I owe Mike an apology. I had not written a blog post in quite awhile and the other day when I opened the BlogPress app I discovered that I had left the following post that Mike had written sitting there as a draft, somehow I had messed up and had not published it. So the following is out of order, it obviously should have been published some time ago but I know you will enjoy it regardless.
The SOB Gobbler
One evening as Lynn Dee and I were sitting out on the patio relaxing we could see a gobbler all fanned out just down the draw from the house. He and a couple of hens were about 200 yards off. It was mid May and spring turkey season ended in 2 weeks. I had already shot one Tom and had been hunting frequently trying for number two. It had been a grand season, waking with the wild life in the country. So, I decided to try for this Tom the next morning.
Like usual, the turkeys were already gobbling by the time I was walking down the road from the house to get set up. I was all set up with a couple “working girl" decoys out front. There were gobbles all around including one from where we saw the gobbler the evening before. That Tom was answering me when from across the corn field I heard another bird get off the roost. The Tom down the hill kept answering, as has happened all season, but would not come over. Then I saw a bird sneaking through the corn field and peeking at me about 100 yards out. He vanished behind a terrace, only to reappear at the end of the field out of range. He looked my “girls” over but walked off to not be seen or heard again until the next morning. The next morning about 5:30, I was awakened by a gobbler gobbling just down the hill from the house. That SOB, I said out loud. I came home from work that day and once again he was gobbling his butt off just up the draw. That SOB. It may come down to me actually getting up early for that SOB. We will see.
Second try for the SOB gobbler. I had a perfect setup; Hen and Jake decoy set just inside a planted corn field. I am hiding under a mulberry tree in the fence line. I thought that Tom would be roosted about 100 yards away at the end of the corn field. But, no..... that SOB is roosted in a dead cottonwood behind me in a pasture. He gobbles on the roost a couple times answering my call and I hear him gobble on the ground coming my way. I look over my right shoulder and see him at about 75 yards away. He is fanning and gobbling softly every time I call. He moves my way, directly to me. But about 50 yards out he sees the decoys and veers away behind me just like he did before. The SOB is decoy shy. I call a few more times and nothing. There is an early morning thunderstorm moving in so I am ready to call it a morning but when I get up I can see that about 300 yards away over a terrace in the corn field the SOB is all fanned out with two other lesser Toms and a bunch of Jakes. I call a few times and they continue to strut around, but moving away across the corn field. I have to wait for them to get far enough away before I can move. It just starts sprinkling when I walk into the garage. And I turn around and I can see the dead cottonwood from the drive way. You SOB.
Third try. So far, this bird has kicked my butt. I even thought about giving up and throwing the towel in on the SOB. But, the evening after my second encounter, Lynn Dee and I are relaxing on the patio again and there he comes out about 300 yards away all fanned out courting a hen. He follows the hen off up the draw, gobbling the whole time. That SOB. So it is mano-a-mano tomorrow morning, no decoys. My tactic that I employ on the third encounter is to go around where he usually roosts with his entourage and try to cut him off as he and his buddies wander away.
There is a bright full moon as I leave for the hunt, giving me a moon shadow. This concerns me as I need to cross an open field to where I want to set up and I am afraid that the roosted birds might see me walking in, but I stay on course and get set up around 5:15 am. It starts to get light, but no gobbling. Did the turkeys see me walking in? No… I hear a gobble just down the field and into the timber. I call a couple times, and nothing. I call a couple more times with my slate call and nothing. Then I hear the SOB gobble and it sounds like he is on the ground and walking away. Shit, he must have seen me walking in, in the moon light. As I wait patiently, I see a couple jakes coming out of the timber across the field about 200 yards away. Then a few more jakes, I think 5 altogether. I give up on the slate call and go back to the mouth call that I have used on the previous two encounters. And lo and behold, I get a gobble across the field where the jakes come out.
Out of the shadows come the three kings. Well, one SOB and a couple lesser SOBs. The SOB is all fanned out strutting around like he is king. I call with the mouth call again and he does his quiet gobble and struts around, not coming my way. I am trying to be really patient and not over call, but I want that SOB. Slowly, the jakes leading the way start moving toward me. In the middle of the field, about half way between the birds and me is a grass water way that the birds will need to cross to get close enough for a shot. I call a few more times and he fans and struts, the other two mature birds and jakes are just watching the king put on a show. It was a good show, but I need him to continue to come another 50 yards and cross the water way, and then some. I call again and I notice that the jakes have started to cross the water way and the mature birds are starting to follow. I continue to call and he continues to move closer, looking for me. He crosses and is straight out into field from me and it appears that he may just keep on going by me like he had the previous two encounters. I take the shot.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad