by Brian Lovett, T&TH editor
It was clear but windy Sunday morning, and I slipped into the woods plenty early, counting my footsteps to the X setup.
As the eastern sky brightened, I saw several dark turkey-like forms in the trees 50 yards away. I was in the right spot. After 20 more minutes, an ear-splitting gobble confirmed that. D3 was roosted just past his hens, probably 70 steps away.
Eventually, a couple of hens pitched off their roosts and flew to the ridge to my right. Perfect. Another bird flew down behind them. Was that him? I couldn't tell. I tried to peer through the dark woods, hoping to catch a glimpse of D3 following his girls.
Then, something surprising happened. D3 appeared in full strut, walking right where I'd expected him to be. He disappeared briefly behind a clump of trees, and then stepped into the open and stopped. That's all I needed, as a 2-ounce pile of Hevi 13 was already on the way.
As I stood over the gobbler, I smiled while recalling all the whippings he'd given me. As expected, D3 was an old turkey, with one 11/4- and 13/8-inch hooks. The gobbler had really gotten under my skin, which is why I kept returning to him. I probably hunted him eight to 10 times in late 2010 and 2011. The final hunt, however, tipped the odds.
Hey, you give me 10 cracks at a turkey and I'll eventually put something together.