I've been an avid deer hunter for the past 20 years. I've seen turkeys on my leases during the deer season, but always passed because it just seemed too easy to snipe them with a rifle. Plus hunting in the spring and all the bugs and snakes just didn't appeal to me. However, one of my buddies said spring turkey hunting is like big game hunting but cheaper. So, I decided to go out and try my hand at turkey hunting. I read blogs and articles on chasing birds. Bought the CD's for mouth calls and practiced until my cheeks hurt. My wife says my turkey calls sound like a dying bird and drives the dogs crazy. I practiced with the slate call and box call. Box call seems to be the most realistic to me and my choice for the first hunt.
I decided I would hunt 3 days this past weekend, assuming Sunday was going to be a bust with stormy weather coming in. The weekend prior, I went to the lease just to make sure I heard gobblers or some sign of turkeys. Since during the fall/winter I only saw two turkey all season. Good news, I saw and heard signs of them on the lease.
I arrive at the crack of dawn on Friday, upon stepping out of the truck I heard gobbling a ways off. I grab my gear and head off in that direction. I then set up, under a low oak tree, put up my decoys up (per the articles I read) and begin calling. Nothing! I hear a few gobblers in the distance. So I decide to wait. I look to my left and see movement across the fence line, 2 hens. Thinking a tom is in tow. I slowly call. Nothing. At about 9:00 after not hearing anything for nearly an hour, I get up and relocate.
I set up my decoys on a road where I see a bunch of tracks. I sit under a mesquite in tall grass, still a bit concerned with snakes. I slowly call again, I have no idea if I'm making the calls right or not, it just seems like I'm making a lot of noise obviously "no-no" during deer season. Then I look to my right and down the road about 100 yards, a turkey is coming in full strut. My heart is racing, I feel like it's my first deer hunt. I hit the box call again and to my amazement, he's coming right in but faster. It took less than 1 minute for him to make the distance to the decoys. He's within 15 yards and I take the shot. Down he goes!
Okay, I'm hooked! I was so excited, I drove home to show the wife. But then remembered she was still at work! I have so much to learn. I was back out there on Saturday afternoon and had a hen and Jake come within 10 yrds of me. That was awesome. I'll probably take another day off this week to go chase the birds again.
My buddy wanted to know the specifics, beard length - 10", spurs - right 1", left - broken 1/2".