Last Day Turkey

longbow

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Last day NJ turkey season. Today.

My spots were all dry this year. One spot where I can listen from a ridge over hundreds of acres, not a peep all season. Used to hear turkeys all around.

In another spot there was bird I had seen all season. Spent most of his time near houses and in pastures where I couldn't get at him. Could not be called to the woods, usually with the girls.

So, today he was out in the field, but apparently alone.

I got up in the woods and made some soft clucks and for whatever reason today he decided to come to the woods edge where I shot him. Probably because there were no hens around.

I was expecting him to be a slammer, and was a little surprised at his smaller size, but was happy to get him on the last day.

18 1/4 pounds, 9" beard, 6/8 spurs.

Thanks for reading.
 

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mbVT

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Nice.

Wonder why so quiet in your neck of the woods. I suspect winter was tough on them here in the north, but not sure about NJ.
 

Mikejd

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Nice job congrats. I just got back from 9 days of turkey hunting in NY. 3 of us and no one heard a single gobble in 9 days actually 11 days for my dad.
I bet I put over 40 miles on foot looking for birds. I know the numbers must be down but I also think the breeding season pretty much ended. I saw some birds in fields hens and gobblers and none were strutting, they were just feeding together. Strange.
 

Meatseeker

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My area in SE MASS was way off this year. Several spots that had loaded over the last 5 years were totally quiet. My son was able to tag out this year... but this will be the first time in a decade that I did not fill a tag (I usually fill both my MA tags). That said I was away for 9 days during prime time... but still things have been off.

I think the biggest issue over the last several years has been poor spring nesting success. Cold wet springs are considered the biggest factor limiting polt production. In the last few years we definitely have had several cold wet springs.
 

longbow

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Nice job congrats. I just got back from 9 days of turkey hunting in NY. 3 of us and no one heard a single gobble in 9 days actually 11 days for my dad.
I bet I put over 40 miles on foot looking for birds. I know the numbers must be down but I also think the breeding season pretty much ended. I saw some birds in fields hens and gobblers and none were strutting, they were just feeding together. Strange.
Sorry to hear that. That's a lot of days of hunting without hearing a gobble. Do you have fresh batteries in your hearing aids?;)
 
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Haystaddle

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I didn’t fill a tag either first in a long time. Between SE Mass and central Maine. Had the safety off a few times but couldn’t be sure I wasn’t shooting a jake until it was too late. I thought the gobbling patterns were off. And I confirmed it with my first sighting of poults here on the Cape last Thursday the 23rd. Earliest I ever saw them before was May 31. Weatherwise it has been wet but no real deluges. Colder than normal but nighttime lows weren’t that bad. Thus the early nesting season I’d guess. My brother in law busted a hen off her nest up in Rangeley last Friday at 1 pm. 14 eggs. Already incubating the eggs and the leaves are barely starting up there..
 

Mikejd

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Sorry to hear that. That's a lot of days of hunting without hearing a gobble. Do you have fresh batteries in your hearing aids?;)
No hearing aids for me yet. But dad had his cranked way up to see if we were missing anything on the next hill.

I also put close to 700 miles cruising the back roads looking for birds. Only being able to hunt until noon leaves me alot of time to cruise around and see what we can find.
I saw very few birds around and the ones I did see where never in strut. Pretty strange if you ask me. No complaints though. 9 days of hunting is better then 9 days of anything else.
 

longbow

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No hearing aids for me yet. But dad had his cranked way up to see if we were missing anything on the next hill.

I also put close to 700 miles cruising the back roads looking for birds. Only being able to hunt until noon leaves me alot of time to cruise around and see what we can find.
I saw very few birds around and the ones I did see where never in strut. Pretty strange if you ask me. No complaints though. 9 days of hunting is better then 9 days of anything else.
I would imagine you were hunting near your camp? Winters must be pretty rough on the birds up there.
 


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