April 20, 2009, 09:09 AM
Well I've been hunting for quite a few years but never before have I been turkey hunting, but this year I figured that I'd give it a go. I wasnt very optomistic at success just due to the fact of everything that Ive read about seasoned verterans being outturkeyed. But I went ito it head first nevertheless. Virginia Spring Turkey started on the 11th and I figured 2 weeks of pre scouting would be good. I found 2 groups of birds right off the bat at the northern end of the property (4200 acres) the first 2 days scouting and they were actually answering my calls.... very promising. I show back up the day before opening day and what do I find..... loggers not 100 yards away from where I wanted to set up. Ugggggggg not having scouted any other areas I was forced to set up in a unfamiliar area with no opening day success. Drive home that afternoon for the Easter family festivities and back to the cabin on Sunday night for another try on Monday. I figured I'd try the southern end next to the creek and the hardwoods.... I park at the top of the access road and trudge the 3/4 of a mile to the bottom. Stopping at the bottom and hit the call with an immediate responce! WOW that was close... figuring about 100 yards away on the other side of the creek and just over the rise.... so I move to the other side of the creek and try to make my way to the rise as quietly as I can... stopping every 10 yards or so, letting everything quiet down and I hit the call. Sometimes I'd get an answer and sometimes I wouldnt.... but everytime it answered he would be the same distance away... needless to say I am batting 100% at failing now and am really beginning to believe everything I have read and heard about the elusiveness of the infamous turkey bird! Well fast forward to this past Saturday. I get up to the cabin friday night after the 2 hour drive, the entire way thinking about what I'm going to do different. I get into the cabin to sign out my area, thankfully no-one was in my area. Saturday morning I get to the bottom of the access road just a few minutes sooner than I did last weekend, its just light enough for you to see, but perhaps the birds are still on the roost. Same drill as last week I let a few minutes pass then hit my call and the gobbler answers back from the same area that he was in last week. Now comes the hard part.... what to do? A quick decision is to quietly but as quickly as I can cover 1/2 the total distance I did last weekend first. See last weekend I hop-scotched and I'm thinking that just gave old Tom more time to get away from me. Well I get across the creek and set up next to stand 9. THeres a blow down log, scattered brush, hardwoods and a good 50 yard view to the ridge. I kneel down just to catch my breath and let the woods quiet down. (remember I said quietly right!) Hit my call and WOW a loud and proud answer.... he sounds about 100 yards away... and sitting in the same area as I heard him a bit ago. Well I decide that I'm staying put, I drop my pad and sit behind the log, Ensure I'm all camoed up, use the log as a bench rest and call to Tom..... hmmmm no answer.... wait a few minutes and call to him again....WOW big answer again and instantly after that... crash crash thru the trees and brush just over the ridge.... my hearts thumping so loud Im thinking the Tom will hear it.... I wait a few then hit the call... NOW WOW hes just over the ridge and to my right. I adjust my position about 20 degrees and hit my call and place it on the ground.... suddenly movement just to my right even more... 50 yards away... theres Tom, all fluffed up and strutting like he has a purpose. Hes coming in closer but there isnt a clear shot, the trees are kinda close together and the brush is also obscuring... but hes still not close enough for me to be confident I can get him cleanly. What do I do? Try to call him again? No..... can he see me move..... suddenly there he is in the open.... 45 yards stopped looking right at me.... oh no he sees me... there is an instant mental check of what I think I look like from his perspective, a camo blob behind a fallen tree. Okay I think,,, the only issue is that he hears my heart thumping.... hmmmm he turns his head away and starts moving closer from right to left behind a tree then in the open.... brush obscured,,, then in the open. But always coming to where he heard the last call. 20 yards... hes in the open, good open clearance around him.... safety was already off, I put the crosshairs right on his head, thank the lord for the opportunity and let him have a 3" magnum #5 shot. He's goes down, does the fallen wing dance I've seen so many times on Sunday morning watching the hunting shows. I let him settle down and go to him... nice... almost 17 pounds, 9 inch beard and 3/4 inch spurs. I'll be out there again this Saturday... I've still got 2 open tags.