Wild Turkey hunting report

Spent the last few days with a guest in the turkey woods. We did a good round of scouting the evening before and found some familiar patterns of turkey movement. We listened for roost gobbles, but did not hear anything. The alarm clock went off early on day one and we took a long walk in the dark to arrive at a very high percentage food plot on the edge of a fresh clearcut. Unfortunately, the wind had picked up to 15-20 mph and we did not hear any gobbles. We let out some calls, but did not get reply. 30 minutes in, a log truck rolled by unexpectedly and ruined our set. We headed for plan B, another long walk to a wooded flat. We had a long set but did not get any response. We hit plan C, another long walk into a stand of thinned pines. We hit the calls and got response. There were 2 gobblers that answered from different locations, one was 150 yards away, the other maybe 250. We hit again to an immediate response, quiet time for us as we changed positions slightly to get ready for the charge. Ten minutes later, I see the blue head bopping in quick. We walked up 20 yards in front of me and started clucking. He was a limb hanger with a rope that dragged the ground. Unfortunately, my guest was facing the other way and never saw the bird as he walked out of our lives gobbling and looking for that hen. We eased out of there and hit a couple of more places with no luck. In the evening, we walked back into the area of the close encounter and sat quiet. Nothing happening until 7:51 PM when we first heard and then saw him fly up 70 yards away. Great, but we were now pinned down and could not move. He never gobbled and we waited until well after dark to slowly belly crawl out of there. A sleepless night would follow with nervous anticipation of day 2. My guest had a pedometer that said we walked just under 10 miles using my favorite run and gun style of hunting! Day 2 had us up even earlier to make a sneak back after the roosted gobbler. We made it as close as we could and set up for the show. The time arrived and he boomed an ear deafening gobble from 70 yards away. Oh Boy! Then we heard several other gobbles further away and from there is was on. Gobblers were hammering for the next 30 minutes. We let out some soft clucks, which received an immediate response. Our gobbler dropped down and headed headed down the hill to an open green field lane. Now we were out of position and he would not budge, he wanted that hen to come out in open. Meanwhile the other gobblers, which I think were 3-4 different birds were hammering away. I called sparingly to let the close gobbler know we were still there and he would answer, but not budge. Eventually he drifted off toward the other gobblers and the chase was on. We moved methodically toward the bunch as they gobbled on their own. They would gobble and we would move. The classic chess match! We closed distance without calling and got to within about 80 yards of the last gobble. We found a decent setup and got ready. Moments later a gobbler walked out with its head down about 50 yards away. It was hard to see as the sun was now right in our face. My guest clucked, the gobbler stood up and BOOM. I crane my head around to see him fly off at 8:30 AM. The woods came alive as turkeys were clucking and trying to figure out what happened. There must have been a big flock congregated together. We stayed seated hoping for another chance, but not to be. They all moved away and we walked down to see what happened as the disappointment set in. We found no indications of a hit, it appears that the shot string sailed right over his head. Talk about a long walk back to the truck. We hit a couple of other areas and made long loops to strike again but no luck as we called it a hunt with over 6 miles on the pedometer. Well, that is turkey hunting! It takes so many factors to line up for a harvest and any one of them can foil your effort. We had a great time, had super close encounters and can’t wait to do it again. Good luck out there this week!

Captain Jeff