Utah 2019...Wow!

ilovesprig

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Aug 3, 2012
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Well, my 2nd trip to Utah started out like the 1st trip...No birds seen or heard despite some tips from locals and a good turkey hunting friend...Yesterday, I went to a totally different area at about the 8,500 ft level...After stop and go, run and gun calling in the dark of the morning, I finally got a hit...I was using the crow call and I had a stream near me...So, I went aways up the hill and hit them again...Sure enough a real gobble...lol...It was about 20 minutes till flydown...So, I got everything together started up the canyon...The farther I went, the more I realized this guy was WAY up this canyon...Finally got to where he was and he was on the ground...The good was he was a gobbling fool...The bad was there was a big meadow and I couldn't get any closer...Set up and started calling...He goes crazy...Then to my right a single hen comes out of the thick stuff and she starts yelping...Now, he's beside himself...I'm thinking I'm in business for sure...Real hen to my right, and real gobbler in front of me...Then out of nowhere, I get a hard gobble to my left and a little behind me...Gun goes up that way, then nothing...Gobbler from front joins up with gobbler to my left...And that was that...Despite the REAL hen yelping, I never heard them again...WITW!

Followed them up the mountain, but never caught up...The REAL hen yelps a couple more times, but now it's dead quiet...I walk down out of the canyon to lick my wounds...lol

Did a little more exploring in the area and got another hit higher up...They were close to the road and I'm sure with the "Drive by shooters", they cheeked it out of there...They never gobbled again after I set-up...Decided to drive back to town, despite 20 miles of bad road...lol

After some lunch, I decided to go back to the canyon and set-up for the rest of the day...This time I came in from the top (went against my philosophy of always hunting up hill)...Once I got back to the meadow, I decided to hunt the high side...This side was part of the Brianhead fire...Lots of dead pines, with some that survived...I quickly realized that the birds were roosted here and not lower like I thought...It's now 2:15 pm and I settle in for the long haul...Sleep, call, sleep, call goes on for 5 1/2 hours...Finally at about 7:45 pm, I spot a fan above me at a 150 yds...Put the Swaro's on them and it's 2 longs with a possible jake...It's now 8:00 pm (sundown is 8:35 pm), and I figure I better try to call one of them downhill...All I have out now is my Flydown Batwing...I start yelping and a hen up there goes nuts...The boys start gobbling...Get more aggressive and sure enough, one of them pulls off and heads down the mountain...He gets to 35 yds and he starts fanning out right behind a big dead pine...WTF...No shot...He finally pokes his head out, but barely...No shot...Now, I'm thinking this guys going to fade away from behind the tree...Sure enough, I lean to my left and there he is going back up the hill...40 yds and it's now or never...KAPOW!...And this Merriam has met his maker rolling down hill...Damn, what a hunt!

30 minutes later (8:40 pm), out of canyon, and I'm back to the truck...45 more minutes, and I'm back to Int. 15...Hell, might as well drive home...Got plenty of sleep today...Home at 3:25 am...lol

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HATCHET1

"yes,it killed the hound..ferocious bitch she was"
Aug 2, 2013
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impeccable documentation as usual stevo..way to stick with it and show that bird who the boss was. KAPOOW indeed.
 

Dawnandusk

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Sep 26, 2018
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Awesome pictures Steve!!! and a tremendous report of how the day went. I can see that I still have to do more if I want to succeed.
 

stikbrandon

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Apr 8, 2012
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Dang Steve ! Gettin after it!

Looking back I should have hunted way higher up in elevation the birds in my area seemed to come down to the canyons and then at 9 am head back up the canyons to maul around in the thick stuff.

I’ll make it happen next year.
 

ilovesprig

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Brandon,

While cleaning the gobbler, I discovered that his crop was full of wheat seeds....While climbing in the burn, I noticed lots of wheat coming up....Found out that forestry had sprayed a lot of straw/seed in these burns.

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