It was five to ten minutes later when he finally decided to see what was happening on my side. His approach was announced by his white-capped head peaking over the knoll. And there he stood ... Look, strut, look, strut ... No shot was possible so I waited for a few more incoming steps. A closer look by the gobbler exposed his head and neck, and also put the decoys in view. Closely examining the scene with his head stretched high and his senses alert, he looked to the group of decoys I had placed to my side. The shot was there but I wanted to see the whole bird before I took it. One step backwards by the bird and he would be out of sight and the game would be over. But I had confidence in the little party I had created with the decoys. I was confident of his need to show off for the group of hens I had brought for him, and hoped he found it necessary to bully the little guy with them.
It was only a short while before it got the best of him and he made those final few steps to strut his stuff. Now it was the last move of the game and it was my turn. At a mere twenty yards the bird went into full strut on top of the knoll, presenting a full view of himself to his newly found harem of decoys below. As his head stretched to see the response of his boastful display of prominence, I made my final move by delivering a message signed with Winchester #6’s delivered at 1250 feet per second. Without hesitation, the twenty pound, 10” beard, and 1 1/8” spurred bird dropped on command.
Sometimes in open areas you need more than just a call to convince that weary tom that things are better over here. My preference is to hunt the woods and bring the bird in to the call searching for his girlfriend. But when in open areas, a little visual assistance from some decoys can bring realism to your setup. So always be prepared, because even in the woods you can run into a situation where you can see long distances, and that addition of a decoy might help you be more successful with that cagey gobbler that’s hesitant to commit.