Well today (Thursday) is the last day of the managed hunt that I got drawn for at Busch Wildlife Area. Monday I heard quite a few and had one gobble in the woods about 30 yds from me and then next thing I know he is thunder gobbling 15 feet directly behind me.....and a fallen tree (with all its branches). I tried to slowly turn but of course he busted me and bye bye. Tuesday it stormed like Noah's flood, never heard a thing. Wed. heard 2 gobbles at 6:45 and not a thing the rest of the day, so I was kinda bummed out and didn't really have any confidence. I decided to go back to where I had taken my nephew during the youth hunt, because we had 3 toms hot and heavy that disapeared into the Bermuda Triangle just over a hill after gobbling the whole way in. I went to the top of the hill/ridge and walked quietly to the back near where it falls back off, set up my gobbler lounger and a decoy behind me to the left. About 6:00 I start to hear a tom gobbling about 100 yards away down the back side of the ridge. The whole morning I am having a conversation with myself saying "self, you have to slow down on the calls, you are scaring them away, and no self respecting hen sounds like a locomotive". Well I send out a short set of yelps and no answer. He is still gobbling every 10-25 seconds. I cluck a few times, no immediate response. I sit there for a minute, and say "what the hell?" Okay, all the self control crud is out the window, I pull out my Willow Ridge glass, and cut loose with a series of loud yelps with some cuts mixed in, and before I am done he has cut me off. Okay good. Sit for a minute, and he gobbles again, but from the same place. I kick out another series of loud yelps and cuts, and he cuts me off again, only this time it sounds like he may just be a bit to the left and closer, but not totally certain. I wait another minute and rip off another series and before I am finished 2 toms are gobbling together and now for sure they are coming in much closer and to the left. There is a gentle rise in the woods up to where I am on a plateau at the top, and to my left it falls off much faster. The sun is not up yet so the woods are still mostly dark but I am begining to be able to see the trees out to 50 yds or so. I am looking down the gentle slope and suddenly I see two shadows glide into the trees about halfway down. They gobble again and now they are coming up a lane in the trees to the right. I put down the call and have both hands on the gun. They gobble again and they are clearly looking for the 'special needs' hen that was making the calls. The back one moves to the left into another lane and keeps going left, headed for the steep slope where I cannot see him. The closer one comes in and starts to veer that way too. He crosses into the other open lane at about 35-40 yds, stops and pops his head up. Now, I am not completely certain of the yardage because its dark, but I know he is headed left and out. I put the bead just above his head and let the lead fly. He drops like a brick with hardly a shimmy or shake. I jump up, put on the saftey and run down to him and stand on his neck. 6:25 and #1 is in the books, 19#, 3/4 spurs, 9-1/2" beard with a blonde stripe in it. Scott, thank you so much, you call hypnotized them and they had no choice!
Professional Turkey Scarer Awayer