I awoke with a feeling of excitement as the alarm buzzed, I just had a feeling it was going to be a good morning in the turkey woods! Even so, it was hard to leave the warm covers and I was wishing I had some coffee brewing to help get me moving. I had traveled far to get here though, and I wasn't about to miss it. Indecision of where to go for the morning hunt weighed heavily as I dressed, and by the time I had gotten my gear loaded into the truck had sketched out a vague plan of where I wanted to try. The previous year I had called in a very nice Tom, only to have him put a rock pile between us, and I was unable to get a clear shot and eventually he saw something he didn't like, probably the shaking gun! Nervously he made his way off and I lowered the gun,,
As I had talked with my son the night before, he had mentioned seeing a nice Tom in the same area, the best kind of info any turkey hunter can have, a recent sighting! My son had already gotten his, so I thought this might be the same Tom as I had called in last year, maybe this time I would have some better luck. I decided it was worth a shot and soon I was settle in near the same rock pile only this time on the uphill side. I settled in and waited for the birds to begin their morning routine and soon I heard a turkey gobble, uphill on the ridge above me. I began calling and got an immediate answer. So far so good, I thought and soon I heard him gobble again and knew he was on the move. To my left was a large field, and I was thinking if he gets into the field, it might be harder to call him back into the woods and he was too close to even think about making a move. All I could do was continue to work him and hope for the best. I called again and he gobbled twice from the field and it sounded like he was still on the move and getting closer. I heard a funny sounding gobble and thought maybe it was a jake with him, and then I heard the booming gobble of a mature bird really close!!
I got the gun into position and soon I heard footsteps coming fast! The turkey entered the woods and he was a beauty, coming fast right towards me. The only problem, he was coming in on the downhill side of the rock pile and stopped putting the rock pile directly between us. I could see his head periscoping and breathing heavily I had all I could do to hold the gun steady as the seconds tick by, I thought I had a good bead on him and pulled the trigger and missed!! He had managed to do it again and once again I had blown it.
At the same time I was exhilarated as this was the first field test of a call I had made myself, and it had not only worked, but it had only taken about 15 minutes or less to have a nice Tom in my sights. So I decided it was time to move and before long I was set up in another spot and soon I had turkeys answering me and then it got real quiet. I knew there was a Tom real close, but for the life of me I couldn't see him! I had laid the call down and decided to pick it up, when I reached for it a turkey flew, behind and to my left! Darn!!
I decided it was time for a coffee, I was a bit chilled and shortly thereafter I was in my brothers kitchen and a cup of coffee never tasted so good! We talked and my brother said he wanted to go out with me. Soon we were hiking into a place we thought might hold some good birds, and tried some trolling to try and strike one. We walked a ways, called and waited for a response, nothing. We hiked in a good ways further, coming around the end of a ridge into a saddle, and called again,and a few moments later a turkey gobbled. It sounded like a nice mature Tom! We quickly moved in a bit and I set up on a rocky knoll over looking a low swampy area, a small stream surrounded by swale grass, and from my vantage I had good visibility even though I felt somewhat exposed, although I was backed up to a large oak tree. I began a series of calls and heard another gobble then two more from another direction. I began to get excited then, and did a little cutting with the long box, and all three gobbled!! I cleared away a few leaves and they gobbled at that! Now I was getting really pumped!!
Across the little stream, I heard a gobbler yelp, I heard footsteps, and then I saw a turkey moving away from me. My heart sank and I thought something had gone wrong! Then I heard fighting purrs, and flapping wings and branches snapping and I realized the turkeys had seen the others coming in and they were fighting over the hen. I picked up the long box, cackled and they all gobbled! I put the box down and readied the gun. I heard them coming and it was getting hard to breathe I was so excited! A large Tom broke out into the open, followed by the others, They were closing rapidly and I was watching the closest one, and the others out of the corner of my eye. The closest Tom passed behind a tree and when he came out the other side, I swung the gun, he stopped and I fired rolling him over with the blast. I was on my feet in a second and over to him and then had a hold of him.
He was a good one, and the first one I had taken with a call of my own making. That was the most exhilarating feeling of all, and it had worked beyond my expectations! The best part was that my brother was with me to experience it as well, and a great morning in the turkey woods!!