Opening weekend was filled with puking from some nasty bug that I came down with and thus I didn't really get to chase the birds. Thursday morning, after my 2nd midterm in my Wildlife Biology capstone at CSU, I took off on a long drive to an area that I had never hunted.
I didn't get to the trailhead till 5:30 and I had 6 miles to carry camp on my back before the sun went down. In researching the area I found out that there was a cabin that could be used by people in the area. I was planning on making it all the way back to the canyon that held the turkeys (as reported by the CDOW) but darkness was falling quickly and so I decided to stay the first night in the cabin. And as luck would have it, one night is all I would need.
I woke up a little late Friday morning. I started off on the 2 mile trip from the cabin to the canyon in atleast 45 MPH WINDS! By the time I made it down into the canyon, the wind had died down but the birds had gotten off roost and shut up. I had only gone about a half mile down the canyon when I heard a hen clucking not far off to my left. I froze and sure enough, a lone hen walked within 25 yards of me. She must have been one of the first hens bred and she was looking for a secluded place to nest. Not long after that I heard my first yelps coming from a creekbed about 200 yards further down the canyon. I closed the distance to 100 yards and set up my jake and hen decoys and started my calling sequence. Instantly a gobble rang out. I'd yelp... he'd gobble. I'd cut... he'd gobble. I'd purr... he'd gobble (all the while getting closer and closer). I caught movement at about 50 yards and sure enough it was him in full strut. He was shrouded by brush till he got within 20 yards. He was in full strut when he cleared the vegetation and I gave him one last purr. He raised his head and I pulled the trigger. The hunt was over quick but it was a blast.
But my legs will be recovering for a while as the GPS said it was 17.5 miles roundtrip in just 19 hours!
My turkey season isn't over yet as I've still got my OTC tag to hunt on. We'll see how it goes.