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Pennsylvania Flintlock Turkey Hunt

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
The wife and kids went out to my sister's baby shower...to which, of course, I was not invited. I decided to make the most of the time and party like it's 1799.

I drove back out to Pennsylvania to try and fill the Fall turkey tag included with my non-resident license. I had seen a few flocks during my antlerless muzzleloader deer hunt last month: one small flock of jakes, and two much bigger hen flocks. Again, I had just one day to get it done (no Sunday hunting in PA), so this needed to come together on the first and only try. I decided to go for the higher percentage play on the hen flocks.

I set up a ground blind about where I had seen the first hen flock during the previous trip out here, and loaded up my .36 caliber flintlock (with a patched round ball) along with my 12 GA Benelli Super Black Eagle II (with Remington Nitro Turkey #6 loads). Because modern rifles and muzzleloaders are allowed during Fall turkey season here, PA state law requires that at least 100 inches of blaze orange - visible in 360 degrees - be displayed within 15 feet of a fixed hunting position. To meet this requirement, I wrapped a blaze orange vest around a nearby tree trunk. Easy peasy.

As the sun rose, the birds made a clamor flying down and soon began vocalizing. I did some very sparse calling with a diaphragm mouth call, mimicking their sounds. Within 30 minutes, I had about 20 birds appear just downhill. I set up with the flintlock and Stoney Point shooting sticks, waiting for a bird to come clear of the grass and logs in the shooting lane. Finally, one came clear at 41 yards, but head-on. I didn't want the bird to get too close because I would have to get into a much less stable standing position to take the shot. So, I took the facing opportunity and aimed dead center for the spine. It tumbled the hen with a thunderous clap and the other birds started making their way into the woods.

Pennsylvania%20Fall%20Tukey%20Hunt%20-%205%20Nov%202106%20-%20bird%20down%20-%20resized_zpshujna7qd.jpg



A hunt working out like this makes me wanna do a little frontier freestyle!
Turkey, turkey, turkey, can't you see...

Somehow your clucks just hypnotize me...

And I just love your raspy ways...

This is why I shoot when you're in range!

giphy.gif

Ok, so it didn't go QUITE this smooth. Let's just say that I'm thankful that I had a backup weapon. I'll post the hilarious outtake footage later. It's late and I'm pooped! Anyway, here's a few preview shots for the time being...

Bessie photobombing me...

Pennsylvania%20Fall%20Tukey%20Hunt%20-%205%20Nov%202106%20-%20cow%20photobomb_zpscbpff6fe.jpg


I think these cows are the ones from those Chik-Fil-A billboards...at any rate, I found out that they are not vegan, just piss-poor hunters, that wait for you to shoot something and then try to swipe it!

Pennsylvania%20Fall%20Tukey%20Hunt%20-%205%20Nov%202106%20-%20cows%20and%20turkey_zpshbvpkhjr.jpg
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    That little detail makes ALL of the difference in the world in downrange accuracy, at least for me. When a flint start getting dull and you start getting small but perceptible hang-fires, your groups can go completely to hell.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    1799!
    Congradulations on a successful trip through time.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    WAY TO GO! :cool2:

    Busting a turkey with a patched round ball isn't too easy! Turkeys can have guts shot out and still get off the ground and fly hundreds of yards before dropping!
    And, this clack-poof-BOOM stuff that most unknowledgables associate with flintlocks is totally in error! A well tuned lock-the heart and soul of a flintlock-will ignite the charge BEFORE the flint is 1/3rd the way down the frizzen!

    Can you make a series of photos like these on our up-coming squirrel hunt? Hopefully?
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    WAY TO GO! :cool2:

    Busting a turkey with a patched round ball isn't too easy! Turkeys can have guts shot out and still get off the ground and fly hundreds of yards before dropping!
    And, this clack-poof-BOOM stuff that most unknowledgables associate with flintlocks is totally in error! A well tuned lock-the heart and soul of a flintlock-will ignite the charge BEFORE the flint is 1/3rd the way down the frizzen!

    Can you make a series of photos like these on our up-coming squirrel hunt? Hopefully?

    Rich -

    Absolutely! I had every intention of bringing out the good camera and lens for that trip. I made the rental car reservations for January and am otherwise ready to go (don't forget to send me the mee5ting point address, by the way - I need to figure out my inbound timing)

    As for what you said about these birds being tough to kill with a patched round ball...they are! That's part of the blooper reel I wanted to post. This is what happens when you get a little too cavalier after shooting a turkey and fail to bring your gun with you walking up. The bird rolled and was flapping like turkeys do when they are lethally hit. I learned a lesson: NEVER assume that they're dead until they are in hand!

    Thankfully, the she was critically hit and didn't go far, but I killed the camera, ran back to the blind and grabbed the Benelli with a modified choke just in case she tried to fly. She played pheasant, hiding in a ditch, but was clearly on the way out when I found her. At that point, I probably could've just wrung her neck, but I took no chances and blaster her with a head shot before walking up the second time.

    A couple of iPhone pictures of the land where I was hunting. It's on the edge of the West Virginia/Pennsylvania border and has plenty of rugged terrain:

    Pennsylvania%20Fall%20Tukey%20Hunt%20-%205%20Nov%202106%20-%20land_zpskhoeymtr.jpg


    You have no idea how long I had to work with these guys to get them standing just so for this picture:
    Pennsylvania%20Fall%20Tukey%20Hunt%20-%205%20Nov%202106%20-%20cows%20posing_zps4vupa1ei.jpg
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    The cows tried getting into EVERYTHING: my truck, the blind, and the bird!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,996 Senior Member
    Washington county? I had a buddy who is a avid turkey hunter who loved living there. I never have done well fall turkey in this part of the state.

    One question, how was the air quality in the blind once the flinter went off?
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,141 Senior Member
    Nicely done!
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Thanks again, fellas! Jayhawker - if I get back to Nebraska, we need to do turkey hunt on either side of the KS/NE border.
    Washington county? I had a buddy who is a avid turkey hunter who loved living there. I never have done well fall turkey in this part of the state.

    One question, how was the air quality in the blind once the flinter went off?

    This was actually Greene County, Center Township. This farm has seen the bird numbers climb significantly this year according to the landowner, though it's apparently not this good every year. I'm just happy that I caught it right.

    As for the air quality, I don't know if it was because of the relatively small 40 gr. charge, but it was not bad at all after the shot. The air cleared quickly and I could see the bird tumble at impact.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    You can wack them cows a few smacks in the butt and wont hurt em'. I gotta run em off my camp sometimes.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Excellent hunt. You need to work on your camera skills though. Shooting a bird at the far right of the frame is just not good to cut it.

    You need to do more pointless whispering if you want to ever make it as a host.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,514 Senior Member
    As long as that rifle is, if the turkey got any closer he would have had powder burns!!:jester:

    Great hunt and I liked your old indian trick of hiding in a herd of cattle to get closer to your quarry!!
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,437 Senior Member
    Now that was just plain cool. Congrats on a great hunt and thanks for filming!

    Got to ask what or how did you edit your video so quickly! I'm planning on filming some hunts this fall and I'd like to do something like that!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Excellent hunt. You need to work on your camera skills though. Shooting a bird at the far right of the frame is just not good to cut it.

    You need to do more pointless whispering if you want to ever make it as a host.
    Try being 5'7" and working a camera while setting a long gun with a 44" barrel through a blind window. As Linefinder would say, I was busier than a cat on gravel. :tooth:
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Try being 5'7" and working a camera while setting a long gun with a 44" barrel through a blind window. As Linefinder would say, I was busier than a cat on gravel. :tooth:

    We don't want excuses.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    The turkey population can have significant swings up and down, but 99% of the time it will recover within 2 years. Heavy spring rains just about the time the eggs pip will knock the numbers down to numbers so low that it will scare hell out of you. But remember the old "basic" rule of Nature that I speak of frequently...."Nature Abhors A Vacuum"! The turkeys will overcome a heavy, rainy spring and rebound. Look at the rebound our Whitetail Deer population has made! Far too many of these in a lot of places.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Congratulations Luis, well done my friend. A wonderful narrative with excellent photos. Now we see how you got your position, LOL. Tip certainly built you a beautiful rifle. BTW, several of the animals we think of as herbivorous may not be. I saw a utube film clip of deer eating baby birds in a hedge row, and I watched a squirrel eat a crawdad. Keep yer powder dry.........robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member
    Nice going----Ya gotta watch those bovine predators.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    In response to BRO. HAWKIN'S comments on herbivorous animals:

    About 15%-18% of an Eastern Grey Squirrel's diet is protein from bird nest eggs, baby birds, tree frogs, lizards, large insects, etc. This is well documented in wildlife research projects on wildlife food material. I am aware of one 24 hour video of Eastern Whitetails eating quail eggs, and that was on the wildlife research station adjacent to where I live. I have no doubt that a Whitetail would not include baby birds under the right conditions, though protein of this type is about an unmeasurable amount I would think. HOWEVER.....!

    Wildlife that starves to death in the woods, whether it's a coyote or a deer, does not necessarily starve and die on an empty stomach! I am aware of one study conducted by Auburn University's wildlife department in conjunction with the state of Alabama's wildlife dept. of Eastern Whitetails that were starving to death in an old growth virgin 1,000 acre stand of mixed hardwoods in the Mobile river bottom area in central Alabama. Stomach analysis of these deer showed their stomachs FULL of lichens and moss which had zero food value. These deer died from lack of nutrition and not something to eat.....
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    We don't want excuses.

    Damn you. Now I have to give up my aspirations of firing up the nature show.
    The turkey population can have significant swings up and down, but 99% of the time it will recover within 2 years. Heavy spring rains just about the time the eggs pip will knock the numbers down to numbers so low that it will scare hell out of you. But remember the old "basic" rule of Nature that I speak of frequently...."Nature Abhors A Vacuum"! The turkeys will overcome a heavy, rainy spring and rebound. Look at the rebound our Whitetail Deer population has made! Far too many of these in a lot of places.

    I have heard rumors about how important timely rains - but not too much, as you stated - can impact ground-nesting bird populations. Nevada was an extreme example in the other direction, where lack of rain would severely impact quail and chukar numbers, to the point that several years in a row were simply not worth even attempting to hunt. Then, you would have a perfect year for Spring rains and quail would be running all over supermarket parking lots and shopping centers.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Congratulations Luis, well done my friend. A wonderful narrative with excellent photos. Now we see how you got your position, LOL. Tip certainly built you a beautiful rifle. BTW, several of the animals we think of as herbivorous may not be. I saw a utube film clip of deer eating baby birds in a hedge row, and I watched a squirrel eat a crawdad. Keep yer powder dry.........robin
    Thanks, Robin! I love writing this stuff out and reliving it for you guys. I saw that same video of the deer eating the baby bird and was definitely surprised to see it. I never realized what woodsrunner stated about a lot of other "vegan" animals getting their protein from other animal sources.

    By the way, it should be publicly noted that Hawken is the one who pointed me toward Tip Curtis for the .36 cal flintlock used on this hunt. I must say that I couldn't be happier with the recommendation!
    NN wrote: »
    Nice going----Ya gotta watch those bovine predators.

    They are a crazy bunch, this group.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,073 Senior Member
    Very cool! Congrats on the hunt and the bird!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Try being 5'7" and working a camera while setting a long gun with a 44" barrel through a blind window. As Linefinder would say, I was busier than a cat on gravel. :tooth:

    I did try being 5'7"... in about sixth grade. Decided I didn't like it, so I grew up full sized.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I did try being 5'7"... in about sixth grade. Decided I didn't like it, so I grew up full sized.
    Full-sized ain't all its cracked up to be...

    By the way, this is my first ever Fall turkey, and first even hen. I like that PA gives you so much weapon flexibility in this season. I have never hunted turkey in any another state that allows for rifles and muzzleloaders for them.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Being tall can have its disadvantages, in the Navy and were I work now there are plenty of places to smash your head into. I have damn near knocked myself out a couple of times.



    In Ok you can use a rifle during fall turkey season. I think any rifle at .22 mag or bigger.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Being tall can have its disadvantages, in the Navy and were I work now there are plenty of places to smash your head into. I have damn near knocked myself out a couple of times.



    In Ok you can use a rifle during fall turkey season. I think any rifle at .22 mag or bigger.

    Yeah, ships in particular, are not a fun place for a tall guy from the ones I've seen.

    I did not realize OK allowed you to use a rifle. Hell, I think a headshot with a .22LR would be very doable, but I guess they don't want guys taking broadside shots with them and losing birds that live long enough to fly away. I know that Colorado allows rifles, but I've never hunted turkey there.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,996 Senior Member
    I though I was done till Thanksgiving, I have another week. 2D goes to the 12th, with the 24th-26th still available. May have to take a stroll since I am no longer on call. I have the day after tgiving off also.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I though I was done till Thanksgiving, I have another week. 2D goes to the 12th, with the 24th-26th still available. May have to take a stroll since I am no longer on call. I have the day after tgiving off also.

    Good luck up there. I saw your Spring turkey pics from this past season, so you guys must have still have SOME birds around, right? See what you can do for the remainder of the week or the back half split with your day off.

    I saw that season split around Thanksgiving and wanted to hunt it initially, but realized that I won't be around for the second window around the holiday. That's why I had to make a scramble out to my spot this past weekend. Thankfully, it paid off.

    I can't buy another Fall permit can I? Not that I can go again to PA this year again anyway as I'm taking the family to Gatlinburg, TN for the holiday, but it would be nice to try for a second bird in a different year.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,996 Senior Member
    http://read.nxtbook.com/pgc/huntingtrapping/20162017/index.html#turkey

    1 bird unisex in the fall, 2 gobblers in the spring with the extra tag.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Ok, there it is. I had the hard copy digest but was trying to Google it quickly on a gas stop riding home. Thanks for the info. Looks like I'm waiting for Spring to try up there again.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Now that was just plain cool. Congrats on a great hunt and thanks for filming!

    Got to ask what or how did you edit your video so quickly! I'm planning on filming some hunts this fall and I'd like to do something like that!

    Jeff -

    Sorry I missed your post earlier! The software I use is nothing more than Windows Movie Maker. It's very simple with limited editing capability compared to a pro video editing suite like Adobe Premier or Final Cut Pro, but it's easy to learn and very fast for basic editing. There are also TONS of YouTube tutorials showing how use it. It used to be included with Windows, and if you have an older version of Windows, it may be in your programs list. However, you have to download it for Windows 8/10, albeit for free, from Microsoft's website:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14220/windows-movie-maker-download
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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