Early morning thunder chicken
Saturday was the first of the turkey season here in Va. My BIL and I arrived way before daylight, separated and headed to the ridges we had seen turkeys in previous seasons. We'd not had the time to do any pre-season scouting, so we were flying blind.
When I got to the ridge top, I stopped at the edge of an open grassy area where they had cut out a bunch of walnuts a couple of years earlier. This had become a favorite strutting zone. I was trying to figure out where to set up and call, when 2 gobblers cut loose not 80 yds from me. Still in the trees and telling the world where they were! I practically ran to get up under a cedar that was right in the middle of the glade, all the while digging headnet and gloves out my vest. Not looking, I pulled a diaphram out my pocketed and made a soft yelp. I could see and hear those ole boys bouncing on their limbs try to get turned around to point in my direction. Both gobbled one more time and flew down onto the ridge side, gobbling again as soon as thier feet hit the ground. I could hear them crunching thru the leaves as they came into the glade. When they walked into the open, 60 yds from me, they started showing off. Both went into full struts, dragging their wingtips. I just could make out beards on both birds, barely. They turned as to walk down the hill, I again yelped softly. Both bird broke their struts to gobble, TWICE! right in my face! When they'd turned, they'd put a bush between us. As the front one cleared the bush, now not 25yds out, they gobbled again. I had the bead on the base of his neck and broke the tension on my Nova. BOOOM! A load of number 5s connected and took him off his feet! When I got to him, I found that I'd pulled a Ralph and shot off part of his beard. What was left measured 9.5 inches and the spurs were 1 inch each. I didn't get him weighed, but he had to be over 20 lbs.
When I looked at my watch it was 6:40 AM. My day was done!
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