Chief, The Turkey survey went well. I met several great sportsmen & learned alot about the area & the birds. John Millican, the WM for the area was very helpful & shared his knowledge of the Gould's & it's history here in Arizona. Believe it or not, I was the only tag holder who attended the survey weekend. I guess the others already had it figured out. I have a pretty good idea where I'm going to start. I have the second hunt, which starts May 4th & runs thru May 24th. I plan on heading down the afternoon before my hunt to try & roost a bird that I can start on opening morning. I'll be hunting opening day & then back to Tucson for the 5th - 6th for Bridge Over camp out w/ my sons Cub Scout Pack & then back down from Mon. May 7th - Sun. May 13th. I hope to "Get 'er Done" by then, but if not, I will figure some way to ditch work or what ever I have to do. I really want to make good on this tag & I'm committed to doing it w/ bow & arrow. I will let everyone know how I do. I have already had to over come a few obsticles. Sun. afternoon while shooting my bow, a piece broke. Hoyt didn't have the parts, so my friend at the machine shop machined new pieces for me & my brother Dave repaired my bow (all done in 3 days time and I'm back to shooting). Thank God for good friends & a great brother. My truck also started over heating yesterday. I assessed the problem and found it to be a bad thermostat, which I changed by drop light last night after my son's 4th grade musical at school. The bow & the truck are fine now & I'm headed out to shoot right now. Nothing like a little stress right before the hunt, but if I liked things easy, I sure would not have taken up bow hunting or fatherhood.
I hope you cash out early also, however, if'n you need to go back out after the 12th and want some company let me know. I can pull the trailer over to Parker and you can bunk there, I'm not a bad cook. John and I go back many many years and yes he is a great WM, a credit to the profession and to Arizona. Make sure you take your camera. Without getting to specific did you get into the area we fenced off, needed 4 wheel drive to get into it.
Some people call me lucky, I prefer to call it blessed. First I was blessed with a Gould's Turkey tag. Then 10 days before my hunt my bow blew up, sending pieces flying, Hoyt didn't have the parts. Thats when my next set of blessing came in the form of a great friend Gary Palese (owner of Proto Tech Machine Shop here in Tucson). Gary machined the new parts for me in one day, Then my brother Dave Sipe put my bow back together & got it tuned the next day. Dave even came to my house to pick up the parts before repairing my bow, because I was busy fixing my truck, which had the thermostat go bad. To say I was a little stressed would be an understatement. 8 days before my hunt & I have a broken bow & truck! Thank God for good friends & an awesome brother! The next day everything was repaired & I was busy re-sighting in my bow. A couple of days after work shooting and the bow is all sighted in and shooting good.
Well, the long awaited hunt finally arrives and I head on down to 35A to set up camp the afternoon before the hunt. While I'm setting up my tent, I can here a few Gobblers sounding off, this is a good sign. I awake early opening morning & head to my blind, I can hear the Gobblers sounding off like crazy, but they head the opposite direction. I decide to leave the blind & pursue them on foot. I can see a large flock of Turkeys across the valley from my position, but they are on private property. I parrallel them up the valley and set up to call. There are 5 big Toms, but 2 of them will not leave the hens. Finally I'm able to entice one Tom across the valley to National Forrest land, But he comes to 35 yards & hangs up in the thick brush allowwing me no shot.
I continue parralleling them & was able to call a Jake into 15 yards, but passed on him. I saw some really nice Gobblers throughout the day, but was unable to bring them in for a shot. So ends day one & I head back to town for my son's Cub Scout Bridge Over ceremony & camp out at Catalina State Park on Saturday & Sunday. The Bridge Over went very well and I returned home to re-pack to head down & resume my hunt.
Sunday afternoon finds me re-setting up camp Southeast of Parker canyon Lake. I then head out to try and locate some birds. I tried until about 9:00 PM to locate some birds without a response, so I hit the sack to try again Monday morning.
Monday morning I am able to hear a Gobbler sounding off before daylight from his roost. I try to close the gap & get into posotion to set up and call after he flys down. I'm getting close, but I haven't heard him gobble for a while, so I hit my locater call & heard him gobble about 100 yards away. Sounds good right? except in the tree just across the creek bottom is a whole flock of birds which already heard & saw me & they start clucking like mad and the gig is up. All the birds bail and won't say a word. I decide to hike out of there and try another spot that I had checked out during the Turkey survey with the game & Fish Dept. 3 weeks earlier. I hiked back to my truck & drove over to the other area & parked way up on the ridge, so I could hike down to the spring. While I'm hiking down, I can hear a Tom going nuts in the canyon bottom, it's about 8:00 AM. I continue down & get my decoys set up. The Tom is sounding off about every 2 to 3 minutes. I get hidden and start to call, only to hear the Tom heading away down the canyon from me. At this point I'm sure I'm the worst Turkey caller & hunter on the planet. I pick up all my gear and head down the canyon in his direction. I stop after about 1?8 of a mile because the Oak leaves are just way to noisey and I figure I'm only going to bugger them worse. I set down by a big old Oak beside the spring to think about what I was going to do next. I kept wanting to get up and move, but something just kept telling me to stay put. I set there maybe 10 or 15 minutes, when I heard leaves rustling. I looked up to see 8 hens feeding down off the finger to my left into the creek bottom. I continued watching them while I nocked an arrow and started range finding. All of a sudden I caught a movement out of the corner of my left eye, it was the Tom going into full strut on the bank with me, about 35 yards away. I watched as he got closer and then noticed a Jake even closer to me to the Tom's left. The Jake was trying to get around the Tom to get to his hens and the Tom wasn't having it. They kept coming my way and I was waiting till their heads went behind two different trees, when they did I drew my bow. The Jake caught my movement and looked around the tree as of to say "What the heck was that?" The Jake was at 15 yards. The Tom must have thought that I was another Turkey, because he went int full strut and stepped out as if to say "You want a piece of me?" The Tom was at 20 yards I was already at full draw, so I just settled the 20 yard pin right at his wing base and released. The arrow struck him right where I aimed and the Gobbler dropped in his tracks. I'm not sure who was happier, me or the Jake. That Jake gathered up the 8 hens and high tailed it out of there.
My brother Dave will be posting a picture for me.
I couldn't believe how fast it came together. The Lord humbled me and then when I was finally humbled & still, the Lord blessed me richly.
you know you should get in touch with some NWTF members down there and see if they can send the story to Nat'l and get it in the Caller for you its an awesome one. if you cant let me know and i'll do it lol since i am a member and co-chair of a chapter.
ThomC, I will take your word about Mark. If he's half the gentleman and hunter his brother is, he's a Jim-Dandy.
I have to tip my hat to anyone who takes a turkey with a bow. Heck, I can't even get to full draw on 195" mulie buck at 18 yards. I must have noisy shoulder joints or something? Dave says it's my Whisper-Brisket rest - and the fact I hunt downwind. :wink:
Thanks so much for the kind words. The hunt went so fast. I'm looking forward to spending more time down there in the future. I would love to get some live photos & video of the Gould's. I'm looking forward to the next survey, great people & beautiful country & an awesome bird.
Even though I already tagged out, I still want to meet Chief. Chief, please drop me a line when you get back. I noticed from the other threads, that you are into predator hunting. My next big goal involves cats (Mt. Lions & Bobcats) w/ my bow & mouth calls only. I've yet to get a shot at a Bobcat. I hope to be doing alot of predator hunting after August.
WOW, I'm happy for ya Mark, just sorry I wasn't there when it happened. By the way you were in some great cat country also. Have taken more than one bobcat out of there and have seen a lion or two also. I'll get a PM off to ya sometime today or maybe tomorrow, with today being Mother's Day I'm sure our kids will be over.
Again congratulations on a great story and a great bird.
Thanks alot! I did see one set of Lion tracks & one set of Bobcat tracks while on the Turkey survey last month. I have actually called in Lions on 2 different occasions, but haven't been able to call any Bobcats(except for the first time I ever blew on a Circe call when I was 15). Hey, I don't know if the PM thing is working for us, I haven't received any PM's. I'll try and check my personal information, maybe there is a problem.
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