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Double Down: Mississippi Turkey Hunting

By Jacob Edson – F+W Outdoors Editor
I just returned from my first turkey hunt of the season. I’m proud to
report that Mississippi treated me pretty well, serving up my very first
double-bearded tom.This particular bird seemed to be one of those tough Mississippi
toms we all hear about. On the first morning of the hunt, he was one of
the few birds that gobbled well. However, the swollen Noxubee River had
backed up into several ditches, preventing any approach.

The next morning, my guide and I heard him again. Recognizing that this was
the same bird, we decided to execute an extreme end around. We drove
several miles around the property to come at the bird from the “right” side
of the ditch. Problem was, when we got there, the bird had already shut up
and refused to honor any of our hen talk. We did find him though – on the
wrong side of another creek!

We could hear him drumming just 60 yards across the backed-up flow. By the
time we made it to a crossing with our HuntVe 4×4, the tom was long gone.
However, his tracks revealed this was one of his favorite hang outs.

We decided to wait him out. And at 6:05 p.m. the old Mississippi longbeard
returned. I had been watching a hen peck in the swamp behind me, but I was
able to slowly swing my Knight KP1 into position. When the tom reached 35
yards, a 3-inch load of No. 4s sent him tumbling into what must have been the
biggest mud puddle in Noxubee County.

Not only was it my first double-bearded tom, but my first afternoon gobbler
to boot!

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