This gobbler seemed so easy at the start, it’s now been 2 hours and quiet has settled in with no response to any call. He gobbled and moved closer only to fade off as they so often do. In the meantime there were many gobbles off somewhere else causing my stiff body to yearn for another setup. A little while longer, his last gobble was so very close he can’t be far.
After another half hour or so with more gobbles echoing through valley I succumbed to the move bug. Planning to return later I crept as quietly as possible back to the boat. While stowing my gear I noticed my favorite striker was not in its designated pocket, must be back at the setup. My gaze noticed my gun laying in the boat, a quick internal debate decided it should come with even though it is a short hike to the setup.
As I bent to pick up the wayward striker laying right where it had been set the feeling of something staring came over me. Slowly my eyes rolled around scanning the woods, nothing… I grasped the striker and rose to leave my hunter’s scan continuing to look for the out place line and there it was as my back straightened to full height a tom staring in my direction. He continued advancing towards me in a juking head zigzag obviously searching for the hen who had so seductively called for so many hours.
Wild turkeys have a sharp eyesight so the slightest misstep now would send the turkey off to safe refuges only turkeys know. Gently I leaned my left shoulder against the aspen, it had the same dappled color tones as my camo. At this moment the tension in the that woods was stifling. The purring turkey would take a step or two then stop, look and listen.
My right hand readied on my gun that was pointed at the ground in line with my leg, both (my gun and I) were doing our best impersonation of that little tree as the turkey had slunk well within range. The left hand must soon be brought into play…
The turkey’s head crossed behind a small tree as he started to puff into strut thought the better of it and increased his pace apparently satisfied the hen was gone there was no reason to stay. Fingers loosened from the striker and grabbed the forearm of the rising shotgun, my body rolled around the tree now turned to face the turkey. The tom should have run or flew but as is so often the case they stop to get a better look when they see movement from where they expected to see a turkey.
As the roar of the gun subsided there was barely a break in the other springtime sounds. Just me with a lucky striker laying on the ground pointing at a dead turkey.