It is nice to be in the turkey woods again! The youth opener was this past weekend and the conditions were less than desirable. Brisk winds and fog in the morning is not the best. We roosted Friday evening and a gobbler sounded off as a shock gobble to coyotes howling. Perfect way to start the season! Saturday morning arrived and we positioned ourselves close to where the gobbler was Friday evening. The bird never made a sound. We sat and called for a while and nothing showed. We then started to run and gun. We looped around the property set up many times and called, but never encountered a bird. Sunday morning conditions were worse, dense fog, but lighter winds. We tried a different area and heard a gobble on far off from the roost. The chase was on! We walked down an old logging road to get in the area and then cut down a fire line to close the distance. The bird was already on the ground by the time we got close, but still gobbling on his own. We set up and called and the gobbler appeared about 40 yards away on an old logging road. Unfortunately, the bird stayed behind brush and never offered a shot opportunity. We let the bird walk off, repositioned ourselves, but could not get him back in the kill zone. Strike 1. Back to run and gunning, we walked into another area and got up to the edge of a green field and got busted by a hen and a gobbler which both ran off. Strike 2. We hit another area walked in and sat down. The first calling sequence was rewarded with a distant gobble. We closed the distance and called again which was hit with an immediate response. We sat quiet for a while and I could hear the footsteps coming. Soon enough, 2 longbeards walked up the hill and stopped about 25 yards out. The dominant bird was in and out of full strut spitting and drumming and providing a great show. My 12 year old guest was shaking like a leaf, his breathing was heavy and I could hear his heart beating as we were side by side on a pine tree. There was no way he was going to be able to take the shot with his gun barrel shaking like it was, so we let the birds walk past on us. Strike 3. They live to gobble another day. My guest was disappointed that he did not kill, but after a while he was excited about the experience and the close encounters. The regular season starts this coming weekend and we will be out there after them. Good Luck out there!

Captain Jeff