1 down, 2 to go
March 15, 2012 1 Comment
Most every hunter knows what today is. And no, it isn’t just the day after March 14. For any non-hunters out there it is the opening day of the grandest season of them all. Spring Turkey Season.
I couldn’t sleep last night as is often the case on the eve of turkey season so with my wife’s blessing, I drove out to camp about midnight just to have a cigar an relax.
This morning, my internal clock went off about 10 minutes prior to the alarm clock and the coffee I had set on timer 5 hours previously was perfect. After a short golf cart ride, I sat in the early morning light and waited for the king of the woods to announce his presence. My dumptruck gobblers were within a hundred yards of where I left them Tuesday. That took all of about 30 seconds to figure out. A little closer than I had expected, but turkeys do the unexpected so I reckon that was to actually be expected.
I set up about as close as the terrain would allow and waited a few minutes to see just how many adversaries I would have. As it turned out, he was surrounded by about a dozen hens……loudmouth hens! I was so fixated on the direction the gobbles were coming from a spike walked up 20 yards to the left of me before I noticed him. I closed my eyes and silently prayed “Please dont blow. Please dont blow.” About that time a hen flew down within a few feet of him. Thankfully he was upwind of me and the hen provided just enough racket to move him along on his way without alerting everything in the woods that a guy in camo was leaned up against an oak tree.
A while back, I was lucky enough to acquire a trumpet caller from Frank Cox of Tennessee. This morning, I put it to use softly yelping and clucking. The loudest of the hens was quite agitated by the sound of a unfamilair hen and walked up to investigate. Yelp, yelp, cluck. Yelp, yelp, cluck. This went on for what seemed like an forever. She stood there with her head up trying to figure out exactly where the new hen was. Occasionally she would make a fake feeding movement. Head to the ground and then pop it straight back up at alert.
Long after my legs went to sleep and my backside cramped she eased off to my right out of sight, but continued to yelp. I gave her a few yelps in return. In the distance, I could see three gobblers literally roll off of a hill fighting, clucking and spurring each other. When they got out of sight, I let out a single gobble from a Morgan caller and then a yelp, yelp cluck like the real hen had been doing.
Just as I sat the caller down he walked out from some short pines at 30 yards and periscoped his neck up for a peek. When he did, I let him have a Nitro to his beak. 19.6 pounds, 1 3/16 spurs and an 11 1/8 inch beard. Nice way to start the 2012 turkey season. Rarely do turkey hunts go exactly as planned, but this one did.