It was one of those rare magical turkey hunting mornings yesterday, when the weather is beautiful & the turkeys are loud & suicidal.
Morning alarm set at 3am, 70 mile drive to northern unit 2, in the woods before 5am, turkey down at 5:30am. Nice size, 22+ lbs. 5+ pounds of turkey breast to be smoked at Maplewood Meats.
I had planned to hike in about a mile, most of it no-trail, to a wooded ridge. But turkeys gobbled nearby while I was getting out of the car. Set up just a few hundred yards in, 100+ yards from two competing gobblers. Then I fixated on a bunch of brush about 8 yards in front of me, worrying that I wouldn’t have a clean shot. So I stupidly crawled forward & snipped branches. Bad move. I never heard the two gobble again. But somebody must like me, since a third soon lit up 200+ yards out in a different direction. I only ended up calling twice to bring him in, soft yelping & clucking. He came in quiet the last hundred yards, stopping to strut every half dozen steps. While I was tagging him & taking photos another nearby tom began gobbling & was still gobbling as I walked out.
It was the 3rd day I hunted, & the first decent weather day. The other hunts had several non-turkey critter adventures involving a fox squirrel, multiple deer, & a coyote. Had one turkey near-death Thursday. The tom was 60 yards out, coming uphill gobbling to me when a doe & two yearlings stepped out between us. Never saw them until they were in front of me. Incredibly they lingered for 15 minutes 15-20 feet from me while the tom gobbled & plucked on the other side of them. A lot more to that story, but the ending was no turkey.
Interesting thing about the online harvest count. I looked at the Zone 2 number when I registered just before noon yesterday. Then at 5pm I refreshed the page. The count went up ONE, me I assume, from 6249 to 6250. Later at 9pm a refresh added 95 more, where it stays this morning.