This happened on opening day 2008. The moon was full. The sky was clear . The wind was calm .
We knew there was a longbeard in that holler because we watched him at sunset and made him shock gobble at full dark .
The following morning being opening day found myself and Linda's oldest and youngest sons standing on top of a break ridge above the roosted gobbler , but we didn't know exactly how far he was . We topped the ridge by moonlight about an hour before the sky began to lighten in the east . You could have read a newspaper by that moon that morning .
Show time ! I made some faint yelps and the old boy gobbled . Then the whole da'gum holler came to life . Gobbles , jakes yelping , fighting and the whole procession moving toward some ol' red headed fart trying to set a mouthcall on fire . I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it . A dozen bearded birds came in quick . The boys were set up below me on the side of the ridge , I was on the opposite side of the narrow top break in an old stump hole ,,,,still working that mouthcall , but only getting smoke and sweat . I could hear the birds running, in between my calling, but could not see any. Craig had picked the right side to kill his second ever turkey . In his excitement he jumped up and spooked the rest . As they all came running to the top another old longbeard came up the side I was sitting on . He had come silent . Just as he topped the ridge he was met by the running birds from the opposite side . The flock turned west and ran off . The lone bird simply turned and pitched off the break ridge .
We heard lots of scattered gobbling birds that morning . Did battle with one for over an hour before he drifted away . The youngest son called in a jake and messed it up all by himself .
The following morning under the same moon but overcast found the youngest and I 100 yards down the trail and called two off the roost to Chris' gun .
Both of these gobblers were 3 year old birds . Craig's bird , on opening day , had been brutally whipped . His legs and thighs were full of holes and festered ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,no , it wasn't lead poisoning . Seconds before Craig pulled the trigger his bird gobbled and another gobbler ran to him and flogged him good . Craig saw it and I heard it happen . As the bird ran from his assailant Craig fired and dropped him .
I can't and won't say one way or the other ,,,concerning the moon. I don't know .