The Mystery Caller
In the pre-dawn darkness, you sneak toward an immense ridgetop white oak.
From that spot the previous evening, you tucked a gobbler to bed. Being
clever and techno-proficient, you marked the white oak on your global
positioning system unit as your set-up tree for the next morning and then
slipped out of the woods. Now you're back and, sure enough, the first owl
hoot of the morning assures you the gobbler is on the same limb and feeling
You wait for shooting light, and then fire the bird up with two soft tree
yelps. At flydown, you mimic a hen pitching from her roost. The gobbler
responds lustily, so you go silent, not wanting to hang him on the limb or
goad him into a gobbling fit that would attract a hen or another hunter.
However, your bird is having none of it. He gobbles at everything and
nothing, his booming voice becoming more urgent by the minute. Finally, you
hear him pitch and land.
Just as you put your favorite peg to your trusty slate, you hear it; a
series of croaky "yelps" that sound so bad they have to be from another
hunter. Worse, the sounds emanate from between you and the tom. You're on
public land, so there's nothing you could say to a trespasser, and because
you've called so sparingly, it's possible this intruder doesn't realize he's
moved in on you.
A) Stick it out and call more aggressively? Perhaps the hunter will realize
his mistake and shut up, giving you a chance to kill the bird.
B) Reposition to where you think you'll have a better chance to kill the
bird than your competition? It's an aggressive move that might bump the
turkey, but at this point, who cares?
C) Walk away and find another bird? Further attempts at the turkey at that
setup are bad judgement and might put you or the other hunter in danger.