I struck a gobbler back along the creek at the small horse farm this morning. He was hammering away on the limb and I eased towards the little field in the woods, (which was mowed yesterday) just up from his position. The gobbler was about 250 yards away down the creek from me. As tempted to go after him as I was, He was at least 150 yards across the property line where I couldn't hunt. He taunted me from his roost with gobbles for almost an hour before he flew down. As soon as he hit the ground, he made a B-line towards the neighbor's field (I can't hunt there either) to a favorite strut zone, where he stayed & tossed out gobbles to anyone who could hear until after 10 AM. I'm pretty sure I played this game with the same bird last year and it was frustrating to say the least. The neighbor fired up his tractor and started plowing up rows for his tobacco in that field. Game over. That gobbler probably went down across the swamp. I heard a jake gobble farther up the ridge and had a lone hen out chasing bugs in the newly mowed field from 10 to ~10:30, which made the morning more interesting.
I was hunting with a crossbow, so it would have been easy to slip towards the roost and try that bird, but that land is posted. I don't like trespassers and I'm not about to become one myself. This afternoon I went bought myself a gobble shaker and I'm going to try to make that gobbler think his territory has been invaded by a pesky young gobbler moving in on his turf. I have a hen decoy with a jake to set out to enhance the deception. I hope it works. They're calling for rain tomorrow afternoon, so I have to make it count.
I have so much work going on right now that I can only hunt on weekends.
I hate to wish for a job cancellation, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.
Good luck to everyone!