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In the Turkey Woods 2012: Bridging the Gap

wisconsin gobbler

Sure, he was hot. But would he come?

With my days in the Spring 2012 turkey woods dwindling late this past week, I wanted to see some new ground and hunt a property I hadn't visited much. I'd been there twice during the season but hadn't done any good. The area usually held birds late in spring, though, so it was worth a shot.

As I marched west along the northern edge of a large woods, a bird gobbled off the property. That was pretty typical. As I traipsed farther, however, another gobbler chimed in — and he was on the ground I could hunt.

I slipped into the woods and got a fix on his location. Positive: I knew exactly where he was. Negative: He was across a deep ravine that, thanks to recent rains, was pretty wet. I had decide between trying him there or backing out and walking around the ravine to get on his ridge. With daylight looming, I found a good setup and vowed to see what he did after flydown.

The bird lit up at my tree yelps, and then continued gobbling well after he hit the ground. I yelped softly to him, sending him into a frenzy.

"A few minutes," I thought. "Then I'm moving."

When I called again, it became apparent that wouldn't be necessary. The gobbler was closer. Two minutes later, he was spitting and drumming 20 steps away, just below a small rise. When he eased left and popped his head up to look for the hen, the shot string was already on the way. The dandy double-bearded 2-year-old flopped in the leaves.

It had been a classic roost hunt. I guess we need a few of those every year to keep jarring us out of bed early in the morning. In fact, that bird might be enough to keep me waking up early into 2013.

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