Well, have made it out twice, the opener and then this Monday past.
On the opener, weren't close to any at dawn, could hear gobbling a ways off, so my 9 year old and I just sat and soaked it all in. When nothing was doing and things quieted down, after a lot of calling and waiting, we decided to check the rest of the property. About mid morning, we had gobbles a little ways off so we settled in to a tree line and waited. Sure enough, Mr. Gobbler comes across the field toward us and our lone decoy. At times, looked like he was going to bust away, but he did keep working over. The gun goes up and seems like things are coming together. My boy, who's sitting right behind me, is asking over and over again when I'm going to shoot. So I wait and wait. Finally seems he's within range so I let go with the 870 and shoot cleanly over him. He takes wing and it gone. I think he ducked when I shot and that's what blew it on me and me rushing the shot sure didn't help. Paced it out at 35 yards and that is the sweet spot for the gun. Crap....
So, forward a few days to Monday past. A buddy of mine that I've hunted with over the years is with me in the woods, same farm. We have a plan, based on where the boy and I heard them gobbling on the Friday to set up in the tree line, pointing into the woods with the decoys behind us, looking at where they were making the noise on the Friday. So, as we're walking to the spot, little later than I would have liked, I swear I hear a gobble, we stop, but don't hear anything. Then, a neighbours dog barks and we do hear gobbles, many of them and they're close. so we duck into the treeline and set up with the decoys behind us. Well, as they gobble again, we realize they are close, like 30 yards close and we can see them shifting in the trees close to us. Yikes...We sit tight, no moving, and no noise. Dawn breaks and we see a hen and a good Tom sail over us into the field behind and keep moving away. Beat on them, but what about the bunch inthe trees? There's still a bunch of big birds gobbling up a storm just in front of us. As the light brightens, they start floating down to the forest floor in front of us, maybe 30 feet away, a couple of hens and 3 Toms. They're strutting and gobbling like crazy, but only little beards. They had full fans and not much for spurs, but for Jakes, they were big. The hens start leading them away from us and my buddy Ian, starts clucking on a slate call and they turn. Not believing they're really leaving live birds for the stupid ones in the field, we start deciding whether or not we're going to take smallish birds or let them walk. I did ask Ian that a double would be cool and we had hunted together for 8 years and never, ever had a chance before and in fact had only ever taken one bird between us. So we decide that yeah, we'll get pick on our second birds, but that morning, we'd take the Jake double. So I take the one doing the most strutting since he was on my side and Ian takes the second. Mine weighed in at 17 and Ian's at 15, not monsters, but a double after 8 long years was so cool, we didn't care.
Here's the birds and each of us with them, someone had to hold the camera,