There I was running and gunning with my dad up and down every mountain we could think of that held turkeys, we had also walked in every holler we could think of. In the back of our minds all morning was the inevitable reality of having to walk up this monster of a mountain we call "Mushroom Mountain" seeing as that is where we find all of our dry land fish (morel) mushrooms. Finally we grew a pair and decided it was early and we didn't have nothing to lose so we started to scale this giant.. We actually heard a few gobbles on the roost coming from this mountain earlier in the morning, which was a big reason we decided to climb it. We got to the top and we was standing on one of the most beautiful ridges I've ever seen, this place always amazes me every time i am up there... I'm talking this ridge is about 50 yards wide and loaded with big mature white oak and hickory trees, the type place where you visualize killing a big buck or popping a fat squirrel, or in this case, a big long beard.. I whip out my WoodHaven Scorpion mouth call and let loose a series of excited yelps.. We got a response about 300 yards down the ridge, so me and my dad take off as fast as our tired jelly legs could take us, stopping every so often to get a check on that tom. We finally get close enough and set up. I yelped on my mouth call, while also cutting some on my Willow Ridge Call, the Death Wish (Thanks Scott!
) All of a sudden I heard one mature sounding bird and probably 4 or 5 goofy sounding jakes about 65 yards up the ridge.. So I shut up and play hard to get.. About 10 mins later, we see a long beard and a jake coming down the ridge.. They stop at around 50 yards because thanks to the early warm weather this year, the green foliage was about 2 foot tall. Me and dad is sitting there, gun at the ready.. The birds stay there looking, scoping the area, looking for what they thought was 2 hot hens. Then comes that sight and sound all you experienced turkey hunters know of.. They raise their head, clucked a couple times and headed back the other direction. After that walk we had, I was in dismay, I was also frustrated because Saturday morning which was Kentucky's opener, I had 4 strutters at 35 yards but thanks to the green shrubbery and foliage once again we couldn't get a shot. We decided to move up to the spot that those birds just hung up at, and wait, because in these mountains, it is almost impossible most of the time to circle a bird. I let out some yelps on my WoodHaven and then some more cuts on my Death Wish and got a quick response from the same birds.. I shut off once again, playing hard to get. I guess probably 10 mins later I heard footsteps and I told dad that I bet it is one of those jakes coming back to check things out, but I didn't care if it was a jake or longbeard because hey if he gobbles like a big boy, he dies like a big boy. My dad says that he didn't care if it was a chicken haha.. Anyways back to the story, the footsteps was down under the hill to my right, so I turn around and get set for a straight on shot. Finally the foot steps got really close to the top of the ridge from under the hill and I clicked my safety off.. A few seconds later, all I seen was a head pop up over the hill and I fired! The bird went rolling and I got up and ran to it to put my foot on it's head and low and behold it was that longbeard!!! After some celebrating and high fives we took it home for pics and measurements.
Hard headed Eastern Wild Turkey, 10 inch beard, both spurs was 1 inch, and 22lbs! Solid 2 year old!
There's more fun in hunting with the handicap of the bow than there is in hunting with the sureness of the gun.