He shall gobble no more!
April 20, 2012 3 Comments
After several unsuccessful attempts earlier this year, my plan today was to get as close to where I thought they were as early as possible. Not exactly rocket science, but a plan nonetheless. I woke up 30 minutes prior to the wake up alarm so the day started off well.
Drank a cup of coffee on the way and got situated next to a tree while it was still dark. The woods were dead silent. After about 40 minutes, night gave way to morning and it began brightening up a little bit. I heard 3 or 4 chirps and then what I had been waiting on. The old boy let out a gobble. And another and another. I had convinced myself that calling to him on the limb was going to result in the same lack of success as previous hunts so I just sat there and waited. Then it hit me. Coffee gut pain. Horrible, coffee gut pain. My stomach churned and I began a frantic search for the toilet paper that all turkeys hunters carry with them. I waited for a minute to hear another gobble and assure myself that the gobbler was still in the tree before easing off 20 yards to handle some paperwork.
Once completed, I got back to my tree and was again greeted by a gobble. The bird that had been surrounded by hens all year sounded as if he was solo today. He gobbled at crows, he gobbled at trucks on the highway, idiot neighbors making racket, dogs barking and generally every loud noise for the next hour.
I stuck with my plan and did not make a hen call to him. Rather than a yelp, I gobbled at him. He responded. The plan was working. We went back and forth a few times and I decided to wait him out silently at least until his feet hit the ground. At 7:45 another bird in the distance gobbled. My bird couldn’t let that go unanswered and they carried on a contest for the next 15 minutes or so. My bird sounded as if he claimed victory with a quad gobble, but I cannot be certain. And then everything went silent.
I waited and pondered whether he was still on the limb until my thought was interrupted by a spiftt-vroooom off to my left. I let out a purr and clucked twice. Then I sat the caller down and picked the gun up.
A red head bobbed into view followed by another. I looked through my green dot sight only to find that there was no visible dot. Great! I had the dang thing set on 1 and due to the sunlight I needed it on 5. I made the adjustment slowly and waited for the birds to separate enough that I wouldn’t get a double. At the blast of my 10 gauge, he folded up and I ran out to claim the voodoo bird. When I did, the other bird just stood there and looked at me. Another bird that I hadn’t previously seen did likewise. We had a brief stare down and then they just walked off putting. While I would like to think I got the voodoo bird that has given me fits all year, I suspect he sacrificed his buddy and will torment me another day.
10 1/2 inch beard, spurs 1 1/8 and 18 pounds. Should make some good fried nuggets tonight.