Well opening day of my season finally got here. Got up at 3am gathered all my stuff up and put in the truck and was out the door at 4am. Drove out to my go to spot, and as soon as I pulled into the parking lot the clouds opened up and started to pour. Sat in the truck till 5am waiting for the rain to let up, 5:20 season opens. Grabbed my gun and decoy bag and headed out down the field road and through the pines to the CRP fields, still darker then heck, just a mist of rain. As I come out of the pines and start across the CRP, something isn't right? As I get to my favorite tree and set up, it's finally starting to get a little lighter out and the drizzle quit. Looking over the CRP, it's as level as can be and completely black. Damn no more nesting area for this year. The morning was as quiet as a mouse, not a bird to be heard, except for the geese on the river. Nothing in the woods or across the road along the corn field edges, didn't really expect to hear much with it raining all night, but thought maybe a gobble off the roost somewhere? Had a rain shower come through about 7am and didn't last long, and as soon as that quit it got lighter and the sun tried peeking through. I dug my box caller out and my glass call back out of my vest and sent out a few sharp cutts followed by a gobble, waited a couple minutes and sent out a series of yelps and cutts. As I was setting my glass back down I caught movement to my left, and a red head pokes up through the brush, then more movement and two more pop up. They were out about 60yds and just stayed there looking the decoys over, all I could see was three heads, two red and one red/white. I gave them some soft purrs and whines as they stayed put. This went on about 15 minutes until Mr. red/white snuck through the brush and into the field, followed by his two buddies. Mr. red/white was quite a bit bigger then the other two, they came down the edge of the field headed straight for me, then angled out to the decoys. I eased my gun up as I was trying to peek through the brush around my tree as they were getting closer, at 30yds I couldn't see a beard on the biggest one? They made it out to my strutter and circled around behind him. I watched as they would walk up to him and back away, going from side to side. As they were scoping my strutter over two more birds came out of the brush the same place these three did and trotted over to them. These two were the smaller of the bunch, but had the longest breads, both about 5", the other two had beards about 3" and Mr. red/white had no beard at all, none what so ever. This went on about 10 minutes, until gravel started crackling and a truck pulled into the parking lot, a door slams and the birds busted for cover. A hunter walks out into the CPR and looks it over, turns around, gets back in his truck and leaves, he couldn't see my decoys because they were just behind the knoll in the field. About an hour later here come the Jake group back out and back over to the decoys. As they were getting close to them I gave them two soft yelps, they locked up and looked at the hens, turned and tore back across the field and into the woods. My guess is that, that bunch have been put in their place by one of the boss gobs around there, probably more than once. After about a couple hours later they came back out about a 100yds out and crossed the burnt field and headed up the edge of the woods towards the other woods on the other end. They were gone about a half hour, then they came running back across the field and back into the woods they came out of? I waited a couple minutes and sent out some sharp cutts and excited yelps, then went to some soft clucks and purrs. I gave it a couple more hours without seeing or hearing anything, and packed up and headed home. Before I left, I checked out the other end of the woods, and the CRP on that end wasn't burnt off, so I guessing that's where the hens headed and where the big boys are? Tomorrows another day, more rain expected through Sat.
WI Youth & LTH Mentor
Dodge Co. NWTF