Well this morning has now marked year #3 in a row that I've gotten a longbeard into range and missed
Saw my bird out strutting last night. Got in early this AM, heard him gobbling off the roost at daylight, down lower than expected. I snuck off the hill I was on and set up where a trail came off the hill he was on and intersected another trail. Set out the 2 hens and a jake. Well he was hot and coming in. I gave some yelps. Soon a hen popped out right above me on the trail, thought he'd follow her. I also heard a hen down in the woods...awesome, I'm right smack in the middle. Nope, next thing I know I hear leaves rustling and he bee-lines it 90 degrees down the hill right to my decoys to my right, I had to swing around so I lost the support of resting my elbows on my knees, the hen took off but he didn't notice, but I was afraid he would, so combined with rushing my shot and in the heat of the moment not seeing the log in front of him, when my gun went BOOM, he went off flying, 2nd shot trailed behind him. OH NO!!!! I listened and watched where he flew, heard a couple quick putts then heard something fall on the woods floor. Well I thought maybe a shot had found its mark and he fell. I went over, nope, nothing, searched a little bit, no dead turkey, thought maybe he went to land and a dead tree branch broke. There were absolutely NO feathers where the first shot was, I found my shot clearly in the big log. I only found 2 whole unscathed feathers where I'd last heard him. So good news is he's un-injured, bad news is this is horribly depressing. I just got in, pulled out early to let the birds settle. I work all weekend then will be back at it Monday so hopefully he'll settle down again. I don't think he'll get any other pressure unless he roosts over on the ridge on the other land I hunt, which my cam is there and turkeys don't seem to be hanging out there, they are all on this side.
Any tips? Anyone else miss a bird then get him later on? I know this bird's pattern alot more than trying to find one on state land.
I'll tell you, this bird is HUGE....one big butterball....and I blew it!