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TrevorByrd

Turkeys, Walleyes, Morels, and Nostalgia

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I took off from work April 21st-29th with the hope to fill my freezer with turkey, walleye, and morels. 

April 21st- The turkeys evaded me but I had my best day walleye fishing on Stockton I've ever had. See the link for the report. 

 

April 22nd-23rd- I had a great time turkey hunting getting on several birds but nothing wanted to cooperate. The 23rd I slayed the walleye 2 hours before sunset. No monsters but I filled my livewell with a limit in 30 minutes or so 

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April 24th- At 5:00  I wake from the back of my pickup. I have a platform under a camper shell that serves as my hunting and fishing mobile. My propane coffee maker hisses as I put on my hunting gear, eventually providing me with a type of coffee I refer to as "black death." I drive my boat to the ramp just as the first rays are sailing over the horizon. While launching my boat, turkeys are already gobbling from across the lake. I launch my boat and head over to the direction I heard them. I stop in a familiar cove I fish for walleye and let out an owl hoot. The turkey gobbles so close I'm sure he could see me. I quietly idle my boat into the deepest pocket of the cove and find a spot to access the bank. I grab my old Winchester 1300 and splash onto the wet gravel. I'm not familiar with the area ,so I whip out my cell phone to check the Corps boundaries as well as the a topo map to get an idea of the relief of the terrain. The terrain is steep and I have to climb some serious hills before I can get to the hammering tom. I set off as the woods start to come to life, a different bird joins in the morning song every minute or so. I approach the gobbling tom and set out my decoys about 100 yards away from his roost tree, and let out a few soft yelps. A few crows start pestering him and he lets out a loud commanding gobble I could feel in my chest. I look at my watch and know its about fly-down time. I hear his wings beat and glide in the opposing direction. He gobbles as soon as his feet touch down to let the hens know where he is. I stay where I am hoping he will come my way but his senses are leading him elsewhere. I pick up my decoys and try to  head him off on top of a peninsula that juts out into the lake. I set up again and instead of coming on top of the peninsula he skirts the lake bank gobbling the whole time.  As he passes my location I pick up and try to head him off on the very end of the peninsula keeping about 50 yards from the bank on each side of me. I wait there making soft yelps every 5 to 10 minutes. I wait for 25 minutes as he goes silent. As I am about to get up, he lets out a gobble directly behind me just under the rise of the steep embankment. I slowly turnaround and wait. A white and blue head just peaks over the the top and I line the bead up with his head. He makes it a few more steps closer as I can just see the base of his beard. I pull the trigger and the bird falls to the leaves. It took 2 hours of cat and mouse before I finally got him. He had a 9" beard and 1" spurs, not my biggest by any means but definitely one of my best hunts. It's been 2 years since I harvest my last turkey and I had almost forgotten how good wild turkey is. I took him back to my campsite and made some turkey schnitzel. I now believe there is no better breakfast. I headed home after my hunt to drop off the pounds of turkey and walleye and restock on some supplies. 

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April 25th- Rain, Rain, Rain

April 26th- I chased turkeys until 1pm then headed back to the boat. I decided I wanted to look for mushrooms and scout some areas for the upcoming deer season. I put on 14 horizontal miles with only 1 morel to show for it but I did find and awesome piece of nostalgia. While walking the Corps land I found an abandoned shack. There was still calenders hanging on the wall from the 1970's as well as an old rusted out wood stove. There was also what looked like a tacklebox on the floor. Upon further inspection there was 4 old lures in the box. Those lures are now hanging with my collection on my lamp I made. 

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