Monday, May 26, 2008

Michigan Turkey Hunt Day 4, Memorial Day

This morning I thought we were going to have to stay home. I was really windy with showers moving in. Michael stayed up too late and didn't go, so it was Mackenzie and me this morning. Our first time out with just the two of us.
We got our Micky D's breakfast and hit the highway. About 4 miles down the road it started to blow really hard and rain heavily. We also saw lightning in the distance. I gave Kevin a call to see if it was raining at his house. It was calm and wet only, so we kept on heading down. Good thing we did, it was nice this morning, but a little windy. I set up at the far end of the field we have been hunting, almost where I saw the birds on Saturday morning. We sat for 3 1/2 hours with not a sound, not a bird. Nothing. Kevin did notice that someone walked in near where I was set up, he could see the guy walking in behind the area where I was set up. Around 9am I told Mackenzie that we needed to get packed up to go, and as I did I heard a dog coming into the field. Sure enough a guy was walking two yellow labs and came right in on us in the open field. He didn't notice the decoys in the open, but he stopped his dogs when he saw my blind. I told him that we were heading out so don't bother leaving. I wouldn't have been so nice had there been a bird scared off of us!
One nice thing we saw this morning was, as we approached the last curve before the parking area, I noticed a deer on the side of the road. As we made the curve it bounded into the woods, then on the side of the road was a new born fawn all spotted up. It couldn't have been more than a couple of days old. I don't think I have ever seen a deer so small. Of course Kevin's daughter and Mackenzie at the same time said, awwwwww how cuuuute! Give me a break girls, that is dinner in a couple of years!!!!
After our hunt we did our usual drive and call at nearby fields. We saw what we thought was a turkey in one field, and upon further looking found it was a Montana Decoy Gobbler! We kept on driving, trying not to mess up the guys hunt! Luckily we had to use binoculars to see it, so hopefully we didn't mess up his set up. We drove by another field which was private, and I saw something that looked like a turkey, so we stopped. I grabbed the glasses again and sure enough it was a huge boss Tom strutting in the field. He put on a show for us for about five minutest or so. We all got turns at watching him work the ladies. Now if only I could find a way to get to that bird and stay on public land!
We have next Saturday to try and fill our tags, that is the last day of turkey season here in Michigan. I won't be able to get out this week so Saturday will be a do or die day for Kevin, Me, and the Kids!

Can't Turkey Hunt, Kids Want To Fish!

We took the day off from turkey hunting this Sunday, due to the fact that all four kids wanted to go fishing for the day. What can I say, I would rather spend time with my kids doing something they want to, instead of sitting in the field watching birds.
Don't get me wrong I love to turkey hunt, but this was the kids day and tomorrow is the Holiday so I will get to go back out in the morning.
We got everyone and everything loaded up and headed to Seven Lakes State Park for the day. We hooked Michael's boat up to take along with the canoe strapped to the top of his boat. That was quite the site, we were the fishing version of the Beverly Hillbillies! We also met a good friend of ours at the park, Chuck Parr and his family. I took the boat out with the girls and wetted a few hooks with no luck. My youngest daughter Madalyn caught the first fish of the day, then Michael and Mackenzie each caught one. Jacob and myself were the only two from our bunch who didn't catch anything.
There were a lot of people at the park fishing that afternoon, and I saw only one keeper caught the whole day. It didn't really matter because the kids along with Chuck's kids had a great time out at the park and on the water.
Our big excitement for the day was that we saw a kayaker flip over and he couldn't get his rig turned upright. He was being pulled in by his partner while he was in the water and it was cold. So Chuck and I jumped into the boat and headed out to help. He didn't want a ride but asked if we could pull in his boat. We got it flipped back over and tied a rope to it and pulled it to shore. He was pretty cold it looked like, but thankful.
To my surprise, Chuck and his family brought me a small gift for some tickets to a theme park I give him a while back. They brought me an alligator head and a book called Elmer Keith's Big Game Hunting. It looks to be a great read, and the gator head will go nicely on my office desk! Thanks Guys!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Michigan Turkey Season Day 3

Well this Saturday would be the first time my daughter Mackenzie would get to actually hunt turkeys. We bought her license and got everything laid out the night before so we could slip out the door in a timely fashion the next morning.

Michael and I introduced her to our morning hunting ritual of breakfast at Micky D's up the street. That place is going to be the death of me one day! On this morning we got up a little earlier since the sun starts rising sooner each morning. 4:15am comes early in the morning to hunt turkeys, let me tell you! We got to my buddy Kevin's house at 5:30am, he and his youngest daughter were ready to go and we headed to the woods.

After about a 10 minute trip from his house we made our way to the parking area and unloaded our gear. I got Mackenzie ready first and then loaded her gun for her and proceeded to make sure Michael was ready. I didn't have to tell him what to do, he was already and set by the time I turned to check him. We all got loaded up and started for the field. Kevin headed to the same end of the field as last weekend and I told Michael that he would sit at the point where I could see him from the pop up blind that I would set up for Mackenzie and I.

It was begining to break light pretty good by now, so I hussled and got Mikey set up and then put the pop up blind back in the same spot as last weekend. It wasn't long until we heard the gobbles of a far off Tom! Mackenzie said, "That is so cool" she was ready to blast a stinkin' bird as she calls them. I began to call, then I could hear Michael calling as well. We all had our decoys set out this morning and the day was looking perfect. We had a clear sky and warm weather with a rising moon that morning! It wasn't long before other Toms got fired up and started their morning conversation with us. We played the cat and mouse game with them, but they were not going to fall for our tricks today.

At about 7:15am I saw a bird coming from our right. It was angling towards us from across the field. As it began to cross in front of us at about 60 yards it disappeared behind a rise in the field. I thought it was going to head right for Michael. It never appeared on the other side of the hill, but all of a sudden it cackled and flew right towards us and over our blind. It was a hen. About a half hour later I saw another bird crossing the field parallel to us. It was about 75 yards away and I called softly to it. It looked at our decoy and ran right into the woods! I don't know why it did, unless it didn't like our decoy! About 10 minutes later another bird came from the same way the first one did. This one did the same thing as the first one, but it kept heading towards Michael. I told Mackenzie that the bird was going to go right to him.

We watched it walk right to the spot where he was set up. I told Mackenzie that either that bird was a hen or Michael was asleep, because it was right on top of him. He later told me it was only two or three feet away from him when he saw it. He was tucked in some heavy brush next to a tree and the bird slipped in from his right on him. The bird and Michael saw each other at the same time and it kind of scared Mike. He jumped and the bird jumped and cackled, then it flew right towards Mackenzie and I right over our blind. I almost laughed out loud!

Between seeing the first bird and the second bird, Mackenzie had a small problem. She was sitting on a three legged folding stool, and she lost her balance which took her over into the side of the blind. I tried to grab her, the gun, and the blind all at the same time. Over we went, it was quite a site I imagine. We got a good laugh out of that one. No harm no foul I guess.

We did have one incident before we left though. About 3o minutes before we were going to leave I saw a car pull into the parking area next to Kevin's truck. A guy got out dressed in jeans, white shirt and a white hat! He walked to the edge of the field we were in and stopped. He was about 40 to 50 yards in front of Michael and his decoy was in plain site! The guy then walks right across the field between Kevin's and Michael's set ups and bumbled into the woods. We never saw him again. I knew that our hunt was over at that point, so I packed up and headed over to Michael. We all got back to the parking area and never saw the guy again. We figured that he was probably a mushroomer.

He had as much right to be out there as we did, but he showed no consideration for others or his own safety by walking through our set ups. Now had he busted a bird off the field when he did this, there would have been a confrontation. All in all it was a good morning and Mackenzie and Michael had fun. That is what it is all about.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Michigan Turkey Hunt Days 1 and 2

Finally my turkey season started in Michigan. We have been anxiously awaiting the arrival since we got back from Ohio. Mikey and I started out by heading down to our deer hunting area and met our buddy Kevin and his youngest daughter at the parking area. When we arrived we got our gear together and hit the woods. We set up in the same spot that Kevin had seen a bird come off roost earlier in the week. I sat down with Michael and Kevin set with his daughter about 40 yards away from us. As the morning light began to break through the thick clouds we began to call, and call, and call. No luck, we didn't hear a peep out of anything. The wind started to pick up somewhat and a little drizzle started to fall. We didn't even see a tweety bird flutter by. The woods were dead this morning. After about an hour and a half we packed it in and headed out of the woods.
We decided we needed to drive and call, so we began to hit all the woodlots and fields nearby. We would stop and give a hardy call to the Toms with no avail. With that not working, we decided to head to another game area and see what we could find. We found a field that was state land but was allowed by local farmers to plant crops on. We made our way from the parking area to the field and got busted by a hen. She flew out of the field and we saw another bird in a nearby private field. Not only that, but we saw all kinds of sign in the field where turkeys had been. This was the spot to sit the next morning we decided.
That next morning we set up in that same field. Kevin and his older daughter set up at one end, then Mike and I set up at the other end. Just about the time we got to the spot where we wanted to be, we heard Gobble Gobble Gobble!!!! We looked at each other and we knew that we had to hurry and get set up. The birds sounded like they were down by Kevin, and we began to call. We kept hearing the Toms call back and forth but never saw them. I just knew that Kevin and his daughter saw them. After about 2 1/2 hours of sitting we packed it in and headed to the truck. When Kevin and his daughter got there he said he could see three Jakes about 20 yards away, but decided not to shoot them. We are going to head back there again this weekend and hopefully get back on those Toms. This time we are going to take Mackenzie with us.