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One Step From the Edge

As the final afternoon of my Alabama hunt arrived, the sun made an appearance, and the wind subsided. I had a chance.

After two unsuccessful cutt-and-run sessions, I walked toward a large pasture, prepared to set out a decoy and wait out the final two hours. Before I'd covered 30 steps, however, I spotted a hen and a strutter 200 yards into the field.

Strategy time. Figuring I probably couldn't call the gobbler away from a hen and across 200 yards of pasture, I decided to cut the distance. The woods to my left wound around to a long point near the turkeys, so my decision seemed obvious.

I cut into the timber, dropped below the ridge line and started walking, checking on the birds about every 100 yards. When I reached the arm of the field before the point, I poked my head up and saw nothing. Figuring I was safe, I continued around toward the point.

About halfway there, a blue head periscoped up 30 yards into the field. Apparently, as I'd headed east toward the point, the birds had walked west. I hadn't seen them because of a slight terrain rise in the field.

The standoff didn't last long. The gobbler quickly boogered off, and the hen putted a few seconds before following. It was finished.

I'd come close, but as you know, that doesn't count. And really, it didn't make me feel any better.

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