Talk about waiting till the last minute! Ohio's month long spring turkey season closes this Sunday, so I took this morning off of work and planned on tomorrow morning as well. Guess I'll save that 1/2 day vacation after all.
I was lucky enough that the rain held off until I filled my tag this morning. I managed to tag a nice tom at 7:15am. I was in the woods by 5:30, waiting and listening for some gobbling to start up. I'll be honest, this season has been pretty tough on me. My son shot his first bird ever during the youth season the end of last month, but since then, the birds have not wanted to cooperate at all. Vocal toms would sound off on the roost and answer calls, but they wouldn't leave their hens to come investigate. I finally found two this morning that had no hens with them. I had one gobbling on the roost, so I slipped to within 80-100 yards of him. Made a few soft tree yelps, which he immediately cut off. I heard him fly down, but didn't see him until he was 20 yards away, in some thick stuff looking for love. I had my gun up and ready, he needed to take about 5 more steps into a clearing and he was mine. That didn't happen for some reason. He stopped, neck stretched way up, and took off running the way he came. How could that bird see me??!! Great, I spook the only bird I've heard gobble off the roost all morning. I thought this was going to be a long hunt. I sat still for about 30 minutes, got up and moved about 200 yards away from the direction he ran. Got set up, and made a series of yelps, with a few cuts thrown in there just for fun. About 20 minutes later, I did the same thing and got cut off by another bird that was only about 50 yards from me! I put the call down and got into position. He came into about 15 yards looking for the hen he heard. 6's through my Rhino choke at 15 yards will do the job, every time.
Not the king of the woods by all means, but I'm sure proud of him none the less. I've worked extra hard this season it seems for this bird.
He weighed in at 18 lbs even, sporting a 9" beard and matching 7/8" spurs. I know this "field photo" isn't going to win any awards, but nobody was home when I got back, so the turkey check station lady helped me out....
"Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work at it."