Down to the wire turkey
Well, I finally bagged a bird this year-on the last day of season and the last hour I had available. He's a fine 2yo bird, getting cooked up as I write. I've only gotten out 4 times this year, even with only having to walk out the back door on a landowners tag. I rarely sit in a blind and I never use decoys. It's just me, my Mossberg, minimal camo and a squeaky box call. I tend to wait until 7am before going up on the hill and just sit and wait, usually drinking some coffee. When they start gobbling, I can decide where they are and the best route to take to get there. I've found that when it comes to hens, you cannot beat them, so I use them as a sort of live decoy. The toms then come to you, if you don't get busted by the hen.
My first outing found me at the bottom of a wooded hill and the turkeys above me. I"m still kicking myself for not making the long trek around to the ridge. I was 50 yds from a hen and at least 3 toms, with one being a pretty sick gobble of a jake. I hit my call and all I got was watched, which pretty much ended that hunt. Next time I heard nothing. The third time out I decided to just move down the ridge and drop down the face to a good location. I figured that hen couldn't be far from there and sitting on eggs. I was wrong. That hen flushed like a pheasant 8ft away from me. I looked where she came from and expected to see eggs, but instead saw the ground crawling. There must have been close to 20 poults not even as tall as the weeds scattering like ants. While I was trying to get out of there without squishing any, the hen came back trying to draw me off. I gotta give her credit, she was persistent. Then came this morning.
I woke up and decided I really needed to get some things done, so I planned on skipping the hunt. I let my dogs out and got a cup of coffee and heard the dogs barking. I stepped out on the porch and heard gobbles from the top of the ridge and that was all it took, it was on. I put the dogs in, grabbed my gun and camo jacket and off I went. I immediately started sneaking down the ridge through briars. Just as I was about to break out of the heavy undergrowth I saw the unmistakable rear end of a strutting tom sitting 30yds away, with 3 other toms with him and the hen squawking a little further down the hill. I watched for a few minutes, then made my move to get in the clear for a shot. They never saw me coming.