The alarm went off and I reached over and hit the snooze button. Five minutes later it went off again, so I shut it down. Still drowsy, I stumbled to the kitchen and soon had a pot of coffee brewing. The dog wanted out, so I opened the back door and let him out to do his thing. Glancing up at the sky I saw the moon was still up and it was clear. "This is going to make it difficult to cross an open field without being seen" I thought to myself, but I was thankful it wasn't pouring rain as it had been for a good part of the spring turkey season.
I enjoyed my morning cup of coffee, and thought about the turkeys I had seen the day before, two fine gobblers. They had rewarded my calling by vacating the field, the last time I had seen them they had increased the range from 200 yards to about 600 at least, and were still heading away. They were heading towards the golf course for unknown reasons, turkeys being turkeys, or maybe it was such a nice day they thought they might watch the action on the local green!
I decided on a plan and made my preparations, let the dog back in and was soon heading down the road. I arrived at my hunting area, geared up and made my way across a treacherous plowed field. I was grateful for the extra light to see my way, at the same time I was concerned about being seen by roosting turkeys. I slipped along a hedgerow along the plowed field, and then entered the next green field, quickly setting up on an island in the same field, close to where I had spotted the turkeys the day before.
As soon as it was light enough to make some calls, I called, sparingly as I didn't want to over call after seeing the reaction from the previous day. After sitting there for a couple of hours, I had heard not a single turkey sound in response to my calls, and only observed a fox traveling the far edge of the field, and a barn cat chasing field mice. so much for my plan, it had become overcast and chilly, I was under dressed expecting it to be a warm day. Time to make a move I thought,gathered up my things and made my way back towards the plowed field I had come in on. Upon reaching the edge, I checked for any signs of the turkeys. I saw some fresh tracks and then on the far side near a hardwood point leading back into another plowed field, spotted a turkey. It was heading towards the point, and passed by on the far side into the other section of field.
Hoping I hadn't been seen, I backed out and cut across another brush field,hoping to cut the bird off, it was too far away to tell what it was. I tried to be as quiet as possible, but it seemed like I was making a lot of noise. Finally, I had made my way to the plowed field I had seen the turkey enter, and still in deep cover, looked up the field. About that time I heard a gobble, and spotted a strutting tom, then another. Two toms and a hen, apparently I hadn't been spotted. I eased a little closer and set my seat, and cautiously made a call. A gobble answered my call, and I watched the gobbler strutting and displaying around the hen. The hen started coming my way, and then headed back the other way. After a while, I lost sight of the toms, and the hen, easing my way closer to the field, I cautiously scanned the area, no sign of them anywhere.
Thinking they might be heading towards the first place I had set up, I decided to back out of there and find a place to hopefully intercept them.
I made my way back across the brush field, and looked at the hedge row between it and the large plowed field, a great vantage point and possibly a good interception point. I eased into the hedge row, and set my seat for the wait. I called and a turkey gobbled close to where I had just left from, and I mentally kicked myself for not waiting it out longer. I called again, putting a little more emotion into my calling, hoping to fire up the gobblers passion, and he gobbled enthusiastically. To my left and behind me, I heard some yelping. A hen or another hunter I wondered, the location made me question it. I decided, even if it was another hunter, we were both trying to pull the toms the same direction, and if it was in fact a hen, she could probably do a better job of calling them up, and I would pretend it was indeed a hen until proven otherwise.
I began dueling a little with the hen, and I noticed her pitch changed somewhat, lower in tone and quieter. The gobbling continued to our calls, and I had a good feeling. The toms gobbled at crows, cars going by, almost any loud noise, a good sign this might work.
I caught movement to my left, out of the corner of my eye I saw a turkey approaching from behind, the hen was coming to investigate. She saw something she didn't like, putted softly and ran, the toms gobbled.
I decided it was time to go quiet, maybe the toms would wonder what happened and come looking.
As I sat there, it got quiet, and I wondered if the hunt was over. I heard a sound, and glanced ahead, caught a glimpse of movement. A tom had quickly closed the distance, and was only about 40 yards away on the edge of the plowed field. The sound I had heard, was the unmistakable sound of the spit and drum. He was coming my way, and his projected course would put him in my lap. I eased the safety of and readied my self. He would puff up, and then lower his fan and take a few more steps, ever coming closer. It was surprising how quickly he came along, and when he put his head down, I raised the Lefever into position. When his head came up again, he was less then ten yards away, the Lefever bellowed smoke and fire, and the turkey dropped instantly.
Exultation and adrenalin took over as I leapt up and reached the tom. It had been two and a half hours since I had first seen these birds, and it had been a fine hunt with a worthy adversary. I admired him for a few moments, gave thanks for such a memorable morning, and re-gathered my things. A pile of logs looked like a good place to take a few photos, so I might always remember this fine bird, and the morning hunt. I was still shaky from the excitement and the adrenalin, but soon I had posed the turkey for photos, and after this was done, I headed for the truck.
It had indeed turned out to be a great morning after all, and a hunt I will always remember....