A lot of people say "better late than never" in certain situations. I suppose that saying describes my 2013 spring gobbler season quite well. I had one of my most eventful seasons last year and the most self induced screw ups too. I will spare the details of me maybe shooting a maple tree that magically jumped in front of a long bearded turkey. I'll also leave out the story of a certain hunt where I misjudged the distance on a couple of loud mouthed gobblers one frosty early May morning. I swear I won't tell the story of the time I had three toms strutting fifteen yards from me while my bow was drawn but could not shoot because I had the bright idea of hiding in a tangle of Multi Flower Rose.
I had the first week of season off of work and straight got beat by birds.When I returned to work I put my two week notice in as I had been planning this all winter.the next two weeks I hunted everyday I could when I got out of work in the morning. Saturdays I would hunt with my father. we had some close calls but it was not in the cards. The last week of gobbler season arrived and I was ready. Jobless and ready to rock I hit the woods running!! I heard quite a few through out the week but kept getting beat by them and the heat.
May 30th I was at my listening spot before daylight. The crows started their usual banter and a faint gobble soon followed. I walked slowly in that direction, listening. Once he sounded off again I started hoofing it down the dirt road. He was gobbling pretty darn good for this late in the season and he had my full attention. Another war cry from him and I cut into the woods. I stopped for a breather and to load my shotgun.
He kept talking and I kept walking. Onward through a tangled mess. I got to a old logging road and started heading to a small field I knew of. Once I got to the "field" I kind of laughed because I could have spit across it. I guess I should start calling it a clearing. there is a knob in the woods below the "field" and the dude was roosted on it. I thought maybe I could coax him up to the clearing, I mean field!
As I sat there at a maple tree I just got that feeling in my gut that I was wrong. He was still roosted and gobbling once in a while. I made my move and was glad I did as the other side of the field had an old unseen barbed wire fence. Maybe he would have crossed it had I said the right things to him but I am not a betting man.
Moving slowly towards the knob I hear hens start cackling and yelping to my right and quite a ways away. He sounds of to my left and he is close. I freeze and think to myself " at least I am in between him and those ladies". Then I hear it, the sound of wing beats. I drop to one knee as his feet hit the ground 40 yards away. he starts heading in their direction and I cut at him on a mouth call. he gets nervous and walks in a little circle. I cluck, he stops and periscopes his head for the last time.
I'll never forget that hunt. Kenny Pedelahore once told me " never ever give up when hunting turkeys." That is solid advice that I try to stick to. I guess this is where I say BETTER LATE THAN NEVER! Thanks for reading.