by Brian Lovett, T&TH editor
Even an all-night rain couldn’t diminish my excitement to hunt the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Kentucky. I’d joined Joss Grossenbacher and several other Zink Calls staffers for opening weekend, and things looked good.
We set up near a rushing, flooded creek, which made it tough to hear. At flydown, however, several birds pitched off nearby limbs and hit the field in front of us. Trouble was, they got together in a big wad — hens, jakes and two longbeards — and went to the other side of the field. That’s where we watched them — for four hours.
After a while, Josh asked videographer Jeff Shelby and I if we wanted to duck below the creek bank and slip closer to the turkeys. Of course we did. However, the creek was a raging river, so it would be extremely tough.
Hanging onto tree limbs and treading through the flooded bottoms, we started gaining ground on the birds. Finally, after about a half-hour of tricky walking, we were near the field corner. That’s when we spotted a longbeard just 70-some yards away. Better, he was heading toward us.
I eased to a tree and readied myself. The gobbler came straight at me for a few steps but then disappeared to my left. Thankfully, Jeff, who was standing behind a tree, could still see the bird in the viewfinder of his camera.
“Raise up and shoot him,” Josh whispered.
So I did. And when the gobbler hit the ground, a previously unseen longbeard popped up and ran off. There had been two of them.
“Wow, what an unbelievable hunt,” I thought.
True. But it wasn’t nearly as unbelievable as what happened next.