About 10 minutes after full light they flew down, I waited a few minutes and called very softly. Man, did that bird gobble back. Another bird gobbled when he heard the first bird from farther down the ridge, and I can tell you my pulse definitely jumped. I sat for a few minutes and called again. He answered and was definitely coming closer. I thought about what Matt and I had talked about the day before and really played it cool, not over-working this bird. He was smart and most likely he knew that he had been hunted the day before.
He gobbled and I called back as seductively as I could, boy did I wish Matt was here. He seems to be oblivious to the adrenaline rush that I was feeling. My breathing seemed like I just ran a 100 yard dash, making my heart feel like it was going to come out of my chest. But I stuck to the game plan that we had laid out after our failed hunt from the day before.
I had been sitting with my gun up for about 30 minutes or more and tried to move my knee very slowly under my front stock so that my arm wouldn’t fall off when the tom gobbled again. He was getting close coming right up to the stone wall that he had traveled the day before. I called again and his gobble exploded from about 70 yards out. Man, he was close.
Then I saw him for the first time. What a bird! He was huge. I just sat and waited. He was looking for the hen that he was sure was there but couldn’t quite locate. When he went behind a tree I purred very softly and he started coming as if he were right on a string at about 25 yards. I put the red dot on his head and pulled the trigger. He was down. I got up, reached him in a few seconds and waited for him to stop flopping. Then I knelt down to admire him.
After tagging him, I sat there for a few minutes thinking about the things that Matt and I had talked about and how they had made the difference between going home hungry and getting this beautiful bird.
This second hunt was much better planned; I got to my location and was where this bird thought that the hens should be. Also, despite my excitement, I stuck to the advice that Matt had given me the day before. Patience is one of the hardest things for me to practice when a bird is hammering right out of sight, but it paid off on this hunt. I waited this bird out. He had gotten pressure on this farm and the surrounding properties, which made him harder to fool. I had also brought a decoy with me on day two, and although I didn’t use it, it was there if the bird decided to be cagey. I could have slipped into the edge of the field and used it as another trick. And the last thing is that I stuck to my plan.
Sometimes you have to be more fluid in your hunt but this bird was educated. I listened to Matt, who is much more experienced at turkey hunting than I am. So get information from any source you can and use it in the field. If another hunter tells gives you a piece of advice, it probably came from hard won experience.