Had gone hunting early in the season to a place I usually go. Came home with a bunch of morels, but no turkey. They were there, but as you turkey hunters know, they weren't where they were supposed to be!!
Arrived last Saturday for another go at 'em. Property is a long, narrow field that runs east/west, bordered on the north by a winding stream and deep gulley and on the south by a wooded ridge and woods in general. Basically, the owner has a 1/4 mile by 1 mile strip. The birds roost along the south ridge, then pitch down to the open field each morning or head south to another person's property (off limits). This particular morning, I set up in my usual spot, only to hear one gobbler sounding off down at the east end. No other birds seemed in my area, so I packed up and moved several hundred yards east and set up there. The gobbler really didn't respond to my calls, but low-and-behold, another gobbler sounded off back up where I had been! Ugh! This is not the first time that's happened.
From where I was, I could only see bits of the open field, but eventually, I saw this second tom strutting across the field on the north side. Calling, calling, yelping, purring, clucking; all to no avail. He's truly a Show Me bird; wants me to show myself in the open before he commits.
Anyway, for the next 2 hours, I move two more times and set up in the woods bordering this field and each time, I can catch glances of him either walking or strutting along this open field. I also notice he's got a twin with him. Finally, about 9:30, I pick up and am walking halfway up the side of this ridge. I get to an ATV trail the owner's son had made to get to his deer stand at the top of the ridge and I'm considering, "Try it up there, or just go home?" I take out my slate call, and give a couple soft clucks followed by 3 short yelps and the gobbler sounds off just at the base of the ridge, about 75 yards away! I had lost track of him during the last half hour because he was not visible and had stopped responding. Before I could do anything, there they were, in sight and headin' my way!! Frozen in place, I watched them until both their heads disappeared behind a tree, then I moved one step to my right and sat down out in the open. There was a triple trunk tree another 5 feet away, but I didn't want to chance it.
There I am, sitting out in an open woods with two gobblers very close and (I thought) moving to my right. Gun is up and ready waiting for them to reappear when movement to my LEFT reveals one bright red head, then a second red head. They were using the ATV trail to come up the ridge looking for this sweet little hen! Slowly swinging/twisting around, I get the bead of my gun on the second bird's head and BOOM! A thankful prayer lifted up to the Lord for giving me such a beautiful morning in the turkey woods and successful end to this hunt.
Seventeen steps, Mossberg 12 gauge shooting a 3" shell with 2 oz. of #4 buffered copper plated shot, 22 lbs, 9-1/2" beard, 11/16" spurs.