Michael Belisle’s South Carolina gobbler

It all started 41 years ago. Picture a weathered and worn, leather-skinned old man aged by the contents of the whisky barrel he sat on… As he’s carving a wooden pipe , wood chips and sawdust fall from the table and cover the floor. He reaches for his whisky , he bumps the glass, it falls over spilling on to the table. The whiskey quickly flows across the table spilling onto the wood chip and sawdust covered floor, and like a phoenix from the ashes, I was born. Fast forward 41 years… I find my self with my Stoger M3500 loaded with 3.5 inch nitro turkey load, walking a long path to a bright green food plot tucked deep into the woods. As I enter the field I bump a small group of birds. So I set my decoys and quickly tuck into a small island of trees and bushes and sit quietly. I do not call on evening hunts. I let my decoys do the work. As I sit I have a few hens pop out, one of which has a rope hanging from her chest. Always a lucky sight to see. A few hours pass, and I start to get ready to leave. So I scan the field and happen to see an old Tom step out followed by 2 more.. And with that bow-browed angry scowl look that a typical old Tom has, it was like I was pulling them in on a string as they came running to my set. And once I pick the bird I wanted, I waited for a clean shot, and at 41 yards it hit the ground with not even as much as a flop, and eagerly as the pursuit started it was over. Adrenalin filled smile on my face, till the next hunt. And that’s my story.

–Michael Belisle

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