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For The Eastern
Bags his Eastern -- And the FIRST Grand Slam in 2004
Ohio on Opening Day 2004
(Monday, April 26)
Doug Crabtree was several
minutes late getting to his hunting area at the same "Reclaim" that we
both got Eastern's on opening day last year
(that hunt was Doug's grand slam
bird for 2003}. He set up 200 yards shy of our previous location. To
Day #1 Continued:
The Hillside Gobbler
Lutger and I arrived at our hunting area in Ohio after dark on May 14
May 15: Doug Crabtree
and I drove to several spots and called with no response. Doug had scouted
a bird he called the Hillside gobbler and we drove to its area. The gobbler
was high up on the hill, the time was 8:19, the bird was 2 hours early
We parked at the property
owner's, cut through the woods, and set up against the fence on the edge
of the woods -- on an adjoining hill. We were 400 yards from the gobbler
and a hen.
Doug called. He gobbled
Without hesitation the gobbler
walked to the bottom
of his hill and walked through a narrow strip of trees separating the
hills. We lost sight of him in the tall grass on our hill.
Doug clucked a couple of
times and did a fighting gobbler purr with his diaphragm call. The Tom's
head appeared -- periscope like -- in the grass below us.
He kept coming and took
shape in the grass. He stopped 30 some yards from us and surveyed the
Doug did a quiet ki ki and
the longbeard gobbled
and started toward the fence.
Obligingly, he stopped 20
yards from us. I drew and put the bright green top pin of my Timberline
bowsight on the longbeards chest and held it rock steady.
My arrow went 3 feet to
the left of the bird and he walked back downhill.
Doug wanted to check my
bow and drew it. To our dismay we saw my arrow pop out of the cradle on
We waited half and hour
and snuck back to the truck. (Later I adjusted the rest.)
Actually, the miss was so
wide that we felt sure that the gobbler did not know what happened. We
made plans to dance with him again tomorrow.
Day #1 (Saturday, May
15 Contd.): Fred Lutger Gets Into Gobblers
Doug Crabtree drew Fred
Lutger a map of the Pine Field and dropped him off near it. Going in Fred
walked under a tree that birds were roosted in -- they spooked. That caused
a nearby Tom to gobble.
Fred backed off and skirted
around the bird and got on a ridge above the roosted gobbler. He set up
his Double Bull blind and put out 2 hen decoys. Fred made a few light tree
calls and waited.
He heard the gobbler fly
down and started up the ridge, gobbling all the way.
For the next 2 hours the
Tom strutted on the ridge. At 8:30 the longbeard responded to Fred's calls
and got within 25 yards from Fred's blind. Fred needed 5 more yards for
The sound of workman's voices
carried into the area (from behind Fred) and the bird buggared into the
trees. But it stayed in the area and gobbled half an hour after the workman
Fred moved the blind towards
him, set up and yelped twice.
The longbeard was down the
ridge. The gobbles got further away.
Fred started downhill to
set up on it again. But he heard a closer gobble up the ridge.
Immediately Fred went uphill.
When Fred reached the top of the ridge -- it was 40 yards away and Fred
did not have time to set the blind up.
Fred hid in the brush and
the Tom moved through, spitting and drumming. Fred saw it through the trees,
but no shot was possible. Shortly after it was 12:00 and hunting time was
Day #2: The Hillside
Gobbler -- A nice day for a Grand Slam
Doug had a plan for today
and we worked it to the letter. According to Doug's scouting the Hillside
Gobbler normally arrived at the hillside field around 10:00. We went to
the top of the hill and set up in the dark, then we went into "waiting
mode" for 4 plus hours.
At 10:05 Doug said he heard
a hen. He called and a hen walked uphill to us.
Our Hillside longbeard announced
his arrival. To The
Search For The 3rd Eastern
Day 2, 3 & 4:
On Sunday Terry Speakman went with Fred. Terry called. He talked to a gobbler
after fly down and videoed 3 hens that went to the gobbler. The gobbler
hung out with the hens instead of Fred. On Monday & Tuesday Fred spent
hours in the blind but saw or heard no gobblers.
Day 5 - Wednesday May
19: Fred's alarm went off at 3:30 this morning. He was ready when Eden
Taylor arrived to take him hunting at 4:00. It was pouring rain and they
set up the Double Bull blind and set out decoys. At 9:00 the rain slowed
and Eden called. There was no response and he suggested they check a field
where he had seen some Toms strutting.
On the way they saw 2 Toms
in an apple orchard. Eden stopped at the owners and received permission
to hunt them. They set up in the woods next to the orchard and set up again.
Eden called once and they
gobbled back. But they were now in a deep "holler" and didn't respond.
They left and went to the
strutter field. Another hunter was already there.
Next they drove to several
other locations and called, looking for a response, but it didn't happen.
At 12:00 they stopped hunting and made plans for tomorrows hunt.
Day 6 - Thursday May 20:
Fred and Eden set up for the strutting Toms. They neither heard nor saw
Day 7 - Friday May 21:
Fred and Eden went to a new area this morning with the same results as
yesterday. These late season hunts are tough.
Day 8 - Saturday May 22
We got roosted birds, gobbles
even. The Toms have NOT been gobbling anywhere. But this afternoon Fred
and Eaton heard 3 gobblers and roosted them. Tomorrow may be a whole different
story. I can't wait...
Morning: A ditto
Day 9 - Sunday May 23
- Last Day Of The Season
Fred Lutger and Eden Taylor
waited half an hour in the dark. Gobble!
More gobbles! Daylight came
on and they heard 2 gobblers fly down.
Eden called. One gobbler
answered. He continued to gobble and came slowly -- eventually they saw
it 40 yards away.
Suddenly a longbeard gobbler
walked smack into Fred's shooting window, three steps from the blind. Eden
hadn't seen it and was still calling. The Tom was staring right into the
A strong feature of the
Double Bull blind is that everything inside is very dark. Unless you are
right against a window you are very difficult to see. Fred was in the back
of the blind and carefully drew his bow.
He held his pin on the longbeard's
kill zone. And released.
The sight pin was on the
bird, but since the arrow's actual flight is a few inches lower, it hit
the seam on the bottom of the shooting window. And just as the instructions
read, an L-type expandable head will deflect if it hits the fabric or netting.
(Fixed blade heads are ok.)
The arrow tumbled through
the window and past the turkey.
The longbeard ran and the
other gobbler joined him.
They hunted until twelve
but saw no other wild turkeys.
For The 2004 4x4 Grand Slammer
Our 4x4 Grand Slammer
with the bow created excitement with several manufacturers and they stepped
up to the plate to sponsor the event.