Greetings, returned 5-2 from a week in Missouri. For a while it looked like a repeat of last year... 1 and 1/2 inches of rain the night we got there, Saturday 4-24. Torrential rains and 35 mph winds all day Sunday washed out any hope of hunting on day #1. It rained off and on all day Monday, day #2, with high winds. It rained Tues morning but although it remained overcast, quit raining about 11:00 a.m. Very little gobbling or activity at dawn with the conditions as such.
I manuevered to my favorite cow pasture brush blind on the back property line as soon as it stopped raining. About 11:30 three jakes entered the field to feed and dry off, a welcome sight as NE Missouri bird numbers have dropped drastically after 3 successive bad hatches. A short time later I glassed 3 mature toms across the creek, drying off at the back of another pasture, a full 300 yards away. The jakes were in feed mode and continued to move around in front of me so there was no way to advance on the gobblers. A full 45 minutes passed and the gobblers had not moved 20 ft in that time, they weren't interested in eating, just drying out.
While glassing the toms, something suddenly spooked them and they all began running. One tom flew to the east away from me...the other two continued to run right at me. When they took to the air to fly the creek I dropped the binoculars and grabbed my shotgun. The tom on my right was gliding in for a landing that would put him about 30 yards away...maybe. The tom still airborne was coming straight at me and I had to make a decision...either hope the first tom landed in range or wingshoot the second, still 25 ft in the air and maybe intent on sailing over my head to the neighboring property. Suddenly the airborne bird set his wings like a goose and landed a mere 10 yards from my blind. He was dead as soon as his feet touched the ground. Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Clause!
After three straight days of rain, high winds and temperatures that never topped 50, the turkey gods had smiled on me with an absolute gift and perserverance was again rewarded. At 12:15, with only 45 minutes left until the 1:00 pm quitting time, I was pinned in my blind by jakes, watching three gobblers over 300 yards away that had no intention of going anywhere. In an instant, one of them was within spitting distance. The odds of that happening have to be astronomical. And what are the odds that someone would be in that blind on a 450 acre farm if it did happen? No way.
The Missouri Dept of Conservation was correct, with all of the bad hatches if you did connect, it would likely be an older bird. The Boss was a 4 year old with 1 and 3/8 inch daggers, 11 inch beard and weighed 22 lbs.
As I said...sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. [;)]