decided to stay back and start cooking breakfast. We quickly packed up and start down the road. I was thinking to myself that although it would be awesome to get two more. I doubt the birds were still moving around in the area. I pulled down the road where I had shot my birds just a few minutes earlier and let out a crow call. Nothing… I drove down the switch back further into the bottom of the draw and did the same but to my surprise a gobble rang out. I was wrong! The birds are still here. Andrew and Nicole are surely pumped up now. We unload the gear and start moving up the canyon on foot. Andrew starts feeling his ankle throb almost immediately and I can see he can't move much. I ask him to take the razor up above and try to head them off as dad and Gary did and he seems to be relieved. Nicole and I move up the draw and relocate the birds. The area is open and small aspens are the only cover. I look towards the top of the draw and see a strutting bird about 150 yards away. We make our plan and give chase. The bird didn't seem to want to come to us. The single bird ends up turning into 4 and very well could have been the same group I took my bird out of. Andrew did his best to head them off but the draw didn't have great access from above. We had two steep drainages turn into a nasty hike of running and gunning. Trying to catch up to a spooked turkey didn't seem to be working. Andrew would spot them and move into position and push them out. Then we would do the same. Finally Nicole decides the turkeys are just too fast and we make a game plan to get back to the razor. Just that quick I notice a jake just 20 yards away and moving from right to left. Nicole is to my left and I look over to her hoping to see her gun raised but she didn't see him. I yell out to her but the jake disappeared. Now even more frustrated Nicole is ready to go back to camp and pack it up. She doesn't say a word to me and I can tell she is mad. We finally go down and up a steep, nasty, and wet canyon to reach Andrew and the razor. We pull onto the road just in time for the snow to start pelting us. It's going to be a long ride back to camp. Nicole and Andrew seemed down on the ride. It was a quiet ride and the snow made the already cold drive even colder and more miserable. We reach the bend where my dad and Gary had shot the tom and I look left down an old logging road. My eyes grow large… turkeys!!! I look over at Nicole and see her head is down. She quickly looks up as I slam on the brakes. Andrew shouts out… "Beards! I see beards!!!" Andrew hands Nicole her gun and she doesn't wastes no time and takes a long shot. The bird seems hit but not dead. She and Andrew move up the road and I take the razor for a rally race. I slam the peddle to floor and rush to head the turkeys off. The old road is the perfect place to circle around and push them back to the shooters. I jump down the embankment and the razors suspension really soaks up the blow. I circle around and never let off the gas. My adrenaline was over flowing. I see the turkey can't quite decide what to do. I have them cornered. I jump out the razor before it completely stops and start to chase the turkeys on foot. They are in oak brush and can't seem to fly so they end up running right where I want them to. I shout out to the waiting hunters. "Here they come!!!" "get ready!!!" I see the turkeys head over the small hill and right into the lap of Nicole and Andrew. A shot quickly follows and Nicole has her turkey down just off the road. Andrew was busy trying to help Nicole and figure out why there are 5 turkeys' just feet away that he never fires a shot. Nicole take one last follow up shot on the nearly dead jake and the joy sets in. It happened so fast that we forgot how it even came to together for a second. Just when we thought it was over we got lucky and made it happen for Nicole. Her first turkey was a great Wild West shoot out. Andrew is the only one left with a tag. We head back around a few other cut off roads in attempt to locate a bird for Andrew. We weren't so lucky this time. We head into camp and tell the others the good news.
Andrew decides to take the razor out one last time while we pack up camp. He wasn't lucky enough this time to get it done. We packed up the last of the gear and headed home about 1PM Sunday afternoon. Andrew and I will be back once he gets over the depression of tag soup. We still have time to get him one. I can't wait to go back.
 

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Glad you got your birds.... But I'll bet if there were others hunting the same area, they were probably glad to see you pack up and leave. Especially if you were driving your atv as fast and as wild down the dirt roads like you said, and running the turkeys all over the mountain.:shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Its a general hunt... Talked to 1 other hunter in the area (not a popular area) and he was doing the same thing. I locate turkeys and move on them. Unethical?
 

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Confession. I didn't read but jumped to the pic. Congratulations.

p.s Committed to take your mattress. I bet it's much more comfy than a blow up.
 

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OK Jr, I'm sorry, I take back everything I said. I guess I'v led a sheltered life. Wow!
It's all good. I haven't seen someone run after their prey yet, but I see crap like this deer, duck, and now turkey hunting all the time. Chasing ducks in a boat, chasing deer with four wheelers, and turkeys in trucks. I seem to be a magnet to it.

We should go hunting together sometime! Or better, I'll send you into the woods with my tag to kill the tom I can't seem to get in front of. He's been outrunning the road hunters and outsmarting me.
 

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Sometimes that smart, weary old tom that keeps alluding you can be the best hunt of your life. I pursued(can't use the term chased any more, these guys have put a whole new meaning to the term) a wise old tom up Ephriam Caynon a few years back. For three days we played the game. He'd gobble a little or show himself but never come in. I've never been a guy to try and get out in front of them for an ambush (never been that good a hiker) but I knew that a walking bird(s) are most generally heading for some place and if your lucky, sometimes you can get there and beseech him to come over and see who's calling. He stopped in a small meadow for a few pleading gobbles and allowed me to catch up. A couple soft clucks did the trick.
Maybe your bird is this bird..pursuing a specific birds for multiple hunts can be really fun and rewarding...be subtle and smart, you may end up with a special memory.
 

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Sometimes that smart, weary old tom that keeps alluding you can be the best hunt of your life. I pursued(can't use the term chased any more, these guys have put a whole new meaning to the term) a wise old tom up Ephriam Caynon a few years back. For three days we played the game. He'd gobble a little or show himself but never come in. I've never been a guy to try and get out in front of them for an ambush (never been that good a hiker) but I knew that a walking bird(s) are most generally heading for some place and if your lucky, sometimes you can get there and beseech him to come over and see who's calling. He stopped in a small meadow for a few pleading gobbles and allowed me to catch up. A couple soft clucks did the trick.
Maybe your bird is this bird..pursuing a specific birds for multiple hunts can be really fun and rewarding...be subtle and smart, you may end up with a special memory.
Been watching him since Monday night and last night was my last day off work to get him. I found his roost, his trails, and the place he goes after flying down from the roost in the mornings. I'm like the NSA for turkeys! I sat near the trails, in the field he goes to, and at the roost at night. He seems to know his surroundings too well. Last night he brought another small tom and 5 more hens with him. One evening I saw him maybe 50 yards out on a run but didn't take the shot cause I want a sure kill shot. Last night he was in the roost tree so it was too late to take that shot. He doesn't respond to calls any more since everyone is calling at him. A purr and cluck seems to get him riled up. I have never had buck fever so bad in my life until I saw him in that tree. I'm hidden well (have had hens and a few small jakes at the end of my barrel) so I think he's just smarter than I. Just a couple more weeks to get him on my wall.

Feel free to throw out some advice on this one. My advice I've received so far is to hunt just outside of the roost morning and night, and don't let him know you're there to scare him away from the area. I've done that so far.
 
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