Turkey season for the Lodge has come to an end just two days ago. We had a great season. The weather in the middle of season did affect hunt # 2 however, the season was very succesful. Scroll down to catch up with the hunts.
The final hunt of the season was filled by one group of six from Tennessee. We could tell right away it was aparet that this group of guys loved to raz one another, they have been hunting many years together. Five of the group have been to the lodge in past seasons, and that leaves one new comer.
On the first evening the weather was chilly, like you needed a coat and maybe even long underwear, chilly. We had a frost advisory for the following morning, very untypical for west Texas this late in spring. So with that said no birds were tagged that evening. On the second Morning the birds were on the move, probably trying to stay warm, and four birds were brought in.
Jeff Hancock of Dover, TN bagged a beautiful tom weighing in at 17.5#, with nice long spurs at 1.25", and A 9" beard. Additionally Jeff harvested a second tom. It weighed 17.1#, 15/16" spurs, and 7" beard.
The turkey story of the hunt and probably of all season goes to Larry Borens also from Dover, TN. Larry got himself all situated in his ground blind that he made up himself of branches and what not from the area, and had made three shooting paths out. So Larry gets the show on the road and makes some calls, in comes a tom but the bird knows something is up. The tom is nervous and is behind some brush, Larry knows the bird will probably take off and decides to make his shot through the brush. Whammy, the bird is struck and starts to flop off through the prickly pear. Larry runs out and catches the bird and stomps on him, he's flopping pretty good so Larry whacks him in the head with a nearby stick. The bird goes down. At this point there are feathers everywhere, with all the raucous Larry failed to notice he had stomped on the toms tail feathers. Only one tail feather remains intact, well shoot. Larry takes the bird back to the blind and lays him just outside in view. The toms beak moves a little now and again, but Larry isn't worried, he knows he's dead. About 45 minutes pass by and Larry decides to try for another tom. He gets his call ready and strikes up a gobble, up jumps his one feathered tom and sets out like the devil is on his tail. Larry just can't believe it, he fires the killing shot and the tom is finally dead (for the second time). The one feathered tom weighed 19.8#, 3/4"spr, and 9" beard. Larry also tagged another weighing in at 13.3#, 1/4"spr, and 5.75"brd and had all it's tail feathers.
Billy Williams from Dover, TN shot a nice bird on the first morning as well, stretching the shot out to 40yrds. This bird weighed 16.3#, 3/4"spr, and 9.5"brd. When Billy shot a second bird the following day he made sure to text Larry and ask him if 45 minutes was a sufficient enough time to ensure the bird was dead. Larry's story made everyone just a bit jumpy. The second bird Billy tagged weighed 17#, 1 1/8"spr, and 9 1/8"brd.
Boyd Williams JR from Dover, TN as well had a decent hunt the first morning. He spotted some birds off in the distance and could just make out the tops of them. He sees that it is a tom with some hens. He make a few calls and they start his way, this is going good, they're getting closer. Off to the side Boyd spots some more birds, its a group of jakes. The tom also spots them, he whips around and takes off with his hens. How maddening, Boyd taught them jakes a lesson and shot their ring leader. That'll teach 'um. The bird weighed 13.3#, 3/8"spr, and 4"brd. Boyd has been coming to the lodge on and off since 2006 and wearing the same hunting boots since. About one day in to this hunt the soles were starting to become a bit loose, on the final day Boyd had to make his way back to the truck with sole less boots, west Texas ground is very unforgiving with stickers, cactus, snakes, you name it will poke you. Boyd literally walked the soles right off them boots.
The weather warmed right up that afternoon and never cooled down. It got scorching hot out there hunting. On the third evening hunt Ray Hewitt of Bumpus Mills, TN tagged a fantastic tom. Ray was hunting from a pop up blind, after he shoots his bird he unzips it and goes out to retrieve the bird and bring it back. He lays it within sight and climbs back into the blind and zips up. He starts to thinking about Larry's experience and unzips the blind, climbs out, and makes sure the bird is dead and climbs back in the blind and zips up one more time. Well shoot, thinking about it to much, Ray unzips the blind once more and pulls the bird into the blind and zips back in for the final time. It seems one can never be to cautious with your birds. This tom weighed 19#, 1.25"spr, and 9.25"brd. Also Ray tagged a bearded hen sporting a 7 1/8" beard.
The last hunter to bag a bird was the new comer to the Lodge Chris Lewis from Indian Mound, TN. For those of you who have joined us in camp you know we keep a large harvest board on the wall to keep track of hunters kills and our records. With group of guys the #5 slot has been an unlucky number for their group for years, unbeknownst to Jim he filled it with Chris. It wasn't until the final scheduled evening hunt that Chris tagged a bird. But, it was a real nice tom! The temps had now climbed up to 93, making being in a blind down right HOT! Chris decided to cool his hot feet down and took off his hunting boots. He probably would have shed even more layers had a bird not came with in shooting range. Chris tagged his first ever Rio Grande turkey with us and it was a dandy weighing 21#, 1.5"spr, and 8.5"brd. Congratulations
Hunt three began with wet and cooler weather that just lingered on and on, but finaly the moisture let up and gave the hunters a reprieve and became a successful hunt. I believe that the entire hunting party were all new comers to the lodge. A group of five came form Georgia, a group of three from PA, and one from Tennessee.
On the first evening John Campbell from Tionesta, PA made the opening kill on a nice tom. The bird showed himself of in the distance and John made only one call and the tom trotted on in and the rest is history.
The next hunter to tag a nice bird was Phil Bluestein of Brunswick, GA also on the first evening. And then the birds became stealthy and skidish. All the hunters were seeing and hearing birds but they just couldn't get them in close enough to make a good shot. I did even hear one hunter say he thought he was a better turkey hunter than he was proving to be. So the second day was slow in the morning with no birds taken.In the evening John Cambell was successful once again and tagged out. The stories were all the same from the other hunters: Lots of birds but they are acting crazy...
Finally, the weather started to clear and warm up a tad and the third evening hunt I got busy taking photos. Mike Evans of Brunswick, GA filled his bird quota tagging two birds, his son Carl Evans also from Brunswick bagged a nice tom, and Keith Evans, you guessed it, from Brunswick, GA tagged a real nice tom.
On the final morning a very patient hunter, Doug Ormsby, bagged a beautiful tom. Doug came to camp with his grand daughter, Hannah Ormsby. Hannah had never tagged a turkey but she joined us with a positive attitude, and great hunting ambitions. Although she was unable to fill her tags I believe she had a wonderful time hunting with her granddad!
Our Adams, Tennessee hunter David McNeill was also a very patient hunter. David had some gun malfuntions in two different instances which caused him to miss. We felt his pain! David was paired with John Cambell as his traveling companion on the ranches and they quickly became fast friend. Since John had filled his tags he, very graciously, lent David his gun. So on the final morning David was able to tag a bird. David was acompanied by his sweet wife MarriAnne as a nonhunter.
The final hunter I'll mention is Dusty Branch from Brunswick, GA. Although Dusty was unable to make a connection with a bird he had some great hunting experiences. On the last full day Dusty got on some birds early on in the day. He called them in over and over but the birds would get to a spot and not move past it. This went on for over an hour. So putting the sneak on he made his way closer and closer. But those pesky birds just would not come beyond that one spot. At this point, dusty started thinking "there must be an imaginary fence there". Sure enough he made his way even closer and the birds were at a fence and were hemming up. He was so close to the birds now and would have had an easy shot. Being that there was a fence the ethical hunter that Dusty portrayed was a testament to the person he is. At this point, he stood up and said "Bang, Bang! Your dead" and headed back to camp.
Whoowee, what can I say about hunt 2. It was a rough one for all involved. With the weather turning cold and rainy the birds clamed up and hunkered down and weren't moving much. Each hunter did see birds and hear them off in the distance but point A was not meeting up with point B. Unfortunately, there were a few misses and also a few miss fires, but shoot- that's why its called hunting not killing. Hunter Chuck Schaap did say he saw the biggest tom of his hunting life!
With all that said, the hunt was filled with a great group of men. Some have been hunting with the Lodge for many years and we had several new comers.
Charlie Eifert of Mason, OH
Chuck Schaap of Holland, MI
Wayne Allums of Carthage, TX
James Danse of Richardson, TX
Charles Southworth of Gaffney, SC
Keith Wahoske of Chillicothe, FL
Alex Wahoske of Santa Rosa, FL
Charles Southworth was one of the lucky fellas to tagged a tom. The bird weighed 16.8#s, 7/8" spurs, and 6 3/4" Beard
Also Keith Wahoske bagged a nice bird. 15#s, 1"spurs, and 8 1/4" brd.
And Wayne Allums. 18.6#s, 3/4" Spurs, and 2 3/4" brd.
All in all the comradery, the food, and the hunting stories prevailed.
April 11, 2021
Hunt # 1 started last Tuesday with a great group of hunters. It was a group of men consisting of veteran Adobe Lodge hunters and some new comers. Needless to say, it was a great hunt for all.
One the first evening five toms were taken, what a great start. And then the heat and wind arrived slowing things down a little over the next few day, but still some nice birds were taken. We reached temps into the mid 90's making it down right HOT!
Returning hunter, Dan Mink, from Stewartstown, PA bagged a great tom weighing 20.4lbs. The tom also was sporting a 9" beard and 3/4" spurs. Fantastic bird!
Ed Ford from Dexter, GA, another Lodge veteran, harvested two birds; both beautiful toms. The first weighing 20.2lbs, 3/4" spurs, and an 8" beard. The second bird weighed 20lbs, 1 1/2" spurs, and a 9.5" beard. These two birds make a total of 168 birds from around the world for Ed. Ed has a tradition that he follows every with every bird taken. He keeps the empty hull and writes all the details of the harvest and places them on the grave of the man "the REV" who introduced him to turkey hunting and helped him tag his first ever turkey. This season Ed reserved one of those great hulls and visited Skippers grave and left him the great gift. Thank You Ed
The third hunter, James Pugh, was the last of the veteran lodge hunters. James comes to us from Urbandale, IA. James harvested a 19.75# bird with 3/4" spurs, and was beardless.
The remaining hunters were all new comers to camp and we are happy to make new friends with all.
Lee and daughter Kadence VanDever joined us from Clermont, FL. Kadence celebrated her 16th Birthday in camp. Lee tagged two birds, the first weighing 18.8#s, 1"spurs, and 9.5" Beard. His second bird weighed 19.5#s, 7/8"spur, and 9.25" beard.
Kadence harvested a nice tom weighing 16.3#s, 3/4"spurs and 8"beard.
Caleb Cope and his father Lee drove in from Clinton, MS. It was great having them in camp. Lee suffers from parkinsons disease and Caleb took great care in assisting his dad with harvesting a great tom. On the evening of the third day they both harvested their birds at the same time, how cool. Lee's tom weighed 18.9#s, 7/8"spurs and an 8"beard. Caleb's first bird came in at 20.6#s, 7/8"spurs, and a 9" Beard. Caleb also tagged a second bird at 20.9#s, 1"spurs, and an 8.5"beard.
Mark Rich and his son Ellis were from Jackson, MS. Mark is the son in law of the above mentioned Lee Cope. Ellis was the one who tagged a great bird, 19.8#s, 1"spurs, and 9.5" beard. Unfortunately Mark was unable to harvest a bird, maybe due to having to cut their trip short and head home a day early.
The final hunter Kyle Thompson from Scottsboro, AL was fast to fill his bird quota with two exceptional toms. 20.9#, 1"spur, 8.75" beard and 21.2#, 1.25"spur, and 9" beard. Kyle is a long time friend of the Cope's and was able to assist Lee and Caleb with calling in their two birds they shot simultaneously. what a great guy.
Thank you to our guides Tony Keiffer and Darren Ambrose, always outstanding.
So that puts hunt #1 in the books. It was a great way to start off the season.