OH Final Update

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by Jay Blankenship, May 23, 2018.

  1. Jay Blankenship

    Jay Blankenship 6 pointer

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    Mar 22, 2018
    OH
    It sure has been an exciting season. The last two days of the OH southern zone (majority of state 85 of the 88 counties) has come to a close this past Sunday. Those of you that have been staying in touch since we started out the year with first our quest for the oldest boys first out of state bird I feel inclined to share with you the wrap up rather it be good or bad.

    This past Saturday we set out to see if the 7yr old could tag out. How, we were going to out do his first bird of two beards, long spurs, and decent weight was beyond me but we headed out anyway. Tried a ridge we had not hunted in at least 5yrs. So what the heck, lets go try it. We make the pilgrimage up the hill and it is quite a hill I may add. Anticipating the first gobble to be at least a 100+ from us the first big roar of the morning erupts from a tree merely 70yrds (if that) over the bank. As you all know I strictly do not hunt in a blind with my boys and this being the 28th turkey season in a row for me , it is the first time I have ever carried or tried a decoy...I am not a decoy kind of of guy either (not opposed to it one bit, but I can't seem to bring myself to carry a sheet full of decoys around in the woods) but I thought maybe a decoy this year would hold a turkey in place long enough for the 7yr old to make a good shot which worked and he got his first bird but this time it bite us...As the big bird that sounded the morning off, I instructed the 14yr old to start making our setup at the base of the big oak and I was going to slip out in front of us and put the Avian X decoy in place......so I eased out 30yrds, put the decoy out, eased back to the tree, and the 14yrold made the perfect setups for us....leaves were out of our way and he cleared with his snips I have him carry in his vest all the saplings or obstacles that could be in our shooting lanes all the way around and we were ready to bring this tom into range. It was still breaking dawn (but the woods illuminated) as all the setup movements were being performed and once it was light enough to fully see; I began the chess game with the bird. After the purdiest tree talk a man could possibly give the big tom roared cutting me off.....and literally after I ended the series of calling all of a sudden DEAD ABOVE the decoy I just walked out and put up the alarm put started.....I thought to myself NO WAY !! PLEASE DONT LET THIS HAPPEN......and as I glanced up above the decoy there was an absolute giant of a gobbler, his beard literally touching the limb he was standing on...he watched every move I made while setting up.....he never gobbled, he never said a word, never flew off or anything while setting the decoy up cutting shooting lanes and walking the ridge in the light of the sky........when the bird started alarm putting he never quit.....he actually flew up one limb to get a better view......the bird that I was working which was 60-70yrds from us and now the bird in the tree directly above our setup shut up and stayed in the tree as well....praying the spooked gobbler would fly off I still was more than confident I could bring the one bird that has gobbled 3-4x in our laps....but the 7yr old was having a hard time keeping his composure. the gun barrel got too heavy, his butt become numb and after 45mins of him trying to keep it all together he physically could not hold the position any longer. The little boy started crying and pretty hard at that...the bird above us was still in the tree and the gobbling turkey had yet to still figure out what was going on......not wanting to keep forcing the issue and pushing the young kid to a point where it was not enjoyable for him I told him to go ahead and do what he needed to feel better.....which was an instant big suck of air through his nose from the crying and where he slide down to the ground between my legs so far he literally was laying on the ground between my legs, he raised up to rest on my belly and that was enough of that and the birds flew off to the other ridge.......all of this took place between 5:50am all the way 7:10am which was quite a spell of time to expect a 7y old to hold it all together......and was super proud that he did that long.......I was so mad at myself for walking in too far and getting too close but that's hunting....prolly the maddest at myself I have been all year....when we got to the truck the 14yr old said "my goodness dad, you walked 90mph off that ridge...lol.

    so Sunday being the last day we tried again......oldest asked where we and what we are going to do for the last day hunt and I said well lets go back to that ridge we just hunted....he said dad we spooked the birds and should give em a few days....I said son we cant give em a few days, today is the last day and they yet to have heard us call to them all year....so we settled on getting back on those birds....it poured the rain around this area on Saturday evening and the woods were just absolutely soaked and the birds never said a word.....we were heading to another area that we haven't been to since the opening day of the OH youth season and as we were traveling we came upon 3toms with two hens in a cow field....problem was...we weren't allowed to be there......which was a good thing because that enabled me an opportunity to explain to the youngest boy a prime example of permission to hunt and no permission to hunt......but we did have permission to an adjacent piece but entailed I mean one helluva walk to get to the birds......and the boys were willing to make the hike....I got the birds interested and they started our way....but still had two more ridges to go to get where we needed to be......we made it there......called.....bird screamed 100yrds out.......we get setup....just soaked to the bone from sweat......started working the birds....and none were responding.....I just knew in my head the birds were on their way in....I kept whispering to the shaking 7y old between my legs that at any moment a red head is going to appear......after 20mins of nothing I began another series of calls and the bird gobbled but to our disappointment ; the hens took them back 100yrds during that silent spell back to the field of no hunting....the 7yr old heard the gobble too and whispered in a tone of voice I cannot describe the frustration in it when he said dad they went the other way and they're not coming ours!!! lol....which is how we ended our season.......Now, before we are stamped with failure those last two days, in my opinion was MORE valuable than the 7yr old killing his second bird of the year. For starters, it quickly reminded the 7y old that not EVERY TIME dad takes him hunting do we harvest game. This is a young kid who last fall on his second bow hunting outing harvested a 135'' drop tine buck with a xbow, then in his first ever turkey hunting season harvests a double bearded turkey with 10'' and 9 3/4'' beards. He got to experience written permission and no trespassing scenarios, the long walks, the boogered setups, alarm putting and everything that unfolded in front of his eyes......In my opinion he learned more the last two days of season not killing a bird then had we had a textbook hunt unfold for him yet again. Great memories and learning experience for all of us!! and most importantly a father and two spending the sunrise together in the woods.

    Season Recap: I was fortunate enough to be able to say we harvested 10 toms this spring and I cannot even begin to add all the gobblers that were called in and not killed between KY and OH turkey seasons. The spring of 2018 will forever be the spring of a lifetime. I witnessed my oldest son harvesting his first out of state bird during the KY youth hunt. He quickly followed that up with killing another KY bird on opening day tagging him out in KY. He follows that up with a 23lb OH youth season turkey bird and then caps off the first week of the OH season by calling in and killing his first ever solo bird!!! Tagging him out in two states! What a year that young man experienced.
    Then his little 7y old brother got to harvest his first ever bird (brother watching) on a double bearded bird!
    Two close friends harvesting their birds in front of us one being a first ever kill and one killing his first ever double bearded bird. Folks I am 37yrs old and my 28th turkey season in a row and this year was the first time I ever called in and seen killed a double bearded turkey and not only happened once but TWICE and the second one being my youngest sons first ever bird.

    Hate to see the season come to an end but its been one heckuva of a ride and I appreciate those that have been following along and talking with us about it. Thank you to the state of KY for enabling us to bring the children to hunt and experience the mountains. Congrats to all of you that chased the wild turkey this spring and had some success. It truly has been a great time and counting the days down to when we can do it again.
    YELP YELP YELP CUT CUT CUT GOOOOOBLEEEE!!!! Stay Safe!!!
     
    mudhole crossing likes this.
  2. trapper perry

    trapper perry 12 pointer

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    877
    May 10, 2009
    Sounds like a great hunt.As a dad and a grandfather I know we try to get them a bird every time we take them out.Sometimes it just don't happen but hey that's hunting.Good for them builds character and makes them appreciate the successful hunts.
     
    Jay Blankenship likes this.
  3. mudhole crossing

    mudhole crossing 12 pointer

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    Aug 20, 2007
    East ky
    It's tough on younguns. I can vouch for that. Good story!
     
  4. mudhole crossing

    mudhole crossing 12 pointer

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    6,026
    Aug 20, 2007
    East ky
    My son got a taste of defeat this yr as well after harvesting his First Last yr. but towards the end of season he was getting more mobile. Next year no blind for us either. He will be 10 yrs old, and more stronger. It's hard on them lil fellers but teach them young that everything is not always a click of a button. I taught myself to turkey hunt from mistakes and getting lucky a few times. They need to learn life is not always handed to them. Sometimes u got to keep working at the goal. Your son may have not tagged out but yrs down the rd he will hopefully be posting a similar story on this same forum God willing. Congrats on a great season friend!
     
  5. Jay Blankenship

    Jay Blankenship 6 pointer

    352
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    Mar 22, 2018
    OH
    thanks mud! it sure has been fun......I wish you and the boy of yours nothing but the best.......we will stay in touch with one another throughout the off-season!!!
     
    mudhole crossing likes this.
  6. Drahts

    Drahts 12 pointer

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    4,638
    Apr 7, 2015
    KY
    Jay congrats on a great season for you, your sons and your friends. I get way more appreciation calling birds in for others, or helping them with their woodsmanship to take their bird. Love pictures of kids with a gobbler or a deer, just gives me the hope that they'll continue the tradition and pass it on too! Congrats!
     
    mudhole crossing likes this.
  7. NEVENUFFHP

    NEVENUFFHP 6 pointer

    137
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    Aug 9, 2002
    .Cecilia ky
  8. dirtstalker

    dirtstalker 12 pointer

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    Nov 20, 2009
    Clay County
    Ive enjoyed your stories of the season. Sounds like the young boy learned some great lessons that he will keep for a lifetime. Congrats to you and yours on a fantastic season.
     
    mudhole crossing likes this.
  9. Jay Blankenship

    Jay Blankenship 6 pointer

    352
    194
    Mar 22, 2018
    OH
    Thanks!!! we did post some pics of the season in the 2018 photos and through the OH update threads....I think I even put the littlest boys buck he harvested last fall too.....I concur with the statement of getting more satisfaction out of calling the birds and mentoring the kids with their woodsman ship skills.......the worst part of the turkey hunt for me is killing the bird (could not even imagine stating that 15yrs ago lol) but I look at now as its better if we kill the bird and not some yoder, bobcat or any other egg sucker......plus it is the big reward for the kids....but I ensure they are also taught how majestic the bird they are trying to harvest is......and how to have much respect for the game we are chasing.....every time we are in the woods I always try to relate a scenario that could unfold on a completely different hunt, rather it be squirrels, deer, turkey or whatever it may be......where to look for the mushrooms and why....even if we have no intentions of deer hunting an area we are turkey hunting in, me and the boys always seem to talk about if we were going to bow hunt it what would be the best setups and why...I always let the children have input into the conversation.......and it seems to work quite well......the 14yr old makes some awfully good decisions and setups during our mock hunting scenarios while the 7yr old has quite a vivid imagination.....lol cracks me up sometimes with what he comes up with....I think he's fascination of the show "Mountain Monsters'' plays heavily into his hunting mind....lol...nuttin better than chasing bigfoot :) :) :)
     
  10. Jay Blankenship

    Jay Blankenship 6 pointer

    352
    194
    Mar 22, 2018
    OH
    Thanks dirt!! It has been quite a season.......I am glad you have enjoyed the stories and because I have really enjoyed sharing them with you guys......It means a lot to me and also the boys who jump on the forum to read what we have been talking about it........this is a wonderful forum that added in another aspect to our adventures that we haven't had in the past........It sure has been fun and hope to stay in contact even though the bird seasons are over.
     
  11. dirtstalker

    dirtstalker 12 pointer

    2,657
    3,904
    Nov 20, 2009
    Clay County
    We are herr most of the year..just picks up more during the hunting seasons lol
     

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