I was at the same place in N Wis where I heard the gobbler when I got the double a couple of days earlier. I was early and was just hanging around the truck enjoying a cup of coffee, just sort of lollygagging around. A woodcock was calling for a mate just a few yards from me. As it got closer to gobbling time the woodcock stopped and other birds started to sing. I got my gun and vest out of the truck, laid it on the ground and closed the truck door quietly. I went to the edge of the logging road so I could hear well in both directions and got into the “listening” position.
I stood there a while just enjoying the peaceful morning. Then a gobble rang out so close I ducked as if someone had just fired a round over my head. He was straight west and roosted not far off the road. I figured 200 to 300 yards just down the road. It was an oak forest and no leaves were out. I had to laugh at myself because I went from walking around very relaxed to stealth mode in just a matter of minutes and from the same place. I didn’t want to move much and I set up just 25 yards from the truck!
I faced the logging road with the gobbler to my right as the birds used this road frequently in the morning. As it got lighter I heard more than one gobbler, probably 3 and a jake. Then I heard yelping straight behind me, at least 2 hens. When I heard the hens I went right to calling to them. I used a mouth diaphragm and called a little on my box too. I wanted to get that boss hen to come to me. I tried to get her mad by calling over her and longer than her. It worked. By the time that boss hen was on the ground she was yelping and cutting hard at me and I was giving it right back to her. Neither one of us was giving an inch. Instead of coming to me though she went right to the gobbler, but calling to me all the way.
I kept yelping and cutting at her, and she at me, and finally she broke my way down the old logging road. This took a while as she went from her roost to the gobbler, stayed there a while, and then headed my way. I think we yelped and cutted 150 times EACH before it was all over. That old hen was making such a racket, her calls were echoing off the woods!
To borrow a line (with a little twist) from a Charlie Daniels song;
“I had her out there steppin’ and bitchin’ like her feet were on fire and her feathers were catchin’ “
Oooooooooooooweeeeeeeeeee she was mad!
When she yelped at me from about 40 yards away on the old road I gave her one more series and figured it was time to shut up and concentrate on the gun. I could finally see her at about 30 yards and she walked right in front of where I was sitting. She was only about 7 yards from me and I squinted my eyes for fear she might see them.
After a minute or so the hen moved on and I could see another bird coming down the road…it was her girlfriend. The second hen paused in front of me and shortly moved on towards the first one. Then another bird was coming and this time a beard was swinging in front of it. He strutted for a few seconds, then decided he needed to catch up and started running down the road still all puffed up. He looked like humpty dumpty trying to beat out a bunt. He stopped again to strut at 25 yards and I ended the hunt. It would have been an exciting hunt even without that hen, but the conversation I had with her made it a very special memory.
The above is what really happened…but what I am tellin’ everybody is my new pup (Tag Alder Tangle…call name Tag…a Pudelpointer) pointed and retrieved the bird.