1st Rios

Stories of your favorite gobbler hunts.
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HunterGKS
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1st Rios

Post by HunterGKS » May 22nd, 2016, 2:05 pm

Someone on the Ohio board was looking for anyone that had hunted Texas to tell him about it so I posted this story.

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COLEMAN COUNTY, TEXAS RIO GRANDE HUNTING TRIP 04/09/03 – 04/16/03


I arrived at DFW Airport at 02:20 P.M. on Wednesday, 04/09/03. Darrell Wilde, a friend I used to work with in the GTE Premium Support Center, picked me up at 03:15 and we headed to his house to pick-up his equipment. We then drove to his ranch, the Wild E Ranch, in Jack County where we would hunt that evening and the following morning. We quickly unloaded the truck and got ready to go out and set-up. We were a few hundred yards from our spots when Darrell saw 2 birds fanning and a third waking around about 200 yards away. We crouched down and tried to be real sneaky backing out and circling above them. We set up and I called with the Thanks Giving Box Call for about an hour with no results. We figured they had spotted us and took off. We went to our original spots and set up our blinds for the morning hunt. Darrell was behind me and to my right about 150 yards.

Thursday morning we were on stand by 06:30. I started calling about 7. Two hens and a jake came in. The jake was strutting and gobbling like a mature bird. After 30 minutes or so, he walked towards me, stopped 10 yards out, and started to breed. He forgot he needed a hen. I purred a little to get him to raise him head and harvested him at 07:40. MY FIRST RIO!! He weighed 14 pounds with a 4 ¼” beard. Darrell thought the hunting was over but I convinced him to hang loose. 30 minutes later a hen wander in. As she was leaving, I started to mimic her every call. This irritated her so she became more boisterous, as did I. This brought in a second hen. Between the 3 of us, we got birds to start gobbling. I looked over my right shoulder and could see 3 red heads heading right past Darrell’s blind. I was hoping that he would shoot the last bird flushing the other 2 towards me so I could get a shot at one. In Texas, the limit is 4 bearded turkeys and you can take all 4 in the same day. I couldn’t figure out why Darrell didn’t shoot. The birds finally cleared the grass so I could see they were all jakes. All 3 gobbled as well as any mature bird! We kept them around for 2 hours before we had to leave for the drive to his brother in law’s ranch 3 hours away. Every time I cackled, the 3 let loose with gobbles. I have never heard jakes gobble like this.

We got to Gerry Kasberg’s ranch in Coleman County at 6 P.M. Thursday afternoon and immediately went out to set-up and hunt for a couple of hours. We set up in 2 different areas, Darrell on the edge of a wheat field and me on a flat above the Colorado River. Darrell had 4 jakes walk in but spooked them. I saw/heard nothing. We went back to the same spots Friday morning for 1-½ hours but saw nothing. We had a fishing trip planned so had to leave about 8. We fished all day on Lake Ivey, also in Coleman County, and caught between 70 and 80 white bass. Needless to say, we had a fish fry that night. We went back out that evening to 2 other spots. Again I drew a blank but Darrell had 3 jakes sneak in on him. He got a shot but missed.

Saturday morning we went to our original spots. The jakes came back in to Darrell and he was able to take 1. I saw a small flock with a gobbler on the other side of the river but couldn’t convince them to cross over. I also saw 3 deer. I tried that spot that afternoon but gave up at 7. Gerry was able to get us access to another ranch about 20 minutes away. We followed the farmhand to the other ranch so he could show us around. We saw 9 gobblers before we decided where to set-up for a morning hunt. We built our blinds at opposite ends of a 9 acre wheat field and left.

We were in the blinds at 6:30 Sunday morning and the birds started gobbling almost immediately. I counted 5 different gobblers and there may have been more. I called 2 gobblers in but they were on the wrong side of the fence. They walked back and forth along the fence for about 20 minutes. They finally flew over and started towards me. For some reason, they veered off and went straight to Darrell. He shot the first one, which was also the largest. The second gobbler jumped in the air and landed right in front of Darrell looking at him. Darrell shot him also. Both birds weighted about 20 pounds with 9 ½” beards and 1” spurs. Darrell headed back to Jerry’s and was supposed to pick me up at 10. I hadn’t seen anything by 10, so started walking back to the main road about a mile away. I bumped 7 gobblers along the way but none offered a shot.

Darrell got there about 11 and we decided to eat lunch. On the way to the river, we saw 2 hens and 4 redheads by Darrell’s set-up. We drove to my blind and I tried to call them in after he had driven off. The 2 hens ran across the field at the far end and disappeared. The 4 males walked to the corner of the fence and walked back and forth for 5 minutes or so before 1 flew over. The other 3 marched between 2 fence posts for about 20 minutes, turning in unison each time they reached a post. They finally walked along the fence to a small dip and disappeared never to be seen again. I waved to Darrell and he drove up. I loaded my blind and decoys into the truck ready to quite. He talked me into sitting in his blind until 2 P.M. We agreed that he would drive to a deer blind about 400 yards from the set-up. If he saw me, he would pick me up, if not he would wait. It was really hot, so about 1:30 I started looking for him. At 1:40, I saw birds at the deer blind. Looking at them through my binoculars, I could tell they were all males but not if they were jakes or gobblers. I called a little with the Thanks Giving call and they started down the fencerow towards me. It took them about 15 minutes to get close. When they were out of sight, I scrunched way down in the blind, picked a spot, and aimed my Remington 11-87 NWTF 25TH Anniversary shotgun at a spot deciding to take the first longbeard that entered that spot. As luck would have it, the first bird there sported a nice beard and I shot him. Almost immediately, the other 4 took wing with 1 flying over his fallen comrade. I took a hastily aimed snap shot and got a good head shot on a Jake. He started flopping all over the place. I ran and grabbed him, afraid he would hit the gobbler, which hadn’t even quivered, and damage the feathers. About 5 minutes after I shot the gobbler, he started flopping around. He had taken a 3” magnum load of Remington 4x6 duplex shot directly to the head so why he started flopping then is a mystery to me. The gobbler weighed 20 pounds, had a 9 ½” beard, and 1 ¼” spurs. The jake weighed 16 pounds and had a 3 5/16” beard. This ranch is a real hotbed for turkeys. We harvested 4 birds between us and saw or heard many more than that. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be invited back. All told, we took 3 birds apiece on this trip.

Darrell and I spent Monday and Tuesday working on his ranch building a tree house for his 2 boys and also hauled 7 cows and calves and a pregnant cow from the stockyards to his ranch. This was one of my best, most productive, and enjoyable turkey hunting trips ever. After 3 tries, not only did I get my first Rio, but also my second and third. A truly great experience.

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George

YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR BODY STILL. YOUR HEART JUST HASN'T CAUGHT ON.

.17 = NITRO OF THE RIMFIRE WORLD


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appalachianassassin
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Joined: February 24th, 2014, 1:11 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Re: Rios

Post by appalachianassassin » May 22nd, 2016, 2:25 pm

your teeth look a little shorter then. :lol:
gotta love turkey huntin!!!

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HunterGKS
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Re: Rios

Post by HunterGKS » May 23rd, 2016, 9:51 am

And the waist looks about 50 pounds smaller!!
George

YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR BODY STILL. YOUR HEART JUST HASN'T CAUGHT ON.

.17 = NITRO OF THE RIMFIRE WORLD


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