got my first tag filled - finally - thursday, the fourth day of the first illinois north zone season.
2 of the first three days were extremely windy, which makes for the worst turkey hunting conditions in my opinion.
had 2 nice toms come in silent behind me on opening day and i was busted both times when i got up to move to another spot.
worked another longbeard on day 2 from about 250 yards away, down a hill, across a ravine with a small creek and up the hill he came to within 5 yards!!! but he was behind a big blowdown and i couldnt get a shot.
day 3, more high winds. went trolling at some smaller farms. lots of gobbling on the roost but across the road on the neighbors property. hunted until quittin time at 1 without hearing another gobble.
day 4 went back to original spot. lots of gobbling on roost but they wouldnt work after hitting the ground. hens everywhere. spotted a tom with 3 hens out in a field after they left, had him comin toward me but he lost interest at about 100 yards away.
frustrating start to the season to say the least.
so i bailed out and headed for another small farm down the road about a mile. was walkin down the hill toward the woods when i heard a gobble. i knew he was in an open field, so i hustled down the hill, across a creek and toward the field as much as i dared. i knew i had a fence between me and him but didnt want to risk moving across an opening.
hit my first yelp on a mouth call and he gobbled. 2 more calls and i could see him strutting about halfway down the ridge from the field. a couple dozen more yelps and gobbles and i could tell he wasnt gonna budge and he was about 75 yards away.
so i went silent to see what he would do. after about 10 minutes and a dozen more gobbles he moved to the west out of sight, which was just the break i was looking for. i hustled across the opening to within about 25 yards of the fence, knowing that if i called him back to the same spot i would have a shot. called again and here he came gobbling across the ridge. when he got about 40 yards away i hit him with a load of 3" no. 5s.
weighed 24 pounds with a shade under 10 inch beard with 1 1/4 and 1 3/8 sharp, hooked spurs.
now i gotta wait a week for my next season to start.