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Joined: Jun 2015
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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Well, it's almost here, 60 days out for Ohio, and about 50 day for Kentucky turkey season. I can remember my first turkey taken with a Browning sxs, 2 3/4 inch gun. Who would of thought the spring of 1970 would become a passion. I have only missed 1 season due to a deployment. I am slowing down, finding myself only hunting 3 states, verse my normal 5 states treks.

What was everyone's first turkey, and gun used?
Gobble, gobble!!

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Not dead sure of the date but it was the second year they opened a turkey season in Manitoba. I think 1995. Absolute rank amateurs, my brother and I. No history of turkey hunting in the area, no one to talk about it with and pre-internet. But we both got birds on opening day and have been hooked since. That was before I got into doubles so I used my Rem 870 Wingmaster.

Subsequent birds have been taken with a 12 ga Browning Double Auto, a 12 ga Fox A grade, a Fox SW 16 gauge and a Pieper in 16.

I'm hoping my extra tightly choked Lindner Daly 12 gauge will be ready for this season but not holding my breath. In it's absence I will likely select the 12 ga Fox A grade. The first year I KNOW it took a turkey was 1942 by my grandfather.


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GLS Offline
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First season in my neck of the woods was spring of 1977. Third time in the woods I killed my first with an Ithaca M37 12 gauge, 2 3/4". Stan Baker choked it. "Hell, this is easy." It took another 2 years to kill another. I spent the next 4 decades learning something new every time I went. My guns over the years have been the Ithaca above, an Ithaca Mag 10, a Spanish Double 10 ga. 3.5", a 10 ga. Ithaca NID Magnum 3.5", a Mossy Ultimag, Benelli SBE, Ithaca M37 20 ga. TurkeySlayer and Mossy Super Bantam 20 ga. I currently shoot either a Yildiz single-shot .410 or Baikal MP-18 20 ga. single-shot. Spring gobbler season is The Main Event for me. Gilooble.
Photo taken in the early 80's. I'm sitting on the tailgate with my Spanish 10 double. Burke has his Ithaca Mag 10.


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It was the spring of 1998. I'd moved back to Idaho in the spring of 1997 and when I became resident eligible again, I put in for a tag, for a hunt in the far northern county in the Panhandle. I recruited my good friend, the "expert" in turkey hunting, who had managed to score one tag in previous drawings.

I managed to draw a tag, my BIL secured permission on a farm near Bonners Ferry where he lived, and my expert friend and I drove up to be in the field on opening morning.

We scouted the farm the evening before and touched bases with the farmer. There must have been 100 or more turkeys hanging out in the barnyard....I figured it would be like shooting ducks in a pond! Next morning we hiked in, in the dark and set up under a large bull pine 200-300 yards above the barnyard. Unbeknownst to us we managed to set up under a roost tree.

When it got light out, again there was 100 or more birds in the barnyard. We moved in closer, but couldn't bring in any in to the box call.

As the birds started to disperse from the barnyard, none came our way, so we headed to the other side of the property. We set up and waited and shortly a bird gobbled fairly close. My friend made some noises on the box call and soon the tom came to within about 15 yards. I was a bit out of position, and when I moved the bird took off running down a farm road, I got on it and fired with my Rem 870 12 ga just at it went over a rise in the road. I figured I'd missed it, but as I ran over the rise, there it was flopping around on the farm road. I was pumped!

Since then I've shot them maily with a double 12 or 16 ga.


Cameron Hughes
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Say I hunted n Georgia one season many years ago in the late 70s lots of birds but tuff hunting, lots of birds gobbling but pretty much went into a stealth mod. my father Sam and myself each killed a nice long beard before we headed home. I was scared to death of stepping on a damn snake. I hate snakes and I am a firm believer a good snake is a dead snake endangered or not!

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Georgia's turkey restoration took place in different regions at different times. The first opening day in my area of the State was in 1988. I bagged my 1st gobbler that year with a Remington 11-87 3" 12ga.

I'd hunted them before that in middle GA on my farm because the season came in a couple of years earlier there. The birds were scarce and we were clueless, so we'd stop and call if we saw a track, and build a blind when we found a dusting spot.

The birds in South GA had come on strong by the time our season opened and my boys and their friends learned right along with me. We began to think we were experts in those days. That's when I switched from a repeater to a single shot. The last time I had to carry 60 pounds of gobbler a mile and a half out of the swamp was the last time I used a repeater. No self control.

Well, it was almost the last time I carried a repeater. I had some serious heart surgery in '16 and that Spring my goal was to kill a turkey as part of my recovery program. I began the Spring with a .410 double and some tungston super shot 9's Gil Stacy had loaded for me. I went most of the season without luck, but the exercise built up my confidence as well as strength and probably kept me from becoming an invalid.

As the season came near to the end, I found a good bunch of birds and decided to bring my 20ga 11-87 repeater. When I set up on the spot they'd been strutting the gobbles rang out all around my blind. Of course they turned out to be jakes and all six of them came right to my call. When the smoke cleared I picked up three of them and resolved never to take another repeater turkey hunting again...Geo

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Here's a couple of gobblers I killed one at a time separately with my single shot. Both in the same morning:


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One spring weekend about 40 years ago, in Comanche County Texas with Marlin (Manufrance) 12 ga pump.
I had both kids in my lap while taking a noon break looking out over a valley when my wife called in a nice gobbler within 40 yards. When she stopped calling he lost interest and wandered away without seeing us.
The next morning I went back and shot that one, but his running buddy escaped. I put the RB to bed that evening and the next morning had to hunt hard, but eventually called him into range and shot him too.
Turkeys are plentiful in Comanche County and over the years, I have many nice meals on them. Now, I just like to watch my grandson take turkeys that I call in.

Last edited by crs; 02/19/18 12:20 PM.

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I called my first full strutting Tom to a Stevens 5100. I pulled the trigger on the full barrel and a 2 3/4 in #5. That gobbler left in a hurry and I’m sure carried a few pellets in his breast. I like my birds stone dead and so every year I resist the temptation to use the Lefever 8 or 10 and go with my purpose built Turkey gun.
I find it to be a complete addiction and really regret I didn’t give it a go sooner. ( I foolishly thought hunting was only for the fall.) My Uncle Mike tried hard.. seen here before I really got the bug.



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There were zero turkeys where I grew up. The State Game Department started releasing them late 70's or early 80's. It was exactly the same time my quail recovery efforts were hitting excellent numbers of coveys of birds on four farms. But as the turkey numbers started to increase the quail population crashed, never to recover. So now we have turkeys coming out of the wood work and less than half a dozen coveys of quail where once were 15-20.

I hate what turkey introduction has done on my farms and would gladly shoot them all if it would help the quail to recover. Right now every family member and old hunting buddy who wants a turkey knows where to go. Shoot old Jon's turkeys because he has no use for them.

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