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Day 2 Dawns at the Rio Roundup

by Brian Lovett, editor

Dustin "Shed" Whitacre had a quandary.

"How close do you want to get to these turkeys?" he asked.

Before I could answer, someone else chimed in, "Close enough to grab their
feet."

We chuckled and drove to a roost Whitacre, of Mossy Oak, had pegged the
previous evening. As we walked in, however, the sky began to brighten, so we had to consider the question again.

"Well, better safe than sorry," I whispered. Whitacre agreed, and we set up
100-some yards tom the big oak grove. Within minutes, a gobble echoed from the trees, and I felt good about our decision.

The birds never really cranked up. In fact, the gobbling actually waned and
then stopped for several minutes. But at flydown, several turkeys pitched
from the treetops, flew toward us and landed near a water tank. A gobbler
immediately began strutting for several hens and ignored our calling.

However, another gobbler circled around some mesquite trees and ran to
within 70 yards of us. He started to strut but then raised his head to check
out the other gobbler, which had likely kicked his tail several times.
The standoff lasted for several minutes, until the longbeard eventually
started moving to his right. When he reached 45 steps, my borrowed Remington 887 barked, and Rio Grande No. 1 was down.

"I'm glad we sat where we did," Whitacre said as we recovered the gobbler.

"Yep," I replied. "And we still got to grab his feet."

Better, my luggage arrived that afternoon, so I'd be fully loaded for Day 3.

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