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When a Tom and a tom meet in the woods…

…someone’s going to be a full body mount. And since we need ad rep Tom Cross in good shape at the Turkey & Turkey Huntingoffices, the tom is bound for the taxidermist.

Here’s what happened earlier this week according to Tom:

After two evening hunts of hardly seeing a bird in my secret honey hole, I asked my friend J.P. what’s up with the birds. He said something has them spooked, and they are all on the east end of the land. Well, the east end of the land is a long walk.

The next morning I got up extra early and headed east. After a long walk, I made a few locator calls to find the birds. To my surprise, the gobblers were not on the east end. They were on the west end, where I was the last two evenings.

So after a really long half trot, half run, I was back to where I started. I located the toms with a couple yelps. They were in a perfect spot, and did not see me set my decoys.  I set them so the toms would have to walk past me to get to my Pretty Boy and my three hen decoys dressed in A-Way Turkey Skinz.

After a few calls while the toms were still on the roost, I took my hat and slapped against my leg to make it sound like a bird flying down of the roost. After a minute or two the birds pitched down, but onto the upper hay field.

I could see four hens making their way down the edge of the wood line. I could just make out a fan through a couple trees. With a quick readjustment of my sitting arrangement, I was left laying on my back with a log to prop up my gun.

The toms met up with the hens in a narrow finger of the hay field that led directly to my set of decoys. I didn’t call again, fearing I would be busted. I wasn’t hidden very well.  The two toms saw the decoys. They looked excellent with the Skinz. The two toms left their hens and started toward me. I couldn’t believe it.

At this point, the toms were 125 yards away. The boss tom strutted and gobbled a few times and closed 45 yards. The subordinate tom, which had the reddest head I have ever seen, helped me out when he got about 10 yards in front of boss tom. That triggered something in the boss tom. Both came running. I love the waddle they do when they are running with that big ol’ beard swaying side to side.

At 25 yards, I put the bead on them. But they are too close to each other. If I pulled the trigger, I feared injuring the other. They slowed down, but the stump from the tree was now in the way and I couldn’t see the birds. I just hoped the blue head would be the first head past the the end of the log.

It was.

I quickly moved my gun over and laid on my back. I put the bead on his head and pulled the trigger. Poof! The big boy was dead.

I apologized to the other tom for taking out his friend, but reminded him he was the boss now as he slowly walked away.

My bicep was really sore since I never really shouldered the gun, but I didn’t care. The big boy was laying on the ground.

After further inspection the bird had 1½” spurs and weighed 22lbs. 12 ounces. It was my biggest spurred to date.

After a big thank you to J.P. and a few pictures, I was on the way to show the bird to my family. My wife, out of the graciousness of her heart, is allowing me to do a full body mount!

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