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Name: Joel Nelson
IDA Staff Since: 12/04/06 12:00 AM
Sponsor(s): Quaker Boy Game Calls
Website/Email: joel.nelson@in-depthoutdoors.com

Location : Nebraska
Species : Turkey
Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 by Joel Nelson

Limb-hanger!
The setup was fatally flawed. At 5:30AM, the slap of a beaver’s tail confirmed that there was open water between myself and the gobbler still sleeping in his roost tree. Not 70 yards away I could see my tom’s silhouette through binoculars while he snoozed on the limb, but what I could not see was any way that I was going to get him to land in the opening I was setup in. Though I was positioned in the nicest green opening there ever was, I could see no good way short of some fly-up then fly-down helicopter trick for him to get through the layer of brush and trees surrounding my position. Strike one was the water I was requiring him to fly-over; strike two was the trees at the end of my runway; would strike three be that beaver who surely sounded like he was dropping bowling balls from 50 feet?

First Morel Of The Season For Me
Rewind to the previous night. After hunting hard all afternoon, and covering some serious ground in Northern Nebraska, all I had to show for the afternoon's efforts was a handful of morels. Not bad, but "we can do better." I got a hot tip from a local at a gas station who’d said he’d heard birds gobbling on the east side of a small pond we hunted near. Judging from where he said he heard them from, I thought he might be mistaken and that they’d actually be on the west-side, closer to him than he thought. So to the west side I went, walking my way quietly through the terrain when I saw a bird, heard him gobble, then run at me from 100 yards away, only to take to flight and land on a limb not 50 yards away at 8:08PM. Pretty exciting going from nothing, to gobbling, then flight, then more gobbling on the limb. I wanted to soft talk him, give him some reassurance that he’d have a girlfriend over my direction come morning, get him turned on the limb just right, but I didn’t dare. I was far too exposed, and had to find a way out of there without him seeing me. He flew to another limb completely, about 20 yards away, then gobbled the night away. A good sign. I heard no hens fly up with him. A better sign. But how would I negotiate the “low-spot” between he and I? Figure that out in the morning I thought.

1 3/16" and Sharp!
B-mobile would have his hands full in the morning. While unusual for me to use a strutting tom decoy outside of bowhunting, I thought it might just be the edge I needed to get him to fly down to me…..somehow. So as it were, I setup “B” and his natural tailfeathers facing the tom at 60 yards on the highest point of the opening, about 45 minutes before first light. The soft grass was quiet, and there would be no way to do this in the woods; for that and so much more it turned out I was lucky. Morning broke with some light rain, but also with strong gobbling. Just not always at me. This bird apparently found a way to clone himself overnight, as there were magically two gobblers on the same limb as light broke! The first one must’ve already been up there before I snuck close enough to see the night before. Either way, the one closest the end of the branch was loud and proud, while the one on the inside was meek and mild, gobbling once to his buddy’s every fifth barrage. So I started in with some soft hen talk, and immediately was cut off. Better yet, he stood up on the limb, went into full strut and faced me. I took it easy on him, not wanting to hang him high on the limb, and he eventually would turn around to strut and gobble the other direction. Bummer. Here we go again. Soft yelps and clucks that were cut off, only to have him turn and repeat. This process was re-lived six different times before I grew impatient. So I waited until he turned around, and I started in on him. Colorful yelps, some cutts mixed in, along with excited clucks and purrs. And that was what turned the tide. Immediately the lead gobbler turned my direction for good, and started strutting and walking some 10 yards down the long limb in my direction. I knew he was moments from flying down, but where? Where to train my gun? By the decoy? This was about to get interesting and fast.

Setup
As if slipping my safety off triggered the whole series of events, the lead gobbler broke strut, and the pair began the tell-tale teeter that it takes for them to tip out of the tree. Uh boy, two flaps and he was sailing to my left? What the….. Landing against a steep and barren hillside I could only see his wingtips flare as he disappeared behind the embankment to my left. Back came my gun, only to plunge it forward around the obstruction that cut-off that angle. He side-stepped the steep hillside like a rock-climber and sashayed into view immediately and took a good look at me. While the decoy may have gotten his attention on the limb, he faced me squarely and immediately upon turning the corner, no longer paying attention to this fake intruder. The ruse was up, and I had better take aim and shoot quickly to make this happen. One problem. It was still pretty early, and the overcast skies made seeing my sights fairly difficult. The “BOOM” surprised me, but I was confident in where the sights were for a 25 yard shot. He folded and immediately revealed his healthy spurs. His buddy sat on the cliff confused on whether to run away or fly, creating a very easy opportunity for a double should I have had another tag in my pocket. I did not, but moreso, didn’t have the interest in killing a tom that way. As it turned out later, I would have yet another opportunity to kill the same dis-oriented bird while cleaning his buddy. Being somewhat confused after losing his partner in crime, that same bird, in the same location only hours later gobbled to…..footsteps. He came running over a ridge. We had calls with and got him to within 50 yards, in the wide open, easily. Definitely a candidate for a nice ride in the truck to town, but we didn’t have any more tags. Either way, though the setup for gobbler #1 was flawed, we still found a way to make it fatal.

It was a short hunt, but we still had another tag of my buddy Jake to fill. He was on ‘em, so off we were to do it again. To be continued…..

Joel




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Joel Nelson
IDO Hunting Pro-Staff


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Joel Nelson
IDO Hunting Pro Staff

Reged: 09/21/06
Posts: 1934
Post Bucks: $37.46
Loc: SE MN
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Joel Nelson]
#705454 - 04/19/12 06:06 PM

-Roosting with the turkeys
-Nuisance deer killing trees

Joel

1334876748_2012-04-17_08-30-26_358.jpg1334876774_2012-04-16_17-22-46_732.jpg
1334876748_2012-04-17_08-30-26_358.jpg


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Joel Nelson
IDO Hunting Pro-Staff



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Bob Bergeson~
IDO Management Team

Reged: 10/12/09
Posts: 2876
Post Bucks: $50.32
Loc: cannon falls
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Joel Nelson]
#705461 - 04/19/12 08:11 PM

Congrats Joel Great read but you had better quit picking on those defenseless Deer

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John_Steinhauer
IDO Hunting Reporter

Reged: 05/13/07
Posts: 2337
Post Bucks: $18.34
Loc: P4
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Bob Bergeson~]
#705468 - 04/19/12 11:26 PM

Way to go awesome bird!

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Jon Stevens
IDO Hunting Reporter

Reged: 04/03/05
Posts: 968
Post Bucks: $11.20
Loc: Northfield, Wi
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: John_Steinhauer]
#705479 - 04/20/12 08:29 AM

Great bird! Great story!

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“I have always tempered my killing with respect for the game pursued. I see the animal not only as a target but as a living creature with more freedom than I will ever have. I take that life if I can, with regret as well as joy, and with the sure knowledge that nature’s way of fang or claw or exposure and starvation are a far crueler state than I bestow.”—Fred Bear


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scottb.
Member

Reged: 09/24/01
Posts: 942
Post Bucks: $16.34
Loc: Southeast, MN
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Jon Stevens]
#705484 - 04/20/12 11:42 AM

awesome

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Randy Wieland
IDO Hunting Reporter

Reged: 04/29/06
Posts: 1667
Post Bucks: $26.28
Loc: Lebanon. WI
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Joel Nelson]
#705524 - 04/22/12 08:20 PM

Great report Joel

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Lifetime Member WTA
The ONLY thing worse than losing......IS QUITTING!!!!!!!


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Brad Juaire
Member

Reged: 03/18/05
Posts: 5747
Post Bucks: $100.70
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Joel Nelson]
#705622 - 04/25/12 12:03 PM

Congratulations Joel and loved your report! I felt like I was sitting right next to you and I saw that tom in full strut walking down the tree limb.

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Brad "Grifter" Juaire
IDO Pro Staff
brad.juaire@in-depthoutdoors.com




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Corey Waller
IDO Management Team

Reged: 05/05/03
Posts: 1554
Post Bucks: $11.26
Loc: hastings mn
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Brad Juaire]
#705630 - 04/25/12 04:32 PM

nice job!!

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Corey "Wallerbass1" Waller


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Corey Waller
IDO Management Team

Reged: 05/05/03
Posts: 1554
Post Bucks: $11.26
Loc: hastings mn
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Brad Juaire]
#705631 - 04/25/12 04:32 PM

great read too!!

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Corey "Wallerbass1" Waller

Edited by Corey Waller (04/25/12 04:32 PM)


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Johnsy
Member

Reged: 09/21/09
Posts: 824
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Loc: Mantorville, Mn
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Corey Waller]
#705702 - 04/28/12 10:25 AM

Awesome Joel! Congrats

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Jason Ramthun
IDO Hunting Pro Staff

Reged: 09/20/03
Posts: 4850
Post Bucks: $85.06
Loc: Byron MN
Re: Nebraska Public Land Hunt - Part 1 new [Re: Johnsy]
#705748 - 04/30/12 12:27 PM

You the MAN Joel Thanks for the invite you big jerk

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Jason "GMAN" Ramthun


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