On-the-Spot with Western Outdoor News
TURKEY HUNTING is in high gear with the warmer temperatures, and WON NorCal Editor Bill Karr shot this nice gobbler while hunting with guide Chuck Harrison of Western Wildlife Service with the help of a mounted strutting jake decoy and HS Strut calls, Realtree camo, and the Mossberg 935 12-gauge finished the deal. WON PHOTO
MARYSVILLE — We knew the big gobbler was going to fly into the decoy — it had to, because there was a fast flowing stream below us, and that was below a 15-foot cliff. The gobbler was hot, gobbling and strutting from 400 yards away to 50 yards away now, just across the creek, and it was only a matter of time until it launched.
Guide Chuck Harrison of Western Wildlife Service purred on the HS Strut "Closer" box call, and that was it — the tom couldn't take it anymore, and all we could hear was the sound of its pounding wings!
We were lying flat on our bellies on top of a levee in tall grass, blending in so well with our Redhead Gear Realtree APG camo that the sharp-eyed tom hadn't seen either of us, even though Harrison was using his mounted full-strut jake decoy as a "blind" to check on the tom's progress.
"Get ready for a snap shot!" warned Harrison.
At the sound of gobbler's take-off I gripped my Mossberg 935 12-gauge 3½-inch mag, loaded with Hevi-Shot No. 4s, expecting it to fly over us, or to at least land on the levee next to us. It did neither! The darn bird landed 8 feet in front of us on the downside of the levee, and when it stuck its head up over the grass at 6 feet I pulled the trigger!
A MOUNTED jake turkey can't be beat for bringing in those big gobblers. Whether it's the light off the feathers or something else, a live mount works way better than any fake decoy. WON Staffer and Editor of California Guns & Hunting, Bill Karr, used a 12-gauge Mossberg 935 in 3½-inch for the 7-inch bearded tom. WON PHOTO BY CHUCK HARRISON
"Grab it before it gets into the creek!" hollered Harrison. Too late. I gazed over the side and there was the bird, drifting downstream in the heavy current, brought on by the last rains. I hiked a quarter mile downstream to find a shallow crossing, waded across up to my thighs and then came back upstream to finally drag the dead bird out of some logs alongside the stream.
It was about 74 degrees and getting warmer, so I didn't mind the "swim." Especially after that exciting hunt!
A WATER RETRIEVE isn't common in turkey hunting, but this gobbler was shot on the side of a levee and tumbled down the side, into Honcutt Creek northeast of Marysville. WON NorCal editor Bill Karr played retriever! WON PHOTO BY CHUCK HARRISON
Harrison and I had been setting up two Ameristep 2-man blinds for a television crew from "American Airgunner" that was showing up on Monday to film a turkey hunting feather using the Umarex high-powered airguns, and we decided to hunt a different part of the 1,200-acre O'Brien Ranch for my second gobbler of the season. Successfully.
TWO AMERISTEP blinds in Realtree camo are now set up on O'Brien Ranch northwest of Marysville in preparation for the filming of a feature for American Airgunner on the Umarex airguns used on a turkey hunt being guide by Chuck Harrison of Western Wildlife Services. WON PHOTO BY BILL KARR