I had an inspection cancel late last night that freed me up to hunt this morning. I'm a little tired of the competition, the lack of production, & low turkey activity around the horse farms. I wanted to try the turkeys with my crossbow, so I headed for the archery-only gamelands near Falls Lake today. I knew there wouldn't be many other hunters in those woods. On the way in, I walked along a property boundary between a business and the gamelands. It was quieter than walking through the woods, but it had grown up and was kind of slow going. I got to the area I intended to hunt and set up. I brought a jake and hen decoy to give the turkey something to focus on as I tried to skewer him. Just past first light I heard a gobble so far off I could barely hear it. He hit it perhaps a dozen times and went quiet. There was no way I could get close enough to work him because the woods are re-planted pines that are super thick and just about impossible to get through quietly. I sat back and hoped something might walk along the creek in the bottom and respond to my periodic calling. Around 10:35 the breeze picked up and I threw out a few cutts and yelps on my boat paddle box call. I got an answer about 300 yards off along the creek bottom. Cool. He gobbled again and I kept quiet. A little while later I cutt and yelped on my glass pot a little bit quieter than before and he cut me off from a position between me and the creek. Game On! It sounded like he was walking up the property boundary and approaching from over my right shoulder from the southwest. I had really good cover on that side so he'd see the decoys way before he realized I was around. Three minutes after his last gobble, the people at the business behind me decided to fire up the tractor and start bush-hogging the property boundary. They would pass 30 feet behind me headed towards the turkey that was coming to my calls. Really??!!?? It had probably been a year or better since that strip was mowed and today was the day they decided to cut it again. What bad timing! Needless to say, the closer gobble was the last I heard from that turkey. I ran around the edge of the pines best I could toward the creek about 300 yards farther east from where I last heard him and quietly called a few times. I waited for another 45 minutes and heard or saw nothing besides songbirds and squirrels.
I am just getting run through the ringer this Spring, Almost anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong this turkey season. It will just make the next gobbler that much more special. I'm due an easier one now too.
Luck Counts, good or bad