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Booshway
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Spring turkey hunting season has been open here in Tenasi for a couple of weeks. However, turkey numbers seem to be in decline. A lot of hunters are reporting few sightings.

I have been out twice, so far, and so far I have not even seen a sign of a turkey. Except for the wild hen turkey that comes into my back yard almost every day.

I think I am doing very well with my cancer recovery. My strength and stamina is coming back. Yesterday I walked up a little valley and then climbed out of it, going up a steep ridge. I came upon a very narrow game trail that ran along the side of the ridge and I followed it. Suddenly the old leaf duff gave way under my feet and down I went. Appalachian sleigh ride! I slid down the mountain for about 20 yards, gaining speed with each yard until I fetched up against a large oak.
I wasn't hurt, but the seat of my pants was covered with ground-in mud.


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1155 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rancocas, I'm glad to hear you are doing well. That was a tough row to hoe for anyone. Stay well and safe.

I'm very familiar with the mountain & hill sleigh rides. But somehow they lack the Christmasy feel of the SNOW variety. Here in Maine turkeys seem to be everywhere and the population is booming. Here is a photo of the only turkey I managed to kill back in Virginia.


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
 
Posts: 3376 | Location: Maine (by way of Georgia then Va.) | Registered: 26 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Hiya fellas!

Two weeks ago there were turkeys everywhere in the Bitterroot Valley, on both public and private lands. Saw 5 just a quarter mile from my cabin 5 days ago, and another 4 on the 10th. Spring season for Toms opened on April 11th and not a bird in sight!

Go figure, huh! FWP must have sent out early opener notices to'em, again!

Regards, xfox


The forest is a wilderness only to those that fear it, silent only to those that hear nothing. The forest is a friend to those that dwell within its' nature and it is filled with the sounds of life to those that listen.
 
Posts: 501 | Location: Bitterroot Valley | Registered: 23 October 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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I believe that the game department warns the turkeys when the season is about to open! Wink
 
Posts: 345 | Location: Pocono Mts. in PA | Registered: 12 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Four toms walked through my yard earlier today all with 2" beards.
 
Posts: 1832 | Registered: 11 February 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Well, I have not been able to get out in the woods lately.
First, our club hosted a rodeo last weekend, but it took us a lot of hard work for almost a week prior to the show getting the grounds all spruced up, the old dry-rotted bleachers torn down and new aluminum ones set up, the arena tilled, 12 acres of fields mowed, and food and drinks purchased. Then my wife and I worked in the kitchen cooking and selling food and soft drinks. There were others helping us, of course. But, none of we kitchen workers got to see any of the rodeo. Frowner

The rodeo went very well, no problems, no serious injuries, and the club raised plenty of money. We had well over 2000 adults show up each of the two nights, and many more children.
That was followed up Sunday afternoon with our monthly turkey shoot. Most of our regulars showed up for that.
Cleaning up all the trash from the rodeo public is still on-going. Amazing - I had set out 8 50 gallon barrels with large trash bags, and yet many, many people just dumped their trash under the bleachers! It is difficult to get under there and pick it up.
Then, this week the weather turned. Winter came back! It is cold and windy, and rain is predicted for the end of the week.

But on a bright note; "Henny-Penny" our local hen wild turkey was seen in our back yard this afternoon. I think she is nesting in the brushy draw behind my house. Smiler


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1155 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Well, I got into the mountains again yesterday for some turkey hunting. Even though the season runs for about two more weeks, I think this was probably the last time out for the big birds for me this spring. Now, I turn to fishing.
Far back in the Cherokee National Forest I parked at a junction of rough stony roads that is marked on my map as "Sylco". It is in Sylco Valley where Sylco Creek runs, and I had to cross over Sylco Ridge to get there, but I have been unable to find out where the name comes from. There is nothing there. It is merely a trail head.
From Sylco I hiked about 3/4 mile down the trail to "Chabel". Nothing there either, except a small field. However, I do know that Chabel was one of the family names from "the Dutch Settlement". The Dutch Settlement? That goes way back to the 1840's when a New York socialite with lots of money started what was hoped to be a utopian community of wine makers. She brought in immigrants from Germany, Italy, and France. Professional wine makers. Together they established homesteads in the mountain wilderness, cleared some land, and apparently planted grapes. I think they only lasted 10 or 15 years. By the time of the War Between The States they were gone. There is nothing left now except a remote field here and there. I'm guessing that Chabel was the homesite of the Chabel family. Maybe the one acre field there once held grapevines, but now it is only full of tall weeds. The forest service bulldozed all the buildings when they took over the area, leaving nothing but the fields and some old one lane roads, almost all them now overgrown and nearly impassable except for people on foot.
So, anyway, I waded across Sylco Creek, skirted the edge of the Chabel field, and found an ancient road leading up the mountain. As I hiked, I stopped from time to time to give a few yelps on my turkey call. I would then sit motionless in my camouflage for 20 or 30 minutes hoping a tom turkey would show up. None did.
The old road snaked around the mountainside, following the contours, climbing up and up and up. The road bent around the end of the mountain and continued up the back side. At one point I stopped to rest and eat an apple. As I sat there on a mossy log I heard the roar of a waterfall coming from somewhere far down in the valley below me. It sounds like a substantial water fall. I know Dutch Creek is down there. It runs into Sylco Creek further down below Chabel. I was not aware of any waterfall in that area, so now I am curious. Maybe on another outing I will try to find a way to get to it.
Finally, I reached the top of the mountain. It was burnt. From the looks of it I would say that it burned sometime last winter. Was it a "controlled fire", set by the forest service, as they sometimes do? Lightning strike? I don't know, but it would have been a hard one to get to to put it out. Unless, they just dumped water or fire suppressor from the air.
The branch of the old road that I had followed came to a dead end. Looking down, it was very steep and I could see rhododendron thickets in the ravines far below me. I've been stuck in such places before, and I sure don't want to crawl through such a "hell" again. Such big thickets are called "hells" down here. I opted to turn around and go back the same way I came.


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1155 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Sounds like a fun time!


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1836 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Luckily I don't have any hills or sleigh rides in my local area, flat as it is, although it's always fun going crotch deep with one leg in a muskrat hole. Turkeys in decline here in my section of Maryland, too. Two weeks into the season and still haven't found a bird to play with. Heard two distant gobbles, mile away across many tracts of private land. Only Toms seen are in places you can't hunt of course. Golf course is full of them. Hiked miles on public land and haven't seen a track, dusting bowl or dropping yet. My new place I was hoping might have a bird or two, have seen them near here in the past, but nothing this spring and I can hear owls hooting across the fields over a mile away. Deathly quiet. My old farm I sold was way down on numbers two years ago, been down there on a neighboring piece and haven't heard or seen anything but one hen all spring. Sad.

Part of the problem here is we've had 3 consecutive years of very poor reproduction, with cold, wet springs the chief cause of that. But very heavy pressure last year with everyone off for Covid shutdowns hurt the birds too. I'm around the county a lot and there are barely a fraction of the turkeys there were ten years ago.

It may be all my fault. Built a dedicated, full choke turkey flintlock three years ago, killed one bird on a tough spring that year and not a whiff of a chance since. Shoulda guessed it... Frowner
 
Posts: 396 | Location: Delmarva | Registered: 22 December 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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This certainly has been a cool and rainy spring here in southeastern Tenasi. Not good for the big birds, I suspect.

I've been out hunting, but the only turkey I have seen is "Henny-Penny", our local hen that comes into my back yard almost every day. I have not even heard a gobble!

Cousin of mine, up in central New York, took his wife on a 3 day guided turkey hunt there. They saw plenty of the big birds, but none came close enough for a shot until the last day. His wife bagged it. Her first turkey.


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1155 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I haven't and won't be out after turkey again this spring, I might just wait for the fall season. Calling in and talking with turkeys is certainly a thrill but so far I have never killed one. True, I never spring hunted much but when I did it was a great time. Three stand out in my memory. One came in and was spooked by my "makeshift" (garbage bag and cardboard) decoy. I was about to pull the trigger when he skedaddled; bought inflatable decoys after that. The other two came up to about 20 yards but I couldn't safely shoot in their direction. My partner was in that direction but couldn't see them.

One time I'd set up decoys and finally got a response from a gobbler. I guess I talked with him for more than an hour. I would get him really close but he wouldn't show himself and wandered farther out. This happened several times until he said goodbye. Each time I was sure he'd step into view any minute but he never did. He already had a good harem he was satisfied with I guess.

When out hunting deer on days that turkey season was closed I often had them crawling all over me; like they knew they were safe. Most strange is the fact they completely ignored my orange vest. Mmmmm-mm-mmm-mmm-mmmmm!


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
 
Posts: 3376 | Location: Maine (by way of Georgia then Va.) | Registered: 26 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Forgot to address the tick situation that we currently find ourselves in. Moose are suffering and calves are dying from the tick scourge. Some have been found to have 100,000 plus ticks on them, enough to kill a calf and enough to make the adults sick. That many ticks also hampers reproduction. A large part of the cause are the hoards of snow, or "winter" ticks. I'm under the impression this species doesn't carry lyme disease. But all the countless trillions of others sure do! This year is projected to be a severe infestation year. Global warming is just one factor given to help explain the growing problem, but I'm not that convinced. Down in Georgia it was warm for most of the year and more often than not the even winters were very mild. The tick problem still didn't begin to approach the level we have up here. This is a late 20th century problem and brings up some serious questions.


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
 
Posts: 3376 | Location: Maine (by way of Georgia then Va.) | Registered: 26 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Ticks have not been bad here in this section of Tenasi. I found one deer tick crawling up my leg and got rid of it before it could dig in. However, the other one, a tiny guy the size of a pin head, burrowed into my leg and I didn't know it was there until I felt the itch. I pulled it out with a pair of tweezers. Red, itchy bump for a week, but all is okay now.
Apparently, I picked up both of them right here in my back yard. Up in the mountains I spray myself pretty good with repellant, and so have not had a problem there.

I've read about the tick infestation on deer, and moose. Awful!

How are the blackflies?
I got so chewed up by blackflies while on a caribou hunt in northern Quebec that I looked like I had the pox!


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1155 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No problem at all with black flies since we've been here. Being from Georgia I can't see how much could be worse than the mosquitos and yellow flies. There are some places one simply cannot go because of them. Add in fire ants and one can have a real adventure down there.

I spray all my hunting clothes with double strength permethrin and never got a tick. Of course it's possible to get them around one's yard where hunting togs aren't worn. But so far no ticks from around our home.


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
 
Posts: 3376 | Location: Maine (by way of Georgia then Va.) | Registered: 26 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Oh, I could tell you some stories about the southern mosquitoes and fire ants, too. LOL


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1155 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Turkey season was a bust for me, called in several toms but never close enough for a shot. On the drives home, I saw turkeys along side of the road every time. Just yesterday there were three (one tom & 2 jakes) in a neighbors yard not a 1/4 mile from my home.

We are having a bumper crop of ticks this year. Having to check the horses on a twice daily basis, even with tick repellent sprayed on them. No skeeters, though! Which I find comforting after putting up with the flying hoards of them in Alaska for 48 years!

Regards, xfox


The forest is a wilderness only to those that fear it, silent only to those that hear nothing. The forest is a friend to those that dwell within its' nature and it is filled with the sounds of life to those that listen.
 
Posts: 501 | Location: Bitterroot Valley | Registered: 23 October 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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