Yipppeeee! Opening morning of Ohio Fall turkey season. Of course I'm on here because I woke up an hour too early to go to the woods, wonder why. After 42 years of doing this I still act like a little kid, go figure.
I hadn't done any scouting and nothing was on my calendar yesterday morning, so I went to the woods. I went to a piece of public ground that gets hammered in the spring, but ignored in the fall to see what was there. I try to stay away from my private honey hole early in the season and pick me up a bird off ground I won't venture to in spring. I found turkeys all right, just no gobblers. I spooked one bunch shortly after entering the woods and watched them sneak off, a group of hens and poults. After I topped a ridge in a big open bowl I spotted dark movement across the bowl and sat down. I was pretty exposed, but they hadn't spotted me. I sat and watched for a while as one old hen and 7 poults fed around. Then temptation got to me and I decided to call to them. I got a quick reply and they started my way. So I laid down. They slowly worked my way and I never called anymore. At 75 yards they all decided to fly up on a down, but leaning tree. It was like a game of king of the hill, as there looked to be four jakes and they took turns knocking the other birds off. One tried to bump momma, but a loud harsh cluck and he turned away. They were oblivious to me, I wish I had a video camera. For some stupid reason I decided to see how close I could get and I started a stalk. I got to about 45 yards and momma busted me. The next thing that entered my mind was, Bust em up dude. So a good commando charge and birds went in 3 directions. It wasn't long and momma opened the calling. Since she was above me and over the bench lip I snuck up the hill to about 75 yards from her. a couple poults flew in to her but most came walking by, but I wouldn't have had a shot. So I started calling and it went back and forth for an hour, but finally momma came looking for that one stupid youngun. In no circumstance would I shoot a hen who had successfully reared 7 poults, but one of her little boys following might pay a big price. I plan on passing hens and poults for a gobbler this morning, if I can fight off temptation, so there was little harm done. Last fall there was a group of gobblers in that same spot, so I hope to find them this morning. When I looked at my watch I was surprised I had spend 3 hours playing with those birds. I didn't care one bit as it was 3 hours of pure enjoyment. That's what is great about turkey hunting, most of the fun is before you squeeze the trigger.
Bust em, Bag em, thank HIm