After a bit of a slow start to the 2014 turkey season (both in terms of gobbling activity and encounters), the tables turned for me on Sunday morning. I was trying a new spot at a hunt club I recently joined on Saturday and had located a big bird strutting with a hen in the middle of a soon to be planted corn field the day before. Unfortunately, I didn't locate him until 8:30 am that day and he would have nothing to do with me. I decided to return to this area the next day (Sunday) and see if a first light introduction would change is mind. After a 45 minute ride and a 20 minute walk, I made it to the field. Heard 3 birds gobbling on the other side of the field, about 400 yards in from me. Rather than close the distance by walking around the edge of the field and risk him hitting the ground before I was ready, I set up directly across the field from the birds. Started with some tree yelps on my Primos Long Hooks diaphram and immediately got a response... from a hen behind me. I proceeded to work this hen into a frenzy, until she flew off the roost 30 yards from my decoys (hen and a jake). We went back and forth for about 20 minutes and it was all the gobbler across the field could stand. He hit the ground and proceeded to close the distance at a moderate pace in a full strut. Finally the hen began to exit to my left and the tom started to follow her. This bird had just closed a 300 or so yard gap to 65-70 yards and was now breaking it off to follow the hen. Not again I thought. Once they were out of sight, I began to shift my shooting stick to the left. Out of nowhere the tom comes sprinting up to my decoys, stops on a dime and begins strutting, spitting and drumming at 20 yards. As motionless as possible, I turned back to the field. The bird knew something was up, but he was too late. I lined my TRUGLOW sight up on his head and squeezed off a shot that dropped him like a sack of rocks. 8 am. Bird Down. Not sure it would have happened once he got with the hen if it hadn't been for the jake decoy. This bird was ready rumble when he finally came in. It happened very fast. Going again on Friday, as I have to go to the Heritage this weekend and won't be able to hunt.
23 lbs; 11' beard; 3/4' spurs.
Great day on the reds in Winyah Bay. Throwing crabs the whole time on outgoing tide. Ended up landing 15 over slot. Largest was 35'. Caught a good trout and a couple of slotters for dinner. Back to the dock by noon. Awesome day on the water.