by Brian Lovett, editorAs I eased out of the truck during my second morning in Texas, the reaction
“Warmer,” I thought. “Much warmer.”
Guide Mike Stroff of SOE Hunts pointed toward a road that bisected two
ponds, and off I went. Turkeys began gobbling almost immediately to the
south, so I slipped in as far as possible and then sat against a small live
oak. Ideal? No, but it was the best I could do.
Soon, the birds flew down and clammed up. A series of yelps netted no
responses, but when I cutt hard, two birds hammered back from the east.
Within seconds, a hen and two strutters cleared the trees and began milling
about in a field 80 yards away. I was stuck.
When I called again, however, a bird responded 75 steps away to the south. I
quickly shifted around and yelped again. After two minutes and some frenzied
gobbling, Rio Grande No. 2 was flopping 20-some steps away.
That afternoon, temperatures hit the mid-80s, and I joined writer Matt
Coffey in a tent blind near a live-oak grove. Astoundingly, we called in and
spooked a gobbler almost immediately. I’m still not sure what happened, but
the bird didn’t stick around to find out.
As evening set in, the turkeys got active. A strutter and two hens set up
shop 80 yards behind us, and then two more gobblers circled around us to
join them. Minutes later, a trio of 2-year-olds followed the same path. We
had six longbeards within 80 yards.
Eventually, we coaxed the three 2-year-olds out of the timber to the field
edge, and Coffey killed one at 30 steps, ending a perfect day. Even as we
left the blind to meet our guide, a bird was gobbling like mad in the
We still had one more day to hunt, but everyone doubted it could match the