It was a good year for hearing and seeing them, a bad year for closing the deal. I was working on getting a first bird for the landowner’s 15 yr old son. A couple times we'd think we had one coming in on a string, and the bird would evaporate. One morning we had a bird double and triple gobbling, he was getting closer and closer; he worked his way around a patch of wetland and through a hedge row, and then walked into a woods (gobbling the whole time) and popped out in our pasture only to look at our hen decoy and shut right down. The landowners son would go out to spread manure early in the afternoon and reported seeing 3 mature Toms strutting for some hens (several times) in the area where we had been set up in the morning. Go figure!
I wonder about outside pressure, and how many times those birds were played with by other hunters. There was an interesting article in Turkey Call about birds fitted with GPS tracking, and how they reacted to pressure... I wonder if they're getting wise to decoys... For years I'd position a Jake over a squatting hen, with a feeding hen close by; having turkeys sprint for 100 yards to beat the snot out of the Jake decoy. This year it seemed as though 1 decoy was 1 too many.
The above are reasons why turkey hunting is a passion for me, and why building calls in the off season helps to give me my turkey hunting "fix". If turkeys weighed 100 - 150 lbs, I'd never hunt deer again!
Just because he isn't gobbl'n, doesn't mean he isn't listen'n!
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
― Benjamin Franklin