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California Turkeys “YOUR ADVENTURES” w/ Joe Slaton

JoeinCali3Today I filled my last tag of the California 2013 spring turkey season. It was a great hunt. It was my first solo morning hunt this year. I heard several gobblers off in the distance when the sky got blue and then heard the one I was after. He wasn’t roosted in the same place as last week but he was close. I almost got up from my set up and went his direction but decided not to and to just sit tight. I was only 200 yards away and could hear several hens with him. I didn’t want to bump him so I decided to stay and try to call him to me.

JoeinCali2After flydown I could hear a hen every once in awhile but they weren’t going crazy. He only gobbled 3 times from the roost and ground total. But I could hear him spitting and drumming. Finally I saw a turkey moving thru the trees at 100 yards, then another and another etc… There were 4 hens before I saw the full tailfan. At about 75 yards he saw my decoy. I was set in an open field edge near where he had roosted the last time I was there. The hens got closer but at about 6 yards they started moving to the right. He was following them. I waited until he wasn’t looking at me and yelped a little and he stood up and went back into strut towards my decoy.

JoeinCali1Then he started coming my way. Away from the hens. He got to a spot and I thought he was in range. He strutted around and then put his head down to peck at the ground. I called when his head went down so that he couldn’t peg me against the tree. He popped up and went back into strut. Taking a few more steps towards me. Then he looked at his hens who were getting further away and he turned towards them like he was going to follow them. I was all cockeyed trying to get my gun on him and finally was able to look with both eyes and could see he was in range. He turned sideways and I putted. He went into 3/4 strut and I pulled the trigger. He shouldn’t have done that. At 38 steps the Hevi 13 #7’s took him out without a fight. Now it’s time to take my camera until I leave for Arizona to kill another Merriam. This was a great hunt and my California season ended with a great gobbler: 21.8lbs, 11″ beard, 1 1/4″ spurs.

Joe Slaton, Owner of Mother Lode Turkey Calls


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