«He's down !
Yesterday I hiked out too & up the powerline for a morning hunt. When I acended the first steep incline I stepped on a rock which made a popping noise and immediately a bird gobbled to my left within 50 yards. I was caught in no man's land so quietly backpedaled 10 yards to set up 2 decoys. I then moved back across the powerline another 20 yards to sitdown against a big Chesnut Oak. I checked the time at 5:46am then made a couple soft calls with the slate...The Tom opened up and immediatey was joined by a second one even closer. I used my ballhat to simulate a flydown and the Toms went wild gobbling every few minutes until 6:25 when I watched the closer Tom flydown & away. Durn bugger was so close he had to have sat quietly and watched me set-up. One more gobble was all I got as they headed away. On the way back to the truck I spotted fresh yote tracks in my boot imprints and wondered if this may be the reason the birds haven't been gobbling once on the ground.
This morning Fred joined me and we decided to try setting one power pole lower and into the woods 200yds on the west side on the powerline to be below the Toms and hopefully intercept them on their way down to the flats. We felt we needed to be just across the gulley & small stream where a spring or two ago Paul & Eric had a Tom dancing back & forth repeatedly but it just wouldn't cross the little creek. On the way in the dark we must broke every branch we passed and ended up busting 2 turkeys off roost. After setting up the hen decoys I sat down and heard a faint gobble way off to my left and slightly higher up the mountain. About 10 minutes later I heard a Tom sound off above us where I had run into them yesterday. I made up my mind that we would sit tight for 2 hours before moving if action was slow. I called every 15 minutes alternating between the Slate & Glass calls. We didn't hear any more gobbles or hen calls for the next 2 hours. The woods are dry and every Chipmunk sounded like a herd of deer coming through and I was getting pretty heavy lidded by 7:30am. I reached up and pulled my facemask off & zipped it in a vest pocket, put my calls & gloves in my vest, slid off my foldout stool and turned around on my knees to close it up......And was caught flatfooted by a big Tom 10 yards behind me. He took off running while I grabbed the shotgun and when he paused 25 yards to look back ...it was his last glance. Fred got to watch the whole scene as he was 20 yards away facing my position. He sure got a good chuckle and we both were disbelieving that this bird had come in so quietly without either of us spotting it or hearing it in the dry leaves & small sticks. It's a mature Tom with spurs just a smidge over 7/8", the beard suffered some shotgun trimming but most of whats left measures 8 1/2" with two whiskers reaching 9 3/4". I weighed him 3 times on digital scales and he only weighed 15 1/2lbs. Beautiful full chesnut colored fan. I'm calling this my "What not to do" gobbler because that's what I did the last 30 seconds of the hunt. We think he came in from behind us following the stream gulley.
Maybe next Saturday Ol Seth will decide to get out of bed and we'll go after the other 2 Toms still up there.
Edited by Phil, 22 May 2010 - 09:10 AM.