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Finally got it done last Friday, and after 7 outings it finally came together. Went to my chosen location with multiple roosts located within earshot. Hadn't hunted this particular location all season and had only scouted it once about a week before the season. Fewer birds and more boot and tire tracks then...a little depressing.

Friday morning I had to get out of the house by 3am to make it on time, and that was still pushing it. Got set up near one roost about 15 mins before legal light. Not one peep or sound, and then a gooble in the opposite direction. That did it, since there was obviously nothing going on in my chosen location, I picked up and headed towards the lone gobbler. Nearing the roost, i could hear several hens talking, but ol'Tom had serious lockjaw at this point. At 6am the hens flew down, but wanted nothing to do with my soft calling and went the other way. I tried to make a big loop to get in front of them, but in thick cover, you know the outcome. While I did get within 30-40 yds of at least one, I never saw her - just heard her putt and move off.

Having used up that chance, i finished my loop back to my previous jumping off location, and decided to eat some breakfast. When i got back to my pack, a "friendly" squirrel had decided the same thing. A couple chewed holes in my pack and a couple bites out of both my bagel sandwich and banana were the result. I was just glad he didn't eat much of it. He did hang around and I threw him a couple more scraps.

At this point, it was 9:15 or so, and I figured I'd just hang out and see if that lone tom would get lonely...and vocal. I hadn't heard him but that one time, but you never know. I also thought I might take a nap - 2:30am was catching up to me. Just then at 9:30, I look to my right, and lo and behold, 2 jakes are walking my way. I had a hen decoy out in front of me in a clearing, and they were keyed on it. They came in on string completely quiet and when they were within 30 yards, the Nova barked and my turkey season was finished.

Now, this guy was probably the smallest jake in the woods, but with the season running out I figured, I'd better take what was given. Overall, had a pretty good season, but never did get any stutters to commit. Gobbles just about each time, a couple close calls mid- season. I would bet the heat and hunting pressure were such at the end of the season that these birds pretty much clammed up after pitching down for self preservation. I knew the area was a frequented travel area and just happened to be in the right spot at the right time!
 

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Thanks for sharing. That was a good write-up.

Congrats on the jake. I'm a pretty novice turkey hunter, but I say any bird in the bag is a bird to be proud of. And I'm sure he'll taste juuuust fine.

And now the long, long wait for fall and more bird hunting...
 
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