Gainful Gobbling

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Published on: Mar. 2, 2010

Last revision: Dec. 17, 2010

Preparing For the Hunt

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Meal Interrupted

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turkey unless I can see the whites of its eyes and smell its bad breath.

Calling with a box call while supporting my weight on my elbows was tricky, but I managed. The turkey gobbled furiously, but he stood his ground. Obviously, I was dealing with an arrogant tom turkey that was demanding the hen come to him.

I hate arrogant turkeys.

I’m not a bad caller so I should have been able to bring in a lone, gobbling bird. The turkey turned away from me and slipped down the hill, gobbling continuously. It was over and I had failed, which happens frequently in turkey hunting. It was now time for Plan B.

I have a favorite spot on this conservation area where four fence rows converge, funneling turkeys into a small opening. I often sit there late in the morning, calling to entice turkeys. I gathered up my stuff at the truck, including my two burned scones, and made the nearly 1-mile walk to my spot. Although I have never had a male turkey show much interest in a decoy, I set mine out. Given this morning’s failure, I wondered why I continue to even bring one.

After settling into my spot, I decided that it was time for a breakfast scone. It was reasonably good, despite being somewhat charred. I nibbled around the burned parts as I kept a wary eye on the decoy.

My breakfast was interrupted by clucking and rustling in the grass. There were two hens standing next to my decoy. How could I have not seen them approach? Admittedly, I wasn’t completely attentive, but I wasn’t totally out to lunch or, in this case, breakfast.

One of the hens was uncomfortable with the decoy and moved away. The other hen started calling and walking around the decoy, evidently asserting her dominance.

Her calling was terrible! She had obviously not studied any of the turkey calling videos I’d learned from. But, to her credit, she was effective. Three toms responded to her calling and they were getting closer. This hen apparently didn’t like my decoy and was announcing this for all to hear.

I love an arrogant turkey.

There was nothing for me to do except watch. The hen eventually moved behind me and continued to call. This was accommodating because it would make it much easier to deal with the first gobbler that showed up.

I love an accommodating turkey.

Progress was slow; the toms were

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