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So I took 2 weeks off from work to turkey hunt in my home state of West Virginia. Granted, I did hunt a great deal of those 2 weeks, but just being off work was nice also. During those 2 weeks I managed to get out for 9 mornings. In those 9 hunts, I only had 1 chance at a bird when a buddy from work and I were working 2 on the end of a ridge and out of nowhere a silent gobbler runs up the opposite ridge, disappears for about 10 seconds and popped his noggin up in the completely wrong spot at a total distance of 12yds. Well, with my 870 20g, TSS, and the Indian Creek 555 choke tube, 12 yds is entirely TOO CLOSE. You see where this is going dont you? I missed unfortunately. I was completely disheartened and I let not only myself down, but also my hunting partner too. A few days after that, the weather warmed up, like summer type of warm, and I assumed it would fire the birds up. Boy was I wrong. The next 5 hunts yielded either lackluster gobbling activity or none at all. I wont lie, I got down on myself and became a little frustrated and disgruntled.

Vacation was over and I had to go back to work. So looking at the forecast, I decided this morning would be a great morning to try and hunt a few hours before work. My dad and I had some intel from a guy who works for the farmer we hunt near and he said he had been hearing some good gobbling on the farm we had access to. So daylight found me in the field waiting for a gobbler to hopefully sound off so I could put a plan together. At 5:56am I heard a gobbler across the creek almost at the property line. So, with no other birds gobbling, I took off after him. I tried to cover as much ground as quickly and quietly as I could. When I had crossed the creek and made it up the other side to where I thought I would be about level with the gobbler, I picked a setup tree and settled in. I thought I was about 100yds from where I last heard him. I readied myself and made a call that went unanswered. I wait, and wait, then call again. This time he answers back. "Ok, Good" I thought. I waited about a minute, and gave a few excited clucks followed by a few raspy yelps and he cut me off with a gobble. About 10 seconds later, I could hear drumming, so I set my pot and striker down beside me and readied my gun, still not entirely sure where he would pop up at. Wherever he would show up at, he was going to be in shotgun range due to the terrain and what I hoped would be a well thought out set up. About 10 seconds later, he gobbled again, and I caught movement along with more drumming. He was strutting and I noticed his tail fan coming around a large rock on the flat we were both on. I eased the safety off, and waited for him to come around the rock. He broke strut and took a few steps, and when he periscoped his head up to search for that hot hen, I dropped the hammer on him and the 1 and 5/8oz load of Federal HVWT #5s flattened him. 6:37am it all finally came together for me in a textbook hunt.

I was suprised when I got to him to find he had what I consider to be a really good set of spurs on him. When I got home I measured them at 1 and 3/8ths and his beard was 10 and 1/4 to the longest strand. I didnt weigh him but he was heavy bird, and Im guessing somewhere close to 20 or 21 pounds. I stepped the shot off at 36 of my steps (6ft 5in with a long stride length) so id assume he was close to 38 but not over 40yds. After a day like today, my faith in turkey hunting is restored and I can get on with the rest of my life until next spring. I have another tag but if I dont fill it, then its no big deal. There's just something about turkeys for me thats so challenging. Its something thats never been easy for me, and it seems like all of them are a challenge, but every one of them is a trophy I cherish above anything else Ive ever hunted. In the end, all the early mornings, lack of sleep, miles covered, and even the blown chances, somehow it all seems worth it after a morning like today.

[Linked Image from i.vgy.me]

[Linked Image from i.vgy.me]

[Linked Image from i.vgy.me]

[Linked Image from i.vgy.me]

[Linked Image from i.vgy.me]

Last edited by 84Mtn_EER; 05/03/22.
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Great story and great bird! Congrats!!!

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Way to go. Good story.

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Very, very, very nice bird, congrats! Great pics, too.

Quote
...at a total distance of 12yds. Well, with my 870 20g, TSS, and the Indian Creek 555 choke tube, 12 yds is entirely TOO CLOSE. You see where is going dont you? I missed unfortunately. I was completely disheartened and I let not only myself down...


I feel your pain.

I've been using Hanks calls too. Very well made and sound great. I've had one or two with me all four of my hunts this year, along with one of their Dymondwood strikers.

What's the gun and the scope set up?

Last edited by 10Glocks; 05/03/22.
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Nice bird and great pictures, congrats


I may not be smart but I can lift heavy objects

I have a shotgun so I have no need for a 30-06.....
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Good work. The ones you earn are so much more satisfying than the easy hunts or - dare I say - people that “deer hunt” them. Congrats

And we’ve all missed our share of gobblers. Any hunter who says they haven’t hasn’t hunted much

Last edited by ShortMagFan; 05/03/22.
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Good bird, great writeup. Thanks for sharing!


"Rhetoric is no substitute for reality." -Thomas Sowell
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Originally Posted by 10Glocks
Very, very, very nice bird, congrats! Great pics, too.

Quote
...at a total distance of 12yds. Well, with my 870 20g, TSS, and the Indian Creek 555 choke tube, 12 yds is entirely TOO CLOSE. You see where is going dont you? I missed unfortunately. I was completely disheartened and I let not only myself down...


I feel your pain.

I've been using Hanks calls too. Very well made and sound great. I've had one or two with me all four of my hunts this year, along with one of their Dymondwood strikers.

What's the gun and the scope set up?


I love Hanks and Halloran both. Im a pot call kind of guy anyways, I rarely use a mouth call or a box call.

The gun is a Baikal IZH 94 combination gun that is a 12 ga top barrel, and a 223 rem bottom barrel. Its legal to use rifles here in WV, and I bought this gun about 7 yrs ago as my answer to a hung up bird. I keep the 223 loaded down to 22 hornet or 222 velocities. Its nice to have it as an option when a turkey wont come closer than 55yds, or when a coyote shows up. I have used the shotgun barrel more than the rifle barrel, but I have killed about 4 birds with the rifle barrel. All of the rifle kills were birds that were still called in and everyone of them was less than 60 yds. I did kill a fall jake once that was around 200yds but that was an opportunity kill and less of a hunt.

The shotgun isnt choked overly tight and I will not waste my money on TSS for a 12ga. So, I shoot lots of 2.75in turkey magnums and some 3in mags if it patterns to 35 /40 yds, The current choke is a COMP - N - CHOKE that loves #5s. I have some old ACTIV 2.75 magnums that are loaded with nickel plated 5s that it really likes, as well as some of the old olive hull Remington Premier Mags also in #5. I found a box of Federal 15cc/g HvWt that came out before TSS was being loaded and they patterned decent, so I decided to try them on a bird this spring. I only had a box of 5, patterned 1, and killed this bird with with 1 so Im down to 3 and Federal no longer loads the 15cc/g. I also have this weird thing where I save all my hulls that I killed birds with and put them on a shelf, and I like to try to use different brands of shells.

The scope is an old Nikon ProStaff Shotgun/Muzz scope. Its a 2-7x32 i think. Its nice and clear and holds up to the recoil of the shotgun. The gun itself is actually blue/walnut however, I always toyed with the idea of painting it but I was afraid to due to ruining the value of it. I looked into those vinyl skins and found a website called GunSkins.com. I put those on this gun and I can take it off without a residue anytime I decide to do so.

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Thanks for the response. Very cool story and gun. Congrats, again.

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Great story!
Congrats!
....and that is an amazing set of "hooks"!

Last edited by martinstrummer; 05/03/22.
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Great bird, congrats

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Great story and congrats.

I use Activ myself with my 20 gauge…..

Very nice looking field.

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Damn nice bird. 👊🏻


Ping pong balls for the win.
Once you've wrestled everything else in life is easy. Dan Gable

I have very poor “hunting skills”, I just happen to get “lucky” a lot………..
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Way to go, they mean more when you have to really work for them.


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It's not illegal, yet.
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Congrats, thats the way to stick with it. Nice Bird. It does suck when you miss one doesn't it. I had one opportunity this season. a swing and a miss. Its amazing how a bird so big can move so fast when they want to.

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Originally Posted by jc189
Congrats, thats the way to stick with it. Nice Bird. It does suck when you miss one doesn't it. I had one opportunity this season. a swing and a miss. Its amazing how a bird so big can move so fast when they want to.



Ain't that the truth. I hate it when you work so hard for just the opportunity to pull the trigger only to blow it. In those situations you basically get to do everything but carry em out of the woods. Sorry you missed yours, but hopefully you'll have another chance.

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A+ for sticktoitiveness.

This photo is calendar worthy. Well done.
[Linked Image from i.vgy.me]


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Originally Posted by SKane

A+ for sticktoitiveness.

This photo is calendar worthy. Well done.
[Linked Image from i.vgy.me]


What a shot !!!!! Totally needs to be entered in some contest !!!

Great story and a great ending with a SOLID bird !!! CONGRATS !!!!!!

What vicinity of S.E. West Virginia ?? Used to do a TON of hunting in Greenbier County.
Love that Comp-N-Choke tube, too !!! Chuck's XXX-Full tubes are just pure BAD with the right shell !!!


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There's a nice looking Baikal IZH 94 combination gun that is a 12 ga top barrel, and 223 rem bottom, for sale on Gunbroker. High bid last time I looked was $250. Its an interesting gun. I think I'll put in some bids. What choke system does it use?

Last edited by 10Glocks; 05/14/22.
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Originally Posted by 10Glocks
There's a nice looking Baikal IZH 94 combination gun that is a 12 ga top barrel, and 223 rem bottom, for sale on Gunbroker. High bid last time I looked was $250. Its an interesting gun. I think I'll put in some bids. What choke system does it use?

It uses the Tru Choke thread system. It's a thin wall choke tube. Carlson, Tru Lock, COMP n Choke, and Colonial chokes all make tubes with that thread pattern. I believe that pattern master and also Rhino make tubes to fit.

Listen, Do yourself a favor and try to win that gun, you'll love it and find lots of uses for it.

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