The Louisiana Turkey season opened this past weekend. A strong line of storms moved through the area in the early morning hours of opening day. The storms had the birds in full on lockjaw mode. We looped a good portion of the property only seeing a hen and 1 gobbler way off on the neighbors property. We did harvest a big hog and a cottonmouth snake. Sunday AM was a different story. A gobbler sounded off in a bottom about 6:45 AM. We got within 200 yards of the bird on the roost and set up. We started calling, but the bird never responded to us. It was gobbling on its own and to crows and owls. Must have been henned up. We slipped out and drove to another spot, walked in and started calling. We struck a way off gobble. We waited 10 minutes and called again to hear the bird had closed significant distance. We moved slightly to a better vantage point and called again which was answered even closer. I could already smell the turkey cooking! We moved again ever so slightly and set my guest up in the kill zone. The long beard came into the set and started gobbling, spitting, drumming and strutting right in front of me at 55 yards. Unfortunately my guest could not see the bird. The bird moved off still gobbling and looking for action. We let him move off and we repositioned again and called him back, but not within range. Bummer. He eventually eased off the way he came in still gobbling. We walked out and drove to another area for some cutting and running work. We walked down a dim logging road stopping and calling every 100 hundred yards or so. After a mile or so walk, we struck finally a gobbler! We eased off the road and into the woods toward the bird and set up. Periodic calling would elicit an immediate return gobble, but this bird was taking his sweet time working his way toward us. We made a slight move to a better vantage point and waited him out. I worked soft calls and tried to throw the sound behind me so he would think that the hen was walking away. It worked, after 30 minutes the long beard was standing in front of my guest. He shot and then shot again as the bird was running away. Never cut a feather. He was really deflated as we relived the shot. We got back to the tree he was on and saw the reason for the miss – a yopon tree about 4 inches in diameter was cut in half about 3 feet in front of the tree. I guess he was focused on the gobbler and never saw the tree right in front of him. That is turkey hunting! We will be back after them. Good luck out there!

Captain Jeff