Why Register?Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.
Welcome to Field & Stream!
Question by Del in KS. Uploaded on May 07, 2009
Several years ago I drove (3 hr drive) to Macon Co MO to Turkey hunt the last day of the season. The weather was warm and trees were fully leafed out by then. It was very windy that morning and by the time I was set up in my favorite spot near a good roosting area doubts had started to set in. This place is hardwood covered ridges along the Chariton River. Old logging roads follow most of the ridges and near a place where 2 of them cross there are 2 very old graves. My setup was about 100 yards down the ridge from these graves. As it got daylight it became apparent nobody was home. For about 30 minutes after fly down time I sat there calling without so much as hearing a hen cluck. The wind in the trees was so noisy a bird would have to be nearby to be heard at all. Feeling dejected over having driven 3 hours for nothing I pulled the decoy and started walking up the ridge to leave. About 10 feet from the crossroads thought I heard a distant gobble, then again, and again but closer. My first impulse was to move toward the bird when it dawned on me that he had to be close to be heard at all. There was a small Hickory on my right so I sat down right there. Within moments it was apparent there was a Gobbler moving down one of the trails in my direction and he was gobbling his tail off. From where I sat the old bird was coming up a road just over a slight rise. With my Benelli SBE up and aimed down that trail and my heart thumping in my throat I waited. There was a slight game trail that turned away down hill just over the rise and my bird took it. Up until this point I had done no calling. (here's a tip never call if the bird is already coming your way) At this point I gave a single cluck with the always in my mouth diaphram call. He immediately did a 180 and came my way cutting across the corner. There was a brushpile left by loggers to my immediate front and the bird approached it from behind. Knowing he would come around either on my left or right I chose right and pointed the gun down that trail. This is when the old Tom suddenly went silent. Seconds seemed like hours then on the opposite side of the road from this bird there was movement and 2 longbeards materialized picking their way in my direction. Well heck what about this bird doing all the gobbling??? There was no perceptable movement. Rather it slowly dawned on me that a red white and blue head had materialized like a ghost in the shadows to right of the brushpile. He was only 20 yards away. Old Betsy was already pointed. It only took a very slight sight adjustment and she roared! The other 2 birds immediately flushed flying right over my head with a noise not unlike the wife beating a rug very fast and hard. The old gobbler weighed 25 pounds (I goofed when wrote 24 under the photo) He had a nice long 11 1/2 inch beard and curved 1 1/4 inch sharp two-toned spurs. There is a photo of this bird on page 6 of the photo files on my profile titled "Old bird gobbled his last". He fell only about 20 yards from the old graves. To date I have collected 4 gobblers on that spot and 2 of them are among the biggest. The other big one went 26 pounds. When dreaming about turkey hunting I often can still hear that old bird gobbling.
Had a buddy who had just bought a Mossberg 500 for turkeys. We had talked on Fri(10yrs ago) about where we were hunting, tactics, rounds, etc.
He comes to work on Mon. with TWO black eyes, so I ask "Hey Don, what happened to you? Wife catch you shooting pool at th ebar instead of turkeys?
He said he'd gotten set up on this hill-side, watching a big gobbler(Run-n-gun) and as hes calling to him, he see something out of the corner of his eye(another gobbler), tries to spin on him and the bird starts up hill on him as he fires a 3in.turkey load.(breaks nose/blacks both eyes). He got the bird though.
Hope you like the story.
That shot must have hurt.
Mine would be the first bird I ever called up for my son. We hunted the afternoon on a WMA Kids hunt. I called up the bird on a food plot and we had a decoy out in fron of us. The bird came in from behind and stopped to drum about 2 yards off my right elbow. The boy was between my knees and I whispered for him not to move. He started shaking like cement packer! The bird gobbled and then strutted out to the decoy. He had multiple beards and his spurs looked like they were and inch and a half long. I told my son to take his time and shoot when he was ready. When he finally shot he hit the ground about 5 feet to the right of the tom! He was only about 9 years old at the time and a little small for his age. The bird just walked away as he tried to shuck another shell into the gun. I could have taken the gun and killed the bird easily, but that is not what it's all about... He was still shaking 2 hours later.
The next year he got his bird, a really nice tom that held the hunt record for 3 years. That's another good story for later...
Great story Bee. I can relate to your son.
Fieldandstream.com is part of the Field & Stream Network, a division of Bonnier Corporation.
Copyright © 2012 Bonnier Corp. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.