Turnpike humor is in no short supply here in the Garden State. (Yeah, I’m off Exit 7A!) Well, before you go ripping on New Jersey too much, for those of you who have blessedly never been here, there is actually some damn good hunting if you can find a place. Steven Parre of New Jersey apparently has. He sent us this pic and story as his entry into the Give Us The Bird Photo Contest. Here’s his tale in his own words:
Here is one of turkeys I killed this past spring in New Jersey. The weight was 22 pounds with a beard of 9 ½ inches and spurs measuring 1 1/8 inch and 1 ¼ inch.
This hunt was a roller coaster from start to finish as the season started with cold wet conditions on the Monday opener. Gobbling and turkey sightings were few and far between. After hunting four days straight, crunch time was fast approaching as Friday was the last day to hunt on my permit.
Friday broke cool and crisp with bright sunshine and gobblers responding from all directions….all that is but near me. After some aggressive calling, one lone hen showed up and started coming toward me shortly followed by 13 more hens—all single file playing follow the leader.
The hens now were calling back and forth making such a commotion that I didn’t have to call. Soon five jakes appeared and came to within 10 feet of my position. With all of theses turkeys so close, I was certain that one was going to bust me and the game would be over. But they stayed and shortly after I heard the unmistakable sound of drumming coming from my left—50 yards away I saw this bird heading toward me.
He seemed like he stayed at 50 yards for what felt like a day, but probably was around 15 minutes before finally making his approach. He came to within 35 yards at which point my Browning 10-ga. did the rest.
I have been hunting turkeys for nearly 20 years and by far this hunt is one that I will always remember.
Steve will be entered into the contest and winners will be announced early next week. Thanks to everyone who participated.