TLO Hunting Articles

The Urie's 3 for 3 Co turkey hunt

Well my dad and I had a fantastic year with turkeys. We both drew limited tags out in eastern Colorado on the river and I had some extra time so I bought an over the counter turkey tag. I hunted three days for my otc bird and finally got him. All the otc areas in the state get a ton of pressure so it is some work to kill a bird but I got it done on a nice little jake but I couldn't have been happier. Then came the limited hunt. We missed opening weekend due to some other obligations and finally headed out for the second weekend. On saturday the 10th my dad took a great mature bird that has the whitest tail feathers on a Rio Grande that I have ever seen, if I had a guess he is a merriams hybrid part of a flock that was released in Nebraska and has since flourished. This bird was chasing a jake (we let him walk by at ten yards) and he was strutting almost the whole way in. We hunted the rest of the weekend but I was yet to get my bird, however we had a great big one patterned. We nicknamed this bird 'Four Fingers.' The story behind this was on saturday afternoon after my dad got his we waited for this bird and his hens to come out into the field to feed like they had been doing. My dad wanting to see more climbed up into a tree and we were using hand signals to rely where the birds were and what they were doing. To indicate the bird was strutting my dad used a fist and then opened up his five fingers to imitate the tail feathers. This particular bird was missing a tail feather due to a previous fight and when I could see him and my dad no longer could he wanted to know what he was doing. When he strutted I used a fist but only opened four fingers, leaving the ring finger down because of his missing tail feather. It was just a joke but the name stuck. I was unable to get that bird and we had to return home.

The next weekend (17th and 18th) I decided to give it one last shot as my season ended on the 18th. My car's front end is shot just due to age and it was deemed unsafe to drive by the mechanic. I worked around this problem and my mom agreed to let me use her mini van for the weekend so I could go hunt. I got out there friday night and after seeing 'Four Fingers' and his hens in the field I knew where to be in the morning. Saturday morning I got into a spot and settled in behind a tree and waited for them to appear in the field. He did just that and he showed up with 10 hens and 2 jakes. He strutted to the hens as they fed directly down the fence line right to me. With 13 turkeys 45 yards or less I readied for the shot. I took aim at 'Four Fingers' and slowly squeezed the trigger...CLICK. Oh no I just had a miss fire, unbelievable. Well thankfully they didn't notice, so I hid behind the tree and slowly reloaded. I stood back up and luckily they were still there. I took careful aim again and squeezed the trigger....BANG!!! I finally got him, it was 6:45 am and I had 'Four Fingers' in the bag. He is my best bird to date with a ten inch beard and 1 1/4 spurs, I think he is a four year old bird. To say I was happy is an understatement. Especially because I had just completed the Colorado double, which is difficult to do because of how hard it is to kill an otc bird let alone do it on a year you draw and then make the most of both tags. My dad and I had a banner year going 3 for 3 with two mature toms.

Attached are the pictures. My two birds were taken on solo hunts so that is why it is of the bird only with a camera phone, none the less.

Happy hunting,

Ryan Urie

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