John Lowers the Boom on his First Turkey of the 2013 Season!
I woke up late this morning. I shot out of bed, took a quick shower, grabbed my gear and out the door I went. It was a race against the sun! I kept looking up and with all the cloud cover I figured I had a couple extra minutes to get to the blind.
Once I got to the property I quickly gathered my gear and started towards the blind. Working my way down the sewer line as slow as I could while checking tree tops in the early morning light. The sun was slowly coming up and I wanted to rush to the blind but I didn’t want to bust up any birds off the roost. They like to roost right on top of the sewer line to pitch down first thing in the morning. I kept looking at dark shapes in the tree tops hoping they were squirrel nests and not turkeys!
What felt like an hour, I finally made it to the blind. Not a peep though. Not one gobble from the roost, very unusual on this property. Most mornings they gobble their heads off until they pitch down. I figured that with it being overcast they might come off the roost a little later. Some crows and a hawk came over the sewer line making a racket… still not a gobble! I thought to myself, “Time to get comfortable and catch up on some sleep cause this morning is going to be a bust.”
I didn’t want to get aggressive with calling. It was too quite. I knew there were some good birds in the area and just because they weren’t gobbling doesn’t mean they weren’t close. I started soft calling a little here and there with my Bob’s Custom Calls Slate Call. Threw in some purs every few minutes. Nothing crazy though. Didn’t want to push any birds away with being too aggressive.
I checked my watch, knowing I had to be at work at 9:30am, I started to pack up my gear. I decided to throw out one more sequence of soft calls and give it just a few more minutes. Just as I was about to get up I heard the distinct sound of a turkey flying across the creek! I quickly sat back down and got ready.
I couldn’t see the turkey, I kept scanning the sewer line waiting for the bird to pop out. Still not seeing the bird yet I heard another turkey fly across the creek! I knew I had turkeys on me and they were close. I kept looking down the sewer line trying to see where they were going to come out and all of a sudden, there they were. They were just cruising up the sewer line. Not in a hurry and not saying a peep. I soft called again and they looked towards me but didn’t answer. “What in the world is up with these turkeys?”, I thought to myself. They kept easing towards me, scratching, feeding on random bugs and plants. No rush in the world. As they got closer I could make out a jake and a nice Tom! Both their heads were pretty red. The Tom’s head was a little blue but not the color it should be while they were hot. Who knows what their issue was but they were coming in!
Once they finally made their way closer to me, they were staying too close together for me to get a clean shot on the Tom. I wanted to let the little guy hang out for next year. They finally spread out enough for me to take a clean shot and I let the Ithaca Mag 10 bark… BOOM! The Tom just dropped. Not a twitch, kick, nothing. I guess the 10 gauge was too much for him to handle at 10 yards!
I was jacked up, my first turkey of the 2013 turkey season! It was a nice bird too. Didn’t have a scale to weigh the beast but I did have a tape measure! He sported a 9 1/2″ beard along with 1″ spurs. This was a funny hunt. It felt as if either the mating season had come and gone or hadn’t come yet. The weather has been a little colder this time of year but would it have pushed it back that far? I don’t know what the rest of the season has in store for us but I have one tag punched!