Opening turkey hunting day arrived and my dad and I had big plans to hunt at the farm, just like every year. We were not as optimistic this year as we have been in years past because we haven’t been getting pictures and seeing many turkeys at all. It had been several weeks since we got a picture of a gobbler on our Moultrie game camera. Where they have been hiding this year we don’t know, but they sure haven’t been at the farm.
For the last five years, at least one of us has taken a bird at the farm on opening day. We went the evening before and put up a blind on a food plot because I was anticipating a long wait. I don’t want to say that I wasn’t expecting to kill anything this year, but I definitely wasn’t expecting much. We got in the blind well before daylight on opening morning and as the sun started to rise I just kept imagining a thundering gobble to make break the silence. As expected, we never heard what were waiting all year for.
After the sun was well over the trees and all the wildlife had started stirring off to my right, a hen flew into the field to our left. The hen stayed in the field for about an hour and even came over to check out our Carry-Lite semi-strutting jake decoy. Then a few more hens came into the field. After a while they fed out of the food plot and headed off into the hardwoods. When our real decoys left I really thought our hunt might have just hit its high point and it was only going downhill from there.
After the hens had been gone for a little while, we were sitting in the blind talking about where we might go the next couple of days and maybe get some birds. When we looked up, there was a gobbler walking into the food plot from the direction the hens went. He didn’t pay the decoys any attention or the calling I had been doing either. He just walked out and started picking around in the food, but at least he was heading in our direction. I told my dad to get ready and he didn’t hesitate in getting his gun in position. The turkey wasn’t interested in anything and was going to try and skirt our decoys but he had already made the mistake of being in range of my dad’s 12-gauge. With the turkey in range, I told my dad that I was ready when he was and we made it six years in a row of taking a bird on opening day.
The bird weighed 21 lbs. and had almost an 11-inch beard with 1 1/8-inch spurs. We were a little disappointed the turkey didn’t gobble, strut or do anything you want turkeys to do when you are hunting them, but with the lack of turkeys we felt fortunate to get the one we had. Besides, he did do the one thing you want a turkey to do on opening day, Die!