Old circle toes

Discussion in 'Upland Game Hunting' started by Matagi, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Matagi

    Matagi Active Member

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    IMG_6769.JPG what a season... before I start with the story a little background on this gobbler. I been chasing him on and off since opening week. I was able to get his little brother earlier in the season but he's been giving me the slip day after day. I think I have hunted him a total of 10 to 12 solid days.

    This gobbler would roost in the same tree day after day and once in awhile when I thought I had him figured out, he would roost 100 yards from the trail head and make my life absolutely miserable. I named him old circle toes because he had these odd circle at the tip of his toes that made his tracks look funny with these circles.

    Every morning I would go after him, he would gobble 4 times on the roost and one or twice on the ground. One day I had him gobbling his head off with some sweet purrs and scratching the leaves but as he got in range and closing in at 70 yards, couple of hikers came walking up the trail and busted the hunt.

    This morning, before I got set up I had this feeling that he was roosted near the trail head so I parked the truck a little ways away and walked in from a different direction so that I don't walk underneath him. As the morning light rose, I heard him gobble once and heard the dreaded hen yelp and another hen yelp... great somehow he gained two hens since I last hunted him.

    Again he gobbled exactly 4 times on the roost and once he flew down, he gobbled twice and shut up. I sat and just sporadically made soft yelps instead of getting aggressive with calls. I ate some breakfast while I waited and around 10am, I figure the hens would be gone. I decided to use a tactic that has worked for me a few times. I gathered my gear, walked 100 yards to the direction where I figure he would be and gave two soft three note yelps. I imeddiatley got a gobble but I figure he would just walk the other way, I walked back 50 yards and gave couple more soft yelps.

    After the call I got another gobble but this time he closed the distance half way and I saw a glimps of a red head 60 yards away. I picked a spot to sit and gave a couple more soft yelps from my hooks mouth call and now I had him gobbling his head off.

    Not 20 min later, I see him trotting down the clearing towards me. He was looking hard for the hen making the calls and luckily I didn't have enough time to stick a decoy out because he came to about 15 yards of me. Soon as I had a clear lane to shoot, it was lights out for old circle toe.

    I'm still in amazement that this all worked out but not sure what changed his mind to actively seek me. But whatever I did it worked out great.

    Final numbers
    11 inch beard
    1.25in and 1in Spurs
    21 pounds.
     
  2. Truduct

    Truduct Well-Known Member

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    Very cool way to stay after him.
     
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  3. ilovesprig

    ilovesprig Moderator
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    Damn happy for you, Gen......I know this old guy had dodged the bullet a number of times.....He is a true beauty and what a paint brush.....Also, glad Mike Berry has him.....He'll look great in your home......:blush:
     
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  4. Matagi

    Matagi Active Member

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    Thanks Steve, he is by far the biggest and hardest hunted public bird I have ever hunted in the last 24 years. I felt I needed to preserve the memory a little better than just a tail mount. It's a bitter sweet moment though. The woods will be silent without this old monarch
     
  5. Matagi

    Matagi Active Member

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    IMG_6770.JPG Here's a better photo of his toes. Anyone ever see these circular patterns on a old bird before?
     
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  6. invisible man

    invisible man Walk The Line

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    Way to go Gen. He is a beauty. What pose will he be done in?
     
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  7. nicapopolis

    nicapopolis Active Member

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    Awesome story Gen.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Matagi

    Matagi Active Member

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    Thanks! I'm getting him mounted in a 3/4 strut gobbling position. It was his last position right before I shot him.
     
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  9. Lungpopper

    Lungpopper GLASS,GLASS,GLASS
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    Nice job Gen
     
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  10. fallguy

    fallguy Member

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    Monster tom! Big congrats!
     
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  11. Fowl Play

    Fowl Play Active Member

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    Awesome bird! Love the history behind him. That is one old monarch for sure. Way to stay after him and seal the deal!
     
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  12. MAG 1

    MAG 1 Active Member

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    nice bird! his claws are huge. great story. THANKS
     
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  13. steveo007

    steveo007 Active Member

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    looks like he wore those toes down to the next layer chasing those hens
     
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  14. Snake Charmer

    Snake Charmer Happiness is a warm gut pile

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    Congrats Gen , You deserve that bird
     
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  15. DoubleTrouble

    DoubleTrouble Member

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    Amazing story!
    thanks for sharing!!!
     
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  16. SpiritOTM

    SpiritOTM New Member

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    Awesome bird Gen. No one better buddy. I'll pass this on to Leif, he'll get a kick out of this.
     
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  17. QuePasaJames

    QuePasaJames New Member

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    Congrats, huge bird! If that was you at the turkey tune-up doing the calling seminar.... great job! Hearing you do the clucks with a mouth call really pushed me this season to learn them.
     
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  18. Vermonster

    Vermonster Active Member

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    That's a great turkey! Congrats!
     
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