The Lord blessed me this year out west. Bird stats in order are: (1) 22#, 7/8", 10 1/2" (2) 23# 10 oz, 1", 11" (3) 24# 5 oz, 1 1/4", 11 1/2". First bird is a neat story. Got to the ranch I stay at every year and after chatting a while with my host/buddy, at about 5 p.m., I decided to do a little scouting to see what the road conditions were like and if any gobs were lurking around. Hadn't ridden too far when a hen ran across the road in front of me and luckily I didn't stop to see where she was headed (see later in story). Went about another mile and found all in order, so I headed back along the road I came in on to check another farm. When I got to the area where I had seen the hen, I looked in direction she went and was pleasantly surprised to see 4 strutters with some hens
!! I kept driving past about 200 yds past to put some cover between myself and the birds. At this point I hadn't even unlocked my gun case and the new 20 guage was still disassembled!! In fumbling around putting the gun together, I couldn't get the "Swift Tach" that connects the sling from the butt to the forearm to let me screw the magazine tube cap down to the proper position. The dang thing kept fouling up in the spring that the cap screws down on (crap!!) I decide to just fold it up flat against the forearm and truck on! Time was crucial. I then used the rolling terrain and grass to crawl on all fours to get within about 300 yds. Since they were in an open, plowed field, dekes were out of the question. What strategy to use?
Decided to try a little soft yelping on my wingbone to maybe get the 3 hens to maybe drift my way. Might as well have been blowing a car horn. Now it was time to try and get agressive with the boss hen. Hit 'em hard with some cutting and yelping with no results. Then they started drifting further away up a hill. I decide to use the cover and call from a closer position but got cut off by a series of barbed wire fences that I didn't know about. Sneaked back to the original position and was relieved to see they had moved back to their original position with the 4 gobs all in full strut. Got even more agressive. Moved up and a little left where they couldn't see me. I pulled out the gobble tube and really let 'em have heck with a cackle,cutt, gobble series about every 5-10 min. Suddenly, I noticed movement in my peripheral vision. Oh my Lord! Here came a Jake that I hadn't seen, running full tilt to my position
Oh no, all this work to have him put a "monkey wrench" in the deal.
What to do? I put my face down in the grass while the young guy walked circles around me, trying to figure out what I was
He finally got tired of it and left. I don't know how long I laid there scared he would bust me and alert the others, but something had to give. Ants were beginning to crawl around on my face
When I took a peek I was encouraged to see that the birds had moved a little closer. I started up my routine again. The first two gobs moved to the opposite side of the field out of range and walked off. That left two strutters. The hens drifted off with the first two gobs and left them by themselves
. I cranked it up again and after my two hour stand off
they got a little too close. I still had a problem in that I was laying flat on my stomach and they came in on my left side (I'm right handed). Well, I got the little 20 ga. up as much as I could with the left hand, estimated the aim point and let her fly. Unbelievably, he hit the dirt and then started runnin' off. I chased him across the open field, trying to get another shot. When I got to the woods on the other side, I found him layin' there stone dead
If you'll scroll down in the pic, you'll see the sling is laying on the ground after being drug around during the ordeal
The second bird is one I called up for my host. The last one is the big guy that warrants another story, but I'm too tuckered out tellin' this story to write about it. I also called up 2 jakes for the grandson's of the rancher, but the battery in my phone was dead and couldn't get their pics.
Boy did the Lord bless me!!! 3 Longbeards and 2 jakes in 3 1/2 days!!!
"Chasin' gobblers has a lot in common with dealing with a wife, 'bout the time ya' think ya' got 'em figured out, they change the rules!!!"