|The field where we started calling.|
We left the field and headed to the truck to search the nearby fields. We found a couple of jakes that we tried to call back to no avail. It was getting warmer and warmer by the time we headed down this long camp road. It was one of those roads that was filled with tracks of all sorts of animals - a mecca for hunting.
|Camp road with tons of tracks along the roadway.|
|View from where we stopped and called for a few minutes.|
Driving back to where we had left my car, Brian talked about a big Tom that was eluding hunters. A college guy had seen the bird in the field and parked quickly and walked towards the bird, which accomplished nothing besides spooking the bird and putting it on edge. The next day, Brian saw a blind in that same field with four decoys out and no turkey. As Dad and I were listening to Brian, he pointed out the field with the infamous bird, "Every afternoon when I drive by, that bird is in the same... and he is still there!" Dad and I turned out heads to see the arch of the turkey pecking away in the corn field, "Want to try and get him?" Brian asked. YES!
|Ready for the turkey! From this view, the field and Tom are off to the left behind that softwood.|
Brian sat next to me on the clump and called. We heard a gobble! He called again and the gobble got closer. Mimicking a hen purring, Brian lightly scrapped the slate. I could see movement in the trees! Then, I saw the fanning of the tail with its black stripe arching over the deep brown feathers. A white head popped up behind a blow down then went back down so that he could drum and strut a little more. "Take a shot when you can. Aim for the white of the head." I took off my safety and was ready. I lined up the bead at the end of my gun with the middle of the gun and controlled my breath so that I wouldn't shake. The tom was primed and coming at us fast, looking for that hen! I remember seeing his white head and puffed out chest come out of the brush and into the clearing at my one o'clock. I was ready to shoot but I couldn't, I was stuck! Stuck! That dead tree that seemed like such a great idea to use as a brace prohibited me from moving the gun past my 12 o'clock. I was wedged too tightly between trees and my gun was too long to move quickly. I was stuck. The turkey had walked out into a clearing and I could not move my gun to shoot him. I tried to shift myself but he was gone. Vanished. I shifted myself into position and waited. The turkey must be nearby, he was just there. Nope. Unlike deer that you can spook but they won't really leave, this guy was gone. I was so mad that I had put myself is such a bad spot. I knew better!
|Me, my gun and my tree.|
Defeated. While it was exciting and a great learning experience, I was defeated. I have been thinking about it ever since and I keep seeing that white head pick up then come out of the woods into that clearing. Brian figured we were about 17 yards away and that the Tom had at least an 8 inch beard on him. Urgh! But, I know now how close the turkey needs to be and how I need to sit in order to be successful. I still have three more weeks in the season and I hope that I can get out a few more times. I was so close to bagging my first turkey! Next time.