Opening morning found my good friend Jon and I waiting on light and a gobble . I performed my somewhat scary ''OWLING'' with my natural tools and recieved nothing for my efforts . Waited several minutes and started up some roost pitting ,,,,again , nothing .
We slowly moved on toward the back of the property and paused on a slight rise to pitt again . This time we were answered by a gobbler that souded mature , but we were unsure . A hen also was clucking a little near the gobbler . Soon I cranked it up a mite and was getting quite a bit of chatter from the roosted birds . We moved into a set up nearby and started the foray . Shortly a bird that sounded hennish started yakkin' from behind a nearby point . Then a bird came around the point , but it looked huge for a hen , yet the poor light wouldn't allow for proper identification . either way , the bird was silent ant was headed toward the first birds we heard , which were by this time on the ground . I continued to call to the first birds and we went at it for some time . Then I did that little hen call of 4-5 fast soft yelps , facing the birds , then turned away from them and let out 3 jake yelps . They never made another sound . I continued to call , hen style , but they wanted no more of it .
Then we heard a faint gobble from the back ridge . I told Jon it sounded like it was just over the top . We cut ground a bit and I called . It responded , though it didn't cut my call . It sounded like a mature bird , at some distance but soon we could tell it was a jake ,,,,,,and comin'.
We stood at the junction of two man nmade trails . Jon moved toward the birds a short distance and sat down by a tree. I moved back a little and stood by three cedars that grew tight together, by the main trail . The bird gobbled about every five minutes so I didn't push the issue with too much calling . He was still making progress our way , but seemed more in line to pass uphill and out of sight for Jon . Then I could hear footsteps off in the brushy cedar thicket . Out he stepped into the trails edge and stretched his neck . I just stood still leaning against the cedars. He remained motionless for a couple minutes and his companion stepped out and did the same . They scanned the trail for about 30 seconds and simultaneously stepped forward ...one step ,,,,two steps .
I began moving the double up to my shoulder . Not in super slow motion , but not in the speed one would attempt to shoulder a shotgun on , say , a flushing grouse . Just fluid like and steady . The jakebirds simply stood dumbfounded admiring the two black holes in the end of the moving tree branch. I lowered my cheek into the comb , put the bead just below his head and squeezed . I saw his head being driven hard straight away ,,,and then he crumpled into a heap..
Jon got to his feet and joined me . We recounted the events of the hunt and moved up to the now floppin' jake . I stooped to see under the cedars and could see the other jake trotting up the hill. We stood talking in low tones and the jake began calling in earnest . Jon sat down and I began calling and walking away . Jake came maybe halfway back , judging by the sound , but never showed himself .
Then a rare thing happened . A hen began gobbling right near the jake . She would go uphill leaving him there to yelp and whine by himself . Then she would come back down . Twice she did this before he finally gave up on his old companion , and departed or simply went silent .
The first day of season ,,,and the first turkey I have killed since spring of 2011. It felt good . Both the running of the calls and the shot.
I went home to dress the bird and later Jon came by with the boat and we went crappie fishin' for the remainder of the day . Took home 20 fish ,,,,,probably caught 40 or more .
As they say ''DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS ''
BEST OF HUNTS TO ALL