Wednesday, April 8, 2009

4.08.09 Tennessee Turkey Trek III

He gobbled and Rusty and I looked at each other in disbelief. A big ole gobbler was strutting fifteen yards behind us and neither of us had any clue how he got there. "He's a big bird but make sure he has a nice beard!" Rusty hissed beneath his breath. The landowner had given instructions to only shoot mature birds. I could only make out the outline of the bird as he was obscured by several small trees. After another gobble he eased over to me and I was able to tell he was in fact "mature". I eased the barrel of my Super Nova out through one of the windows, lined up the red fiber optic site on the tom's head and squeezed the trigger. A tremendous BOOM echoed across the country side, shaking the blind. I blinked and strained my eyes hoping to see the turkey laying in the grass....
In the predawn darkness, all three of us had crammed into Rusty's Double Bull blind. It was cool, really cool for April, but I had layered Zane up and had already stoked his inner fired with a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit and some hot chocolate. I was hopeful he would make it through the morning without being too cold. Rusty had situated the blind in the heart of a funnel where two meadows, a couple strips of hardwoods and a small stream came to a point. If birds were moving through the area there was a great possibility that they would come right by us. The Double Bull comes equipped with windows that spans 360 degrees and we were going to need it. There was a possibility that turkeys could come from just about every direction.
We settled in to wait, keen vigilance versus intense exhaustion. After thirty minutes a lone bird crossed the field directly in front of us, 150 yards away. It was a huge tom but our calls did nothing to pursuade him to come our way, he had other places to be. Ten minutes later two more turkeys, which looked to be hens, followed an identical path. We waited and although he got a little bit restless, Zane was very patient. Around 8 o'clock we heard a gobble and then another coming from the woods, about a hundred or so yards off. Rusty and I both yelped a little and then put away our calls. All six eyes were peering in the direction of the gobble, hoping to catch a glimpse of the tom it had come from. I guess we were so intent on seeing him that we never saw another bird come up behind us. His gobble shocked the occupants of our blind.
I couldn't believe it. He was still standing there, looking around, trying to figure out where that loud noise came from and it appeared that he was about to bolt. At that very moment, a car drove by on a nearby road. This captured tom's attention and apparently convinced him to stay. Then he gobbled again and went into a half strut. I quickly covered his head with the Nova's front bead and squeezed the trigger. This time he turned a cartwheel and began flapping on the ground. The blind erupting into huge grins, cheering and high fives. Zane and I ran over to retrieve our prize. I will never forget the huge smile on his face and the strength of his hug as we congratulated one another.

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