1st Tom of the Season
Last Wednesday, I spent 15 hours in the woods and had toms gobbling to the call, but not a single one of them would come close. Thursday morning, I went out again and settled in South of the roosts. As daybreak came, I started calling and the toms gobbled back. As they came down out of the trees, they headed North! I made my way across a creek and headed North in persuit of my intended victim. I moved 1/2 mile and heard toms gobbling West of me. I settled in and called again. They responded and I saw them make their way down the hillside towards me. At 150 yards, they headed North again!!! I waited a few minutes and made my way through the woods further North. I spotted the toms out in a field strutting. There were 3 toms and about 15 jakes. I called and the toms gobbled. None of them were showing any interest. After some more calling, a big tom started my way. Some more clucks and purring brought the tom a little closer. Just as I thought I was going to have success, a jake ran in front of the tom and he decided to enforce his position in the pecking order and took off after the jake. As I sat there dejected, I watched 4 jakes chasing a bird around. After 5 minutes of the pursued bird ran right at me. As he closed in, I saw that it wasn't another jake, but a long beard! When he got to 10 yards, I clucked once, he stopped, and the fat lady started singing. The hunt was over at 7:50 AM. 4th season, I am going after that big old bird that was interrupted by the jake. His beard was dragging while he was walking upright and through the binoc's, I could tell his spurs were at least 1 1/2" long.
2009 Bird #1 ended up being 23 lbs 2 oz, 10" beard, 1" spurs. A little smaller than I took last year.