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Starting Off on the Wrong Foot

After months of anticipation, I finally kicked off my Spring 2010 turkey season March 20 in South Carolina. And with six birds gobbling in my area, things looked great.

Until I set about goofing it up, that is.

For about a half-hour, I played with a distant henned-up bird. Suddenly, I heard footsteps in the thick palmettos to my right. Two longbeards were sneaking in. Unfortunately, they came around a slough and ended up directly behind me, where they strutted in the road and filled the air with drumming.

"I've got to slowly spin around this tree," I thought.

Just then, however, three hens appeared in the green field in front of me. No worries. The gobblers would see the hens and walk down the road to them, providing me with a shot.

Uh, no. Apparently, the longbeards never saw the hens, because they drifted off into a palmetto flat to my left. By the time I spun around the tree, they were gone — or so I thought.

I yelped on a slate call, and the birds responded from 50 steps away. I threw the gun up and waited. Soon, I made out the shadowy form of a turkey slipping through the palmettos. Trouble was, the ground cover was so thick that I could never see a full turkey, let alone a head or neck.

Within seconds, the encounter was finished, and the birds were gone. I'd called a pair of gobblers in twice and never gotten a shot.

Ain't turkey hunting great?

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