I carried a 16 year old with me who had never turkey hunted before. We set up in a hardwood bottom right at grey daylight. I didn't hear any gobbling from the roost. After a few minutes I began a little soft calling. A hen answered back and I could tell she was coming our way. She came into view from right to left followed by another bird. I made sure the kid could see them and cautioned him to be very still because a gobble might be following. Not 2 minutes later puffy came in. They fed through at about 75 yards, puffy almost never broke strut and just followed the other 2 birds around. I couple more hens started to sound off from different directions. The original hen started to get worked up and when she got a little raspy I hit it hard and she lost it. This brought the whole flock in!! There were keekees, yelps, squeals, whines, cuts. The 2nd bird turned out to be a jake and he threw out a half gobble. There were hens everywhere, they came within 15 steps of us!! The gobbler just continued to follow that one hen, just strutting and strutting. It was a beautiful, incredible encounter. It lasted about 45 minutes before they all fed off. I watched the tail fan just fade away. I wish I had a video camera with me. I will take encounters like that all season long.
I tried to get the kid to understand what he had just witnessed, not sure if he got it or not. He will one day. I love turkey hunting. There are so many people in the world that will never know the wonder of the spring turkey woods. We are blessed with what we get to experience. The kill can be so anticlimactic.
South Carolina Low Country