A pretty quiet last day except for a hen I heard yelping a few times. I tried yelping back at it in hopes of getting it worked up and possible trailing in a gobbler, but after a while it shut up.
In a separate hunting area that I have not been in since muzzleloader season I saw loads of deer tracks, one turkey track and a few raccoon tracks. That always was a great deer hunting spot!
Well, so ends Spring Turkey season. I never heard a single gobble the whole time and one of my old turkey hunting places that normally has at least a few gobbles seemed empty of turkeys. Perhaps the turkeys had a hard winter last year or maybe they just did not feel like gobbling this year. Well, there is always the fall!
No, I did not get a turkey today, but I did have a great hunt. I started this morning off shortly after 5:00 AM sitting under a tree. Then at about 5:30 AM I heard something plop to the ground five yards away from me. At first I did not think much of the sound since it sounded like a bird making droppings then I realized it made an awful big sound for a just song bird. So, I look up into the tree to convince myself nothing was up there. Sure enough there was nothing…wait a turkey sitting about 15 yards up! At first I could not believe I had randomly picked the same tree a turkey was roosted in. Whether the turkey had a beard or not I could not tell because of some leaves, but as it woke up it turned around on the branch revealing a chest devoid of a beard. I watched that hen for almost 1/2 hour before at around 6:00 AM it decided to fly down. Being my first up close experience with a turkey fly down I had a front row seat. Before fly down it never make any clucks or yelps instead it simply took a careful 360 degree survey of the surroundings twice. Once it jumped off the tree branch and begin flying it never flapped its wings making for a noiseless flight. Landing was also made quietly; way less noise than a squirrel might make jumping in some leaves. Where the turkey landed it was out of sight and I never saw it again nor did it make any more noise. Then I left to go home for breakfast at around 8:00 AM.
Later in the morning I returned to the general area with one of my younger brother’s. As we made our way to where we sat a deer moved out of the brush about 50 yards away. It was a buck with tines about as high as the ears and had a wide look to them instead of the straight up look full grown spikes have. The deer also had a radio collar on it, which is a first as far as I know in my area. It will be interesting this fall to see how this deer’s rack will grow. Identifying it should be easy since I would image it to the only deer in this area with a radio collar.
We ended the morning having never heard a single gobble, but with the image of the deer slowly picking its way through the woods in our minds.
Today my family drove down to visit the Cabela’s store in Wheeling, West Virginia. I did not buy anything, but I still think it was worth the trip down just to see it.
They have a very nice fish aquarium with many different types fish like bass, catfish, sunfish, and turtles among many others. They also had a very nice decorations for the tanks with trees and even a sunken row boat.
When it comes to their animal mounts it was very impressive–they had a very large room devoted entirely to head and full body deer mounts. In addition, they have a slightly smaller room with a collection of African full body game mounts; included an elephant. Somehow even though I have seen live elephants at the zoo I never really saw how huge they really are! And the Cape Buffalo, they have such a broad chest! To some extent I think it was better than going to a zoo, since I was able to get so close to these monsters. Finally, in the center of the store they have a mountain set up with more deer, goats, bear, and raccoon among others.
I spent most of my visit staring at the stuffed animals, but I did glance around the store itself some. They seem to have a dazzling array of products, but I was a little disappointed in their muzzleloader accessories collection I think a very small sporting goods store not far from me has as good or better selection. As to muzzleloading guns they did seem to have quite a few sidelocks even a Brown Bess.
All in all I had fun and enjoyed the visit.
While PA Spring Turkey has been in for a little over a week now due to finishing up with the last little bit of this semester’s college work I have not been out any, until today.
After hunting up my mouth call in the refrigerator I made it into the woods this morning around 6:30 AM not exactly before dawn, but hey I was in the woods! The other day I read a turkey hunting story in the Pennsylvania Game News where the guy used the call, listen, then walk technique to locate a gobbler. Not knowing where any particular gobblers where at I decided to follow suit.
Shortly after starting into the woods some movement of a furry body caught my eyes further looking revealed a raccoon! We stared at each other for a while then he ducked down into a hole. The hole, which is right on the line between woods and field, looks a lot like a old groundhog hole. I will have to remember that spot for trapping season. It is not legal to “set traps within five feet of a hole or den, except for underwater sets” (PGC Hunting Digest ), so I can not set a trap right next to the hole, but I can set a trap in that general area.
After watching the raccoon for a while I continued on, going nice and slow. After about two hours of creeping along and not hearing anything I found small semi enclosed field area where I set up a decoy and waited for a while. I stayed there until about 10:0 Am, but never heard a single gobble.