I got my first (and hopefully not last) of the season on Saturday (3/26). I had a bit of a slump after scoring one for my buddy on opening day, so I was happy to get the job done with this one.
It had been a quiet morning on some property that I am not familiar with, to say the least, and I pretty much devolved into exploring the property with the fresh/new batteries in my buggy. I was trying to avoid the Mexican clear-cut sprayers that assumingly buggered my original spot (my Spanish is rusty), so I went towards the other side of the property. I went a long way without hearing anything at all, until I worked my way to this rock crossing that goes south across a creek that was dry when I saw it in September. It was NOT dry now, and after passing across three areas, the last two appeared to be in the over-my-boot range. On the very last one, I had to get creative and hang onto overhanging branches to prevent myself from ending up in the rushing water. I remember thinking "man, this is going to suck coming back if I end up getting a turkey down here."
When I finally made it to the other side, I was pretty disappointed to see a big clearcut that was not on my GPS app's map, along with the sound of active loggers. I ran my walnut/wormy chestnut box call from Jeff "Snakeboots" McKamey, and immediately I heard one blow up not far from me! I had to think quickly, as I had not even looked around for proper terrain. I climbed up into some medium sized pines that weren't as bad as small pines (see the story of Evan's first kill), but were less than ideal. I thought to myself that he wouldn't come into the area where I was. With my bad ears, I was having trouble pinpointing him, so I yelped again (this time with a glass call) in an attempt to do so. No response, so I went back to Jeff's box, and he immediately blew up even closer, so I knew he was coming and that I needed to get down. I found the best spot I could, dropped down my decoy, and waited. Sure enough, I saw his long neck inch in not long after that, but my gun was pointed in the opposite direction, and he was too close for me to swing and shoot without a blind. He then stepped out in the open, not 20 steps away from me! He popped into a strut, and I knew it was time to move my gun. That, of course caused him to pop out of strut, and I subsequently delivered the last sight he ever saw!
This one is really special to me because it's the first one I bagged with Jeff's Twisting Creek box. I've had many birds gobble at it, and I called two up with it last year that should be dead (one Evan couldn't get a shot on, and the other one that my cousin missed). Now, I can say it is officially a killer, in the ranks of all of Jeff's other boxes!