Search This Blog

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Frustrating Virginia Spring Gobbler Season Continues (Blog 135)

Well, since my report last Saturday on my abysmal Virginia spring gobbler season, things have only grown worse.  The low point for the week would have to have been Wednesday when I sat down in the dark under a flock of gobblers.  They all flew down into a field, but by the time it was light enough for me to see that they were toms, they were on to the blob - me - that had been sitting among them.  As far as I could tell, the entire assemblage consisted of jakes.

Today, Saturday, I worked one gobbler for nearly four hours.  But, in reality, what I thought was one mature gobbler turned out to be four jakes, one of whom sounded like a mature bird.  About 11:15, I finally called them in, but they started fighting among themselves and stopped their progress toward me.

Adding to the frustration was the fact that I put my scoped shotgun on several of them, but they would not stand still - except for one lucky jake who paused behind a deadfall.  It was his lucky day - but not mine.

There's always the next outing, which will be Monday before school.  Things can't go on like this...or can they?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The 12:04 Gobble (Blog 134)

I have endured a very rough, frustrating start to Virginia's spring gobbler season, and today, the second Saturday of the season, was typical of how the first week has gone.  In Virginia, we have to be out of the woods at noon, and I arrived at my vehicle right on schedule.

While I was putting my things away, a gobbler sounded off right behind the car.  Then he erupted again a few seconds later.  Not wanting for the tom to come running toward my car, as he seemed bent on doing, I hurriedly departed.

The irony was that those gobbles were the only two I heard the entire day.  I was afield on a Franklin County farm that is my favorite place to turkey hunt; yet not one tom uttered a peep all day during legal hours.

I have been rained on the past week, endured two hot, muggy mornings and a cold, windy one this morning.  I  called in a number of toms on Friday, but they all were directly behind me.

The good news is that I will be afield on Monday before school.  And hope is something I always have.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Opening Day of Virginia's Spring Gobbler Season (Blog 133)

I began turkey hunting in 1986 and over the years, I have rarely missed an opening day of Virginia's spring gobbler season...and this year was no exception.  And over the years, I have only killed a gobbler on three opening days, roughly one per decade...and this year was no exception.

From the beginning, nothing went right.  I had a poor night's sleep as on Tuesday I had to resume taking medicine for my Lyme Disease.  Friday night, the medicine "kicked in," giving me stomach cramps for much of the night.  When I arrived at the Franklin County farm, I headed for a spot where I killed a tom in late April last year.  But some 100 yards from the car, I remembered that I had left my camo gloves in the vehicle.

After retrieving the gloves, I headed for my spot, and the morning started well with four toms gobbling on the roost.  But about the time they flew down, both of my legs started cramping and I was unable to keep my knees up with my shotgun resting on them.  After a long and frustrating morning and with my legs still cramping, I headed back to the vehicle so as to be out of the woods at noon, as is required in the Old Dominion.

I placed my gun, seat cushion, daypack, and car keys in the back seat...then found that the car had "locked itself," which resulted in a half-mile walk to the farmer's house.  Fortunately, I had left the driver's side window cracked open, so an acquaintance was able to jigger the lock to open by using a clothes hanger.

I am due to kill another gobbler on opening day of Virginia's season around the year 2020.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Gobbler Hunting, Bird Watching, and Snow Falling (Blog 132)

Last week, I wrote about the last snow of winter, which I surely thought it was, but as I write this from Elaine's and my home in Botetourt County, Virginia, snow is falling...on April 4.  I normally go to Tennessee to spring gobbler hunt and this year I did the same the first three days of that state's season.

Like here in Virginia, the weather in Northeast Tennessee was very cold, but fortunately, thanks to my good friend Larry Proffitt's turkey hunting skills, I was able to kill a nice gobbler on opening day of the season.  But Sunday was cold and rainy and Monday was cold and windy.  The most interesting thing that happened on the trip was Larry and I seeing four albino turkey hens - a first for me.  They were all in the same flock and with a bearded hen.  What an interesting genetic study this particular flock would make.

Since coming back home, I have spent a great deal of time bird watching.  This morning, I thrilled to the dulcet sounds of a hermit thrush and observed such interesting birds as golden crowned kinglets, plus observed five black vultures perched in a sycamore tree next to our house.  Nothing had died, or nothing that I could see or smell, but it's never a pleasant thing to come out of your house in the morning and seeing black vultures waiting expectantly.

Snow, albino hens, and hermit thrushes...interesting things always happening in the outdoors.