Tuesday, May 6, 2008


My deer hunting guru Savage Lynch swears by Nov. 13th as the hot day for bucks at the peek of the rut. I swear by the 5th of May for gobblers. Yesterday did not disappoint.

After a solid week of rain and fog, the crows started up etched against a powder blue sky. Then the roost gobbling started. Roost gobbling is the sound a tom turkey makes while still in the tree. It's what turkey hunters live for. If you have a hot bird on the roost, you can almost run through the woods, undetected, and set up ready to intercept the bird when he flys down.
There were two birds sounding off. One was across the road on GNJohn's land and another down on the Gilkey farm. I was behind the school house, so decided to go after the GNJohn bird. By the time I got close my heart was pounding and I was out of breath and sweating. I pulled out my slate call and made a couple of soft yelps. The gobbler roared back. I had his interest.
A jake dropped out of the tree right in front of me, as the tom worked his way down the hill. He was in full strut (blown up like a black beach ball) and gobbling all the way. The smaller jake stayed obediently silent and kept a wary eye on the tom. Then both birds moved off to my right. In the past I probably would've swung the gun, spooked the birds, shot and missed. This time I let them pass. When they were out of sight I repositioned myself on the tree and called loudly. The tom was lit up....and headed back. As he crossed a stone wall I clicked off the safety on the 12 ga. I had him in the bag by 6:15am.
I took the bird home, hung in the backyard hemlock and headed out to WSS. I'd recently secured an additional couple of hundred acres to hunt out there, but up until now i hadn't heard a thing. Today was the same. I wandered the wood roads and meadows. Gold finches, cardinals and chickadees made a ruckus, darting through the woods, but no gobbles. I moved across the road to another piece of property and was about to call it a day, when I heard a far off gobble. It sounded like a jake. I called and he answered. Then across 200 yards of field I saw him. HOLY SHIT! Even from that distance I could tell this was no jake. I called again and he headed my way.... WITH A HEN IN TOW! He had a red,white and blue head the size of a softball and a sphincter loosening gobble. I kept stroking the slate softly and he kept coming.
It's always difficult to call in a mature bird and next to impossible if he's with a hen. But for some reason this tom was more interested in my sweet vocalizations than the babe he had with him. Within 10 minutes he was standing, neck stretched out, 25 yards in front of my gun barrel. I squeezed the trigger and he went down like a ton of bricks. The hen scurried across the field as I stood over this monster. He had two metal leg tags etched with phone and DEC numbers. When I got home I called. It was a Univ. of Penn. program in NY, Ohio and Pa. set up to track turkey movement. The girl on the phone told me he was tagged in town of Calicoon and I'd shot him in Liberty. This boy was on the move. 22lbs. 9 1/2" beard. One inch spurs. She congratulated me on my score and wished me a happy Cinco de Mayo. Oye!

I'm now available to guide any interested supermodel.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home