So it turns out I can hunt the LAST day of turkey season this year. My first hunts usually turn out to be dry runs anyways, mostly chances for me to find out what I forgot, where not to set up etc. LOTS of pressure to put on myself on the last day of the season, if my goal was to try to tag one, which at this point seemed unlikely.
Last time I hunted here (about 340 days ago), I made a note to self saying "next time, set up over there", my incredible memory and absence from spooking birds has afforded me this excellent opportunity. I know right where this bird roosted a year ago, I know right where he'll fly down to, and right where he will strut (in front of my ready gun with borrowed shells ).
First light, no gobbling, no problem. He didn't gobble much last year either. Then finally, I hear him. He's an idiot, he's in the wrong tree, probably 300 yards down along another pasture. This is where I kind of panic alot in the mornings, cause I didn't know what to do. This was why I wanted my buddy to hunt with me, but timing is always bad. I was comfy, so I stayed put. I know even though he's an idiot, he'll end up where I am, and I will be ready. But since I'm facing the wrong pasture, I spin on my tree towards the gobbles. Hmm, only about 20 yards visible. He'll come up this hill and all I'll see is his red head, and if it's red, white, or blue, anything but grey, Im ground checking it.
I call again, he answers, he's on the ground now, closer. This is gonna be easy. It's not even 6:30 yet. Call again, he's at the bottom of the ridge top I'm facing, like CLOCKWORK. wait a few minutes, silence, move my had for a better position on the pump, maybe 1 inch, and the PUTT behind me almost blew my head off, and then the putt turned into a panicked half gobble whatever it was flapped and putted from my 6 o clock, starting at probably 10 yards or less . I didn't even turn around. Figured if I didn't see it, then it never really happend. It was my imagination. I was still upbeat because that racket caused the bird below me to gobble again, so we were still on plan.
Then one more gobble, halfway up the hill told me I'd be at the truck within the next 15 minutes. Then silence. I stayed on point aiming at my 12 o clock, with an easy shot striaght out or anywhere to my left. More silence, but I was quiet as a ninja. Then I pondered what held this bird up? Then I heard/noticed the ever so slightest sound that caused me to move my eyes, only my eyes. After rolling them to my 4 o clock, there stood a GIANT white headed, fully puffed up making some whoooming sound of a turkey, at 13 freaking yards. The plan had worked, right up to the point that he came in from my right, cause remember, he's an idiot . I wish I had an EKG on me when I saw him. I would be very curious to see how my heart rate changed from calm/bored to .2 seconds later to PANIC/WE'REALLGONNADIE!
Anyways, if he continued down this logging trail, he'd walk directly into my shooting area, I wouldn't even have to move (except the safety). But it would mean he'd close the distance from me and my compulsive trembling to about 7 yards. I finally decided to click the safety, but he was so close, he heard that. He saw no hen. I'm pretty sure he could hear my heartbeat and breathing, so he turned and disappeared into the tall grass in 1 step. I decided not to "spin and shoot" on him, cause he's an idiot and will be easy to kill, and it's only 7am (on the FINAL day). He kept gobbling no more than 100 yards from me for 30 minutes, I was now in an unkillable spot for this bird. Nature was calling also.
I checked both my left and right, and started to stand up. Halfway up, I was able to see, between my legs, the unmistakeable image of an upside down fan, at 60 yards, directly behind me. This was fine, cuase the bird was facing the opposite direction. His buddy right next to him however LOCKED onto me . I stood there, head between legs, shaking, for a good minute till they settled down a little, and moved along towards the gobbling.
Finally saw the gobblr strutting and picking on the 2 younger birds at 400 yards and opening.
So I take care of nature, ate (too much), and head back for an afternoon hunt. Walked a LONG ways to a sure fire spot. get comfy, VERY comfy, do a lil bit of calling, and next thing I remember is hearing that "SNOCK" sound you make when you snore so loud you wake yourself up! I chastise myself for falling asleep in the first/last hours of my season. Call a lil bit more, and then remember a giant robot coming out of the woods and using my body as a saw to cut down nearby trees, making these horrible sounds with each grind. Just schnaaaawwww, schnaaaaawwww over and over. Then I heard a sound that rattled me so much I came panicked out of a DEAD sleep, but only opened my eyes. It was the sound of LARGE wings flapping, at 15 yards, from a LARGE bird who was now flying straight up in the air, at least 50 feet and gaining. I pondered trying a "skeet" shot, but just watched as this stupid bird caught the breeze and got out of dodge. I lost sight of him I would say somewhere around Conman's area. It seems snoring both attracts and then frightens the bejeezus out of gobblrs.
I learned a lot in my 8 hours of turkey hunting this year. I learned they will almost ALWAYS come from the LEAST opportunistic spot direction possible. I learned if you really want to see a turkey, and you don't think any are around, just stand up. I learned no matter how quiet the woods are, naps are not allowed in the turkey woods.
I could probably go kill 4 of em if Monday was open 329 more days baby!