by Brian Lovett, editor
After whiffing on the hottest turkey I’d seen in years (see the previous
blog entry), the pressure was on.
Trying to seem unfazed by the miss, I headed to a good roost spot the next
morning. However, after hearing only one gobble and suffering numerous
mosquito bites, a change of scenery was in order.
I drove to a spot I hadn’t hunted all season and prepared to walk and strike
a long hardwood ridge. After my first series of yelps, two birds fired back
on the neighbor’s ridge. There was a large hayfield between us, so I had no
choice but to sit five yards into the woods and try to call them across.
And it worked … Almost. The birds gobbled themselves into a frenzy, came
off the ridge and entered the field. There was a small rise between me and
them, so I figured they’d at least top that to seek the hen.
Instead, they stayed just below the rise, gobbling their fool heads off.
Occasionally, I could see one of the birds about 80 yards away. Once, I
glimpsed the closer bird’s head at about 60 steps.
Eventually, the gobblers drifted off and lost interest, and I lost hope. I
went to work and tried to form a game plan for the morning.
And then I got lucky. On the way home from work, I drove past a large farm I have permission to hunt. There, like a gift from heaven, was a black
puffball in a stubble field. Somehow, things fell together, and 20 minutes
later, I was toting a dandy 3-year-old to my truck.
Now, I can look back on the spring in peace. Unless, of course, I go back
after the two field birds.