I had a great day on Saturday. I finally bagged a Gobbler after a 8 year wait. I will tell you the story, so bear with me.
Charlie and I started before sunup by getting the truck threw the gate and getting into the woods. It started as a great day of pleasures for the senses. Just at day break we started trying to locate a bird as usual with a owl hoot. Now for those that do not know Charlie or have not heard someone that owl calls with his throat, it is impressive and always has been since I started hunting with Charlie. Anyway, his owl call is unbelievable in how real it sounds. Well, the first time he hooted, 2 owls called back to him very close to us. Then one of them came threw the trees and flew just over our heads. He hooted again and again an owl answered from somewhere over us. We finally found him straight up from us about 30 feet in the top of a pine tree. He was so beautiful sitting up there. So Charlie got the video camera out and we played with him for a few minutes. He would call to it and he would look down at us as if to say "where is that owl, let her go". IT was some site.
The first crow finally called at 6:30. after a few crows calling, we heard the first Turkey of the day. It was a long way off and over a couple ridges. Charlie had been in the area a few days before and said that he knew that there was a bird in this valley we were overlooking somewhere. We walked a little ways down the road and still only heard the same bird. We continued down the road and down into the valley more and more. The crows were yelling, the wood pickers were squealing and there were more sound in the woods than I have ever heard. We went threw a green field and over to a firebreak road to see what we could hear. As we did this, two wood picker were on a hollow tree that we passed and it sounded like a big bass drum as they hammer on it and courted each other. We heard a turkey that sounded like it was a few hundred yard to our right, so we decide too sit down on the fire break road and see if we could call it onto the road and get it to come to us. I headed down the road about 30 yards and found a good oak to sit against and Charlie went a little piece up the road after sitting out a hen decoy. After a few minutes, Charlie did a fly down of a hen call and started a few hen clucks here and there. Just after, I heard a bird fly down from a tree to my right and hit the ground. A bird a long way off gobbled at then the bird on the other side of the hill gobbled again. This happened several times before another bird gobbled off to my right about 300 yards. I could hear a hen or Jake bird clucking to my right, but that one gobble sent a thrill down the spine. We continued to do a little calling and the bird on the other side kept hard gobbling, but he was just pacing on the other side of the hill and not moving much. He was not going to come around or over the hill to us. Just as Charlie stood up and I had gotten up, Charlie walked down to me. On his way to me, the longest loudest gobble I had ever heard happened just over the hill. I had to have lasted 10-15 seconds. Charlie stooped and listened as I was shaking from the sound. Charlie made it to just as as another long , loud call happened again. The only thing we could come up with is that the bird that gobbled to my right earlier and the other bird had gotten together and were gobbling together. We decided that the bird that we were hearing was off the boundary of the property and it was not going to come to us. We started waling the fire break boundary road to see if we could find another gobbling bird on into the property. We crossed a creek and walked on up a step hill about 300-400 yards. We could hear a bird along way off but the bird on the other side of the hill was silent. Charlie gave a hen call with his mouth call with no response. He made the comment that that bird does m=not like the mouth call cause he had yet to answer to it. As we continued to walk the hill, Charlie had gotten box call out and hit it a couple times when a bird gobbled right behind us. We turned around and made the comment that that had to be that bird across the hill now in top of the hill. He called again and it was even closer that time when it gobbed. Charlie said "he thinks we are leaving" (us being the hens as we were calling). He told me to sit quickly on the road and watch to see if it would come up the road, he started to walk slowly up the hill calling lightly as he walked away. I got set down and ready when I heard the bird flop across the creek and I could hear it walking as if it were next to me. I had the gun a t ready pointing down into the woods were I could hear the walking expecting to see his white head at any point. I listened while he went right by me to the point I had no shot anymore if I could have scene him. I was trying to figure out how to get turned around and communicate with Charlie to look over the hill top, cause I thought it was going around the hill . I had drooped my gun to my lap and was going to roll out into the road on my belly so that I could point up the road to Charlie. As i was doing this, Charlie shot. I looked up the hill to see Charlie with gun extended and swinging the gun over my position. I looked up to see a gobbler fly into the tree I was sitting in and land. I could not get my gun around to him and he pitched out of the tree when I got the shot on him. I'm thinking the whole time that Charlie had shot the bird and it flew up and I just knocked him down for Charlie. The bird fell to the ground just a few yards in front of me. I jumped up to grab it. As I did, I saw Charlie running down the other side of the hill like he was hunting the bird. I was yelling at him that I had the bird right here, but he kept running. I made it to the bird I shot and he was sitting there like nothing was wrong looking at me. I have always saw on video and when I had scene others shoot a bird, the turkey would flop around until you got to them and held them down. So when this one was sitting there, like on a nest, it was weird. I kept telling Charlie that I had the bird but he was way down the hill side around from me. As I saw him lift up a Turkey, I realized that I had shot a second bird and my first. I debated for a second how to kill the bird. Do I shot it again, do I grab it and risk it flogging me or what. So i decide that if I could get to it I would hit it with my gun and try to hit its neck, which is what I did. It knocked him out and I got my foot on its neck and was able to grab its feet when it rolled over. i was so happy, I can not tell you. I made my way back out of the woods to the road to find Charlie holding a bigger bird and I holding a bird. I could not believe it, a 2 in 1 deal. How great is that.
Charlie started telling me that he had his gun on his should standing on the top of the hill when he had decided to pull his gun down and was looking for a place to sit down. He said he had the gun about half way off his shoulder when the turkeys head popped up over the dirt clump in front of him at 10 yards away and then the second. He got the gun around and hit the first bird that he said was in half strut. The the other one flew off and he was trying to keep up with it ad watch were his bird went when I fired and he saw it falling out of the sky. We rejoiced for a few and then hung out shells with a feather in them were each of us were when we fired. We then headed out to the green fiend down the hill to get some pictures in the sun of the birds. That was the best walkout of the woods ever for me.
To see all the pictures click here: http://picasaweb.google.com/everyoneknowsjeff/TurkeyHunting#
We went back to his home and got the meat out of the birds and got the tail and beard off them for mounts. I went ahead and took the head off mine to freeze so that I can send it to be bronzed. I headed home and washed the meat and vacuum sealed it and the head up and put in the freezer. I guess i should have told Amy that there was a head in the freezer, but as I was getting cleaned up, I heard her open the freezer and yell. It was quite funny for me.
I caught a small nap before I had to leave for work. That is were I am now, ATCC. We have had a bust night and it has flown by. Another hour and I will be headed home for a day of rest. I plan on not moving and sleeping as much as possible. Next week brings Jury duty for me. I hope to get dismissed and then I can hunt a couple days due to me already taking off a shift at the ambulance and ATCC for jury duty. I guess we will see. I know I need to get a hair cut and check on what ALFA has done with my car insurance with this new system they have, But other than that, I am going to try and let things just happen as they will. I will let you know later in the week.