Friday, May 5, 2017

Fuzzy's Turkey

Last weekend Fuzzy and I went to the duck camp and tried our hand at hunting the elusive wild turkey.  While our property has pretty much always held turkeys, they've been damned hard to hunt.  In about ten years of hunting them, we've only bagged one, and got shots at two.

We opted for a new strategy this year.  Unlike in years past where we separated to cover more ground, we just ended up texting each other most of the day, so this year we opted to cut to the chase and I bought us a ground blind.  That way we could just talk to each other, because we don't do that enough.

Here's are the new digs in action:

We got into the blind at some stupid hour of the morning; well ahead of the woods waking up.  Our early stealth paid off, as we heard one and likely three toms gobbling on the roost behind us to the north about 150 yards.  They gobbled great on the roost, but about fly down time, they clammed up.

I started calling about then, doing my best to sound like a hen in dire need of a hot date.  We had a decoy placed out front of us strategically at about 25 yards, and well in the open to be within clear view of any hot tom.

I kept up the calling about every ten minutes or so, but never got any kind of response.  Our fear is that the turkeys headed off the north and away from us, and that they likely couldn't even hear me anymore.

Then, about 8:30 we were greeted by a seemingly random gobble about 100 yards behind us.  I replied with a call, and got nothing in return.  About five minutes later he gobbled from about the same location, and I immediately called back to him, which elicited a response gobble.  Then he got quiet again.

About three minutes later we were looking both north and south, then I happened to turn Fuzzy's way and look out the west window.  There was the tom.  How he closed that much ground was a mystery to me, but there he was, all puffed up and looking for love.  "Fuzzy, look to your right," I whispered.  "Holy shit!" Fuzzy replied.

I encouraged him to get his gun and go for a shot, but there is no way that Fuzzy could have got his gun up and out the window without getting busted.  We opted to just sit there and see what would happen.

Our Romeo had definitely seen our decoy (hence the puff-up), but he was getting the cold shoulder. Hence, he started a mosey to try and get her attention.  That afforded Fuzzy to get an opportunity to get the gun up and out the front window.  Unfortunately, Fuzz was off balance, and mid-aim asked "Hold me up!"  Like any good coach in this situation, I responded with motivation via a "Shoot the son of a bitch!" command.  

Fuzzy did as he was told and rolled our bird with one sporty shot.  He even waited for Mr. Romance to make his way a little away from my decoy so that it wouldn't take any stray shot.  Here are the results:

Our boy turned out to be a hoss, weighing in at a full 22+ pounds.  While ugly, they are also gloriously beautiful as well, especially in the sun:

My hunt day the following day yielded nary a gobble.  We had a hen check out our decoy, as well as a couple of deer, but it was obvious that the word in the woods was that a couple of turkey hit men were loose in the woods, and the toms steered clear.  Regardless, that was one of the funnest hunts I've ever been on, and I can't wait to do it again next year.

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