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Turkey Hunting

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  • Turkey Hunting

    So Saturday am I set up on a field edge…. Odd morning for sure. Shortly after setup I was confused by the sounds behind me. Low light still pre-tsun up, I see a partial black form in the brush 15 yards behind me… BEAR.

    Nope. Cow. As daybreak moved in I see a second smaller black form laying past the next tree. Momma Cow still in the brush behind me. No particular sounds, I do a few clucks here and there. A Turkey left the roost pretty close but nothing, no notes, no gobbles. I am normally impatient and move to the sounds… but as there are none, I don’t have much better to do than sit.

    I am on the field edge and have a dividing treeline over my left shoulder and another field behind that. Both corners often hold birds. The cow is moving around a bit, still has no idea I am there. She has moved out of the brush and is slowly feeding towards the field. The calf gets up and wobbles towards momma. She heads into the field and feeds directly towards me. Still unaware. The calf is really stuck at a log, unsure what to do. At exactly 7:00am I see two HUGE coyotes coming down the far edge of the field. They are following the perimeter about 200 yards out. They stop and two more come down the hill behind them. They seem to change direction and head into the woods possibly heading this way. Momma cow sees me at about 6 yards. She seems confused but not alarmed and heads back into the woods and gets the calf over the blow down. They both head up the hill to the herd.

    I figure possible birth mess and a turkey could be tempting to the coyotes and cluck and purr and yelp. I got my second shell out of my pocket and remain in the brush ready for some visitors. I gave it an hour and nothing… no turkey sounds, either.

    I decide to leave and stand up and turn to go look in the adjacent field corner… three steps and busted by two gobblers at 60-70 yards. Dang.

    I walked the field edge and called a bit. Jump four deer form a little tree line and then found the calf skeleton the coyotes had been on in the field

    I headed back Sunday, full turkey gear plus a rifle in tow. I set up on the treeline dividing the two fields. I turn the rifle scope to 9 and lean it against a tree. I am 40-50 yards further from the coyote spot and prime to catch a gobbler entering either field. Some definite coyote noises and yips at dawn and one very very distant, off property gobbler at dawn.

    Nothing. I am content to sit. I have never scored a gobbler in the field to my right but have seen them and found them unresponsive to calls there later in the morning, numerous times.

    At 7:20 3 soft clucks or putts 60 ish yard to my left possibly still in the tree. At 7:40 a lone hen in the field 100 yards to my right. At 7:50 I catch glimpse- of something coming down the far treeline to my left (same place the coyotes came from yesterday.) It appeared to be carrying something.

    I grab the rifle and rush/ sneak out of the gully I am in as I cannot see the bottom of the field. I am standing in the corner, waiting for whatever was coming down the hill to clear an island of trees. I am doing a mental double take, was it a deer? Did I take too long to get out? I have my arm wrapped in the sling military style and am standing offhand… I put the rifle down at least twice, in what seemed quite long… Finally, unmistakably, a coyote carrying something comes into view at a full trot. I put it in the scope, and having previously planned my sight hold, I leveled off and squeezed. It crashed down in its tracks and rolled over the edge out sight for all but one leg kicking in the air. I chambered another round and waited. Some squealing followed and the only thing sweeter would have been a two-fer. But nothing appeared.

    I crossed the field slowly, stopping at the first break in terrain and sitting for a minute in case another came. I am going to borrow a range finder and check it someday. But 200-220 seem about right… hands down the best shot I think I’ve ever made.

    By the way it had a calf’s leg in it's mouth.

    I don’t know how many mornings those 4 would cross there together (or singularly,) or how many mornings I have the time to sit there but I have a real disdain for the varmints and hope to give it another go or two. I told the farmer about the calf yesterday and showed them the coyote today. My permission for access has elevated from “cross their fields to hunt a neighbor’s property” To come hunt coyotes anytime.
    Unfortunately I have to be at work for the foreseeable future.

    I also found a small 8 point shed antler.
    46 pound female
    ULA Model 20 in 250-3000 Ackley Improved.