Angus and I went this morning for Day 2 of the KY Yute Season. Angus was armed with his 20 GA Mossberg bolt action. He was shooting Federal #4's.
We spent another morning like Saturday, with a bunch of half-hearted gobblers barely paying us any mind before fading off. Like Saturday, we packed up around 0900 and moved to another part of the farm, with the intention of looking for gobblers that might be starting to heat up. We tried a few spots, nothing paid off and the sun was getting high enough that a mid-morning nap seemed to be in order. We headed off to Gobbler's Knob.
On the far side of Gobbler's Knob is a rock pile around which I've been piling cedar boughs for about 5 years. Every year I add a little bit to the pile and every year nature takes its toll. The cedar wood is pretty resilient. However, the needles fall off after a couple years.
One year, I ended up at the rock pile well after flydown and decided to take a nap and await the arrivial of the late-morning entourage of hens and gobblers that give Gobbler's Knob its name. After falling asleep against the rocks, I was awakened with a loud "Cluck!" I was directly behind me, so I arched my back and tilted my head straight back. There was a hen, standing directly on top of me, looking down.
"Well, CLUCK!" I snarled, using my best Elvis impersonation, soaked in sarcasm.
The hen bought it and moved off. That was years ago.
Angus and I camped out at the same rock pile this morning. I had my backs on the rocks. Angus had his up against a cedar tree. I made a few calls. Angus made a few calls. We then settled in. I brought along a book, read a chapter, and then dozed off.
I awoke. There was a hen moving around less than 30 yards from us. I couldn't pick her up, but I could sure hear her. I was hunkered down behind the cedar boughs. Angus was up. I was pinned down, if I did anything substantial like sit up or go for my calls, we would get busted. I had laid my Quaker Boy Easy Yelper push-pull call out, and that I could grab without any notice. I went to work with that, one handed, clucking and purring. Angus had a mouth call in. He clucked and purred as well. Eventually the hen got hinky and started to putt. I laid on an aggressive purr, and that seemed to quieter down. At first, only the hen came into view. However, as the minutes wore on, we found she was being followed by 3 jakes. When it looked like Angus had an opportunity, I told him to turnd and take a shot. While all this had been going on , Angus had been able to flop onto his stomach. Using the rock pile he pulled himself up to a semi-kneel, and started to angle for the best shot. One of the three jakes presented himself.
"Fire in the hole." he whispered. I heard the safety go off. There was a jake with his head up at about 10 yards.
"BLAM!" turkeys went everywhere. Two got airborne and flew clear off the knob. The hen went down the hill and hid in the cedars. The last time I saw the gobbler Angus had shot at, he was running across the top of the hill at high speed.
The problem with tight chokes is that you are firing a bullet for that first 10 yards or so. In Angus' case, the jake jinked just as he lit up the load. The sun was still low enough I could see the wad sailing just over the gob's neck. The shot string was about the size of a golfball. That and the surprise expression on that gob's face was about all I could see between the cedar debris-- A perfect view of a perfect miss on a perfect morning.
"I certainly counted coup on that gobbler," said Angus. "That's about as good as I could ask for."
"That's about as good as it gets. " I said. We took our time packing up. The hen was still putting furiously as we walked off the hill and went home.