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Old 05-03-2010, 06:02 PM
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Trap Trap is offline
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Default 2010 West Virginia Turkey

Hi Gang,

Well, this was the toughest turkey season ever in West Virginia. At camp (4000 ft elevation)…right next to the Dolly Sods U.S. Wilderness Area in the Allegheny Mountains… they received over 300 inches of snow this winter. For the first week of the season (April 26) there were still a few places (shaded depressions) that had three foot deep snow drifts. The snow had a very negative impact on the wild turkey and the deer populations…but they say a positive impact on the dang coyotes…the yotes ate well this winter. Not many turkeys around…and few deer.

I am not gonna lie…it was very tough for me physically and mentally this year too. My dang legs continue to get worse (multiple sclerosis)…dragging my feet (worse when I get tired)…I rely on my walking sticks…falling often which is expected. It took me about 30 minutes to walk 100 yards on the road…sigh. My expectation…well I did not expect to get a bird this year…I was just looking forward to being in God’s Country again…being at camp (that I helped build)…hearing a few birds gobble and being with friends.

Just a few years ago (really up until last year)…if I heard a bird gobble on the next ridge…I was going after that bird. Now that is completely out (no hopping over rock bars anymore). I cannot navigate off road at all (dang rocks…and no flat land)…I need to make the birds come to me…no matter how far away they are. Each day I sat in the same spot about 100 yards from the truck (this spot was easy navigating for me…at least easier...and the truck was hidden). I looked at the same piece of real estate all week…sitting…my butt still hurts.

Remember, this is mountain country…no agriculture for tens of miles. Kinda rugged…BEAUTIFUL…GOD’S COUNTRY!

Opening day (Monday) was uneventful…raining…heard one bird gobble way off…one time (first thing…probably when he hit the ground to gather his hens). I sat all day (until 12:00) calling and listening…nothing…all I got was a wet butt.

Tuesday…the morning came slow (cloudy) as I was in the same spot looking at my hen decoy bobbing lightly. I would just purr ever so lightly once every 5-10 minutes. I heard no gobbles first thing. At 6:40 I looked over to my right (downhill) and I see a dark object through the trees at about 80 yards. I think “I don’t remember a stump being there.” Just then it turns…A GOBBLER IN FULL STRUT and within that magic 80 yard circle!!! My heart beat increases dramatically.

I yelp, putt and purr very lightly…trying not to overdo it. I am a firm believer that turkey hunting is more about doing nothing wrong…rather than doing everything right (this holds true for a lot of things in life).

I have the gun up and in position…ready. Just then (6:50) from the direction of the gobbler, a hen comes right to my decoy that is bobbing lightly…walks 2 feet from it and heads into the woods uphill feeding. I dared not move. At this point…all I am thinking…if I can get the gobbler to come the same path as the hen…it would put him at 20 yards…right in front of me.

I continue to call…he is out of sight now but gobbles a couple times…each time closer. It has been 20 minutes since the hen went by.

Suddenly another hen comes from the direction of the gobbler and is headed for my decoy…and guess who is on her tail…Mr. Long Beard. The hen and gobbler walk right up to the bobbing decoy…not expecting a thing. I rest the circle in the cross hairs on his head… the shotgun barks…and the bird goes down hard. It is 7:10 in the morning and my day is done…at least hunting turkeys.

He had an 8 inch beard and ¾ inch spurs. The beard… not that long…was a paint brush though…thick…thicker than normal. The spurs are always worn down and rounded on these West Virginia mountain birds…too many rocky hills to go up and down. They must drag them over the rocks somehow. Heck...even the claws on their feet are rounded.

The worst part of shooting a bird on this mountain…is the need to check it in…which equals one hour of bone jarring rocky roads…and an hour to town….and an hour of rocky roads back. It is a miserable three hour round trip…but even though I can’t walk too well...I can drive…and I am smiling. Thank goodness I don’t have back trouble…the ride would be very painful.

I hunted the rest of the week looking for my second bird. Wednesday started out 24 degrees and very windy…I sat until 11:00 before I could not stand it anymore…I could not feel my feet (cold). I never heard a bird…but who could in that wind…and with my hood up.

Thursday and Friday were not as cold…but very windy. It blew so hard I do not know if I could have heard a bird unless he was right on top of me. At least the batteries at camp were charged…the windmill never stopped whirling (charging).

Saturday was the best day of the week…warmer, sunny and the wind laid out to around 10-15 mph (which is still in the spring on that mountain range). I heard one bird way off… nothing near. It was 70 degrees at noon…beautiful.

I also coyote hunted a few afternoons (when the wind was not howling) with my trusty FoxPro FX5 and my new stainless steel TC Prohunter in .223 with a Nikon Coyote Special Scope (4.5-14 X40)…but had no responses. I could not even get one to answer the locator call…kinda strange. I really wanted to test that gun.

Well I will be back up in God’s Country to hunt the last week of the season…trying for gobbler number two…and a yote…legs willing. I will be there…if I have to crawl….because I know you can’t shoot one sitting on the couch!!!

Sorry sooo long…writing this is kinda like therapy… I guess.







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  #2  
Old 05-04-2010, 12:19 AM
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Weasel Weasel is offline
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You certainly earned that bird and then some. Way to hang in there. Good luck on #2.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:00 AM
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how do u like your coyote special scope? i am thinking about getting one myself.
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:13 PM
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HollowPoint,

The Nikon Coyote Special Scope is new. I have only had the chance to shoot it on paper (so good so far). It is nice and clear...you dont even notice the honeycomb front cover. Time will tell how well I like it.

The circles/lines on the scope (4.5-14 X40) are set up for .223 or 22-250. I like it...seems on for .223 55gr Hornaday VMAX.

One thing that is questionable...the honeycomb front cover screws into the front the scope (over the front lense). It has plastic threads...and we all know how plastic threads hold up...they like to get cross threaded. You must remove the honeycomb cover to clean the lense periodically...so I will have it off and on every now & then.

It does not need the honeycomb to work though...it can always be removed.

As I said...time will tell.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:18 AM
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SWAMPBUCK10PT SWAMPBUCK10PT is offline
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Nice turk!!!!! Great story thanks for share'n
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:55 PM
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Congrats on the bird. I miss hunting in WV the army has me in KS now but I try to get back and hunt as much as I can. I love it up there.

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Old 05-09-2010, 07:03 PM
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team dukhunt team dukhunt is offline
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good looking turkey and thanks for the info on the coyote special i as well was thinking about that scope thanks and good hunting
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