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Deer in the Turkey Hunt
   WeHuntSC.com - My view at the first setup
  My view at the first setup

After a successful first weekend of turkey season hunting with Mr. Puette I was looking forward to, and hopeful about, the next weekend I would be able to turkey hunt.  The weather had been tricky a little lately, but it turned out to be a nice day on Saturday.  I would be venturing out with Jason Love and Mark Turner trying to track down some gobblers.  And after seeing the pic of JDHeatmag?s snake that struck at him, I went and got me some snake proof boots so I was ready to roll.

We met and headed out to the hunting land.  We got there a little later than when I had arrived the week before.  We parked near the entrance and headed out.  We walked in along some really white looking sand which made our journey in really stealth.  We were listening as we walked in hoping to hear a gobble from afar.  We made it in near to the area we would be hunting and we stopped and listened for a bit.  We gave the turkeys plenty of time to call if they were going to call.  We held up at the edge of the woods in hopes of not spooking the birds by walking in early.  The crows were calling and owls were hooting, but we hadn?t heard any turkeys.  Jason made some louder calls with his crow call and still nothing responded.  The initial thought was that the turkeys were deeper in the woods.

We walked further into the woods and set up.  Mark put two hen decoys out while Jason put a short blind around the area where I would be sitting.  We all sat at the base of 3 different pine trees.  Jason was to my right and Mark was to my left.  Mark had a better angle on the decoys and better vision.  Both Jason and Mark brought their guns just in case the turkeys came from either direction, but Mark was the ?shooter? as he was kind of out on a point overlooking the cleared out area of the woods.

WeHuntSC.com - Mark Turner scanning for a gobbler    
Mark Turner looking ahead for a gobbler  

As we sat down we listened for a while and Jason randomly called.  We still heard no gobbles anywhere.  Even though I don?t know a lot about turkey calling, Jason?s calling was sounding really good to my ears.  Our senses were on high alert as we listened for any sound and scanned the floor of the woods looking for movement.  About 15 minutes after we had been sitting there all of a sudden a loud sound came from behind us and to the right.  The area behind us and to our right was thicker and difficult to see through, but the sound we heard was a great sound to hear!  We heard the wings of a bird flapping as the bird came out of the tree.  A turkey had flown down to the ground and he was close enough for us to hear his wings, but yet we couldn?t see him and he had never gobbled.  I say ?he? because I?m assuming/hoping it was a big ol? gobbler.  When we heard this it got us fired up, but still we couldn?t figure out why we hadn?t heard anything.  I looked at Jason?s and Mark?s faces and I could tell they were paying close attention trying to figure out what was going on.  They both knew we had a bird somewhere near us that was on the ground and that wasn?t making a sound. 

We continued to sit patiently and waited on anything to clue us into where the bird was.  He had to have heard our calling if we were able to hear his wings fly down to the ground.  After a while both Jason and Mark started calling?some overlapping each other and sometimes right after each other.  It sounded really good and sounded like multiple turkeys in the woods calling out.  They didn?t over do it, but made enough sound to entice any big boy to come on over. 

        WeHuntSC.com - Jason Love to my right calling on the slate
  J-Love to my right calling on the slate & rocking the Thermacell

A couple of minutes later we heard a stick pop really close behind us.  At first thought this was kind of a jolt that makes you cringe because you know something is there and you really can?t move to see what it was.  It didn?t take long to figure out though.  We heard a dog growling!  Two dogs had run through the woods and when they saw the decoys they started growling at them.  Jason saw them first and when we heard the growl we all turned around to see what was happening because they sounded mad and in a hurry!  When we quickly turned around and made commotion the dogs got scared and high-tailed it out of there.  And that was pretty much the gist of our hunt.  We left shortly thereafter. 

After talking about the situation we think the dogs are in that area and are bothering the birds.  This may be why the bird never gobbled? because he had been chased by a dog before!  Who knows, but it was a frustrating end to a good hunt!  I had some really good footage of the guys calling and the setup and I was just waiting on the turkey to get in the picture too, but it never happened.

We started walking back out to the trucks.  On the way out we saw some turkey tracks in that same white sand that we had walked in on earlier.  Jason even noticed a turkey track that had stepped in Mark?s boot track.  This meant that a turkey had crossed the same path that we walked in on and had done it after we went in the woods.  The turkeys were in the area?and so were two punk dogs!

Mark headed home and as Jason and I rode back we figured we give another area a shot.  We drove down the road and saw 3 different turkeys out in random fields as we drove.  The turkeys were moving and we hoped for better luck and a hunt without dogs interfering!  We arrived to a new location and walked down the edge of the woods alongside a dirt road.  There was a field up ahead to our left that where we believed some gobblers were out strutting.  So we set up in the edge of the woods hoping to call the turkeys our way instead of going out in the open and spooking them.

WeHuntSC.com - Me wearing CrossOver Camo on the 2nd Hunt

Me wearing CrossOver Camo on the 2nd Hunt

    WeHuntSC.com - The Deer didn't like the decoys
  The Deer didn't like the turkey decoys

We sat down in some white oaks that were really near a creek bed.  Jason sat to my right again and we both leaned on two oaks that were side by side.  This time we had the Jake Intimidator set up hoping to cause a reaction by showing movement simulating a tom puffing up.  We had him lying beside a hen decoy.  We sat there and Jason started calling.  We listened and listened and never heard any gobble.  We were waiting patiently to hear a turkey when out of our left we saw a flicker.  The flicker ended up being the movement of a doe just across the dirt road.  I instantly turned the camera on and moved it to film the deer.  This doe was the first of 5 deer that were heading our way.

I knew that we would have to be extremely still because the deer were coming our way.  It was nearly 9:30 in the morning and the sun was out and it was shining right in there faces.  The wind was blowing across our faces which meant the deer would have a tough time smelling us because they weren?t down-wind of us.  The bad part was that I had my arm extended all the way out to my camera and the deer weren?t in a hurry.  These deer slowly walked across the dirt road and came up the embankment where we were.  It seemed to be 3 does with 2 yearlings.  They walked closer and closer as they browsed the ground for stuff to eat.  When they got closer one of the does saw the decoys and she didn?t like it.  She started stomping the ground and got all tensed up.  If you?re a deer hunter then you?re familiar with this site.  I still couldn?t believe the deer got this close to us without detecting us yet. 

Jason and I were whispering to each other this whole time.  He said that he was going to start calling the turkey call just to see what would happen.  Surprisingly when he started calling the turkey calls it didn't instantly scare the deer off.  I think it may have calmed them some, but they were still in question of the decoys, but it seemed to relax the one just a bit.  This whole time I was getting some great footage of these deer?and my shoulder and arm were shaking and burning about kill me!

A few minutes later I think the deer knew something wasn?t right and they bounded off back across the road.  It was difficult to keep them all focused in the camera the whole time they were there.  Just looking at the video you would think it should be easy, but when you?re sitting in the woods having to look in the small screen finder that was at a terrible angle for viewing since the camera was turned hard and to the left, it kind of made it difficult.  Also, I?m normally able to smoothly move the camera head around when pivoting, but the I didn?t want any extra movement so the pivots are kind of jumpy because I didn?t want to spook the deer off.

So you?ll see more deer than turkeys in the video below, but nevertheless ? it was a good time in the outdoors and that?s what it?s all about!

 

Regards,

Clint
 

 




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