Turkey Hunting Day Two

May 19, 2012

Shooting the second turkey in two days in less than 1:08 total hours of shooting time was not the highlight. 

This was my second year turkey hunting. My brother-in-law, Wes, from New Hampshire was looking for someone he could call for. Last year, he only produced a gobble going in the other direction.

Monday night we scouted the third field, having shot a bird in the second field that morning. We heard gobbles at the top of the field. It was a little longer and narrower than a football field. We found a spot at about the fifty yard line with a tree up against a rock wall. Perfect. This is where we would set up in the morning.

We exited quietly.

We started back to the field at 4:30 the next morning. When we got about thirty-five yards from the tree we had picked out the previous night, we found out we weren’t the only ones who thought they liked that tree. Two owls hooted from our tree. We continued, the owls got louder but left as we closed in. Busted by the owls, did the turkeys notice?

We set the decoys as previously planned and took our positions, looking for the birds to come in from the top of the field, our right. We were ready by 4:45.

Around 5:00, we hear our first gobble. After a couple more, Wes answers with a box call. It’s returned.

Break in the action. I notice a shadow in the right upper corner of the field. It moves down our side. At a small crest in the hill, its silhouette reveals it to be a buck. He passes within 25 feet of the decoys. He gets about 75 yards down and stops. We were winded. He knows we are there, but where? He heads back up toward the crest. I see movement back where he came in. He charges back and I can see four deer heading back into the woods. For the next five minutes we hear the buck snorting in the woods. He obviously didn’t like our presence. Now we’ve been busted by the deer.

Meanwhile, Wes maintains contact with his box call. Before we knew it, we were sitting a JFK Airport. Gliding down from the top of the field was the first turkey. It landed about 25 yards past us to our left. I try to take a look. Wes admonishes me, “freeze”. Incoming. Two more in glide pattern land in the same general area. About a minute later, the fourth. Awesome.

I lament to Wes, I’m not positioned to shoot to the left. Patience. Sure enough, within 5 minutes, now staying perfectly still, I can see a hen and three toms headed for our decoys. Choices, all within range. I choose the one with the longest beard. Time of kill 5:30.

Two birds in a total of one hour, eight minutes, but the real pleasure was the action of the owls, the deer and watching those birds glide 75 yards down the field to land next to us. The taking of the birds was just a bonus.

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