- By Rich Miller
With everyone that I had taken the past week to get a bird, I was feeling a little left out. I have seen two birds die and another one missed so I was determined to get mine now. My wife and little boy were going to the beach for spring break to visit some family, so all I was going to have to do was hunt from Wednesday on.
Wednesday and Thursday afternoon I hunted some public ground close to my house and never heard a bird the first afternoon. On Thursday I sat through a thunderstorm that I didn’t think I was going to make it out of. Everything changed on Friday when I headed to my hunting club to give it a try. When I got there I didn’t hear anything so I sat up on a ridge and called a while and waited to just give it a little time and see if anything was gobbling way off. After sitting there for about 15 minutes I heard some birds gobbling behind me in some pines that had been burned last month. I then made a move and luckily I was able to keep the birds gobbling and I got around on the other side of them. Once I got around them I set up a few logs and limbs and made a little makeshift blind in the burn area. The birds didn’t do much for about an hour but go back and forth gobbling. The good thing was they gobbled pretty much every time I called to them. They did seem like they were getting closer and before long I heard a hen yelp at the creek below me. I was looking, trying to see her, when out of the corner of my eye I saw four white heads coming over the hill. They were already in range but I was just waiting for them to walk in front of my gun barrel so I didn’t have to move. Once they got where I wanted them to be I was going to shoot the strutter, but the one behind him looked like he had a double beard! When his head got on the other side of my shotgun bead I sent him a mouth full of lead and then I was on the board with my first bird of the year. When I got to the bird that I thought had a double beard, he only had one - although it was 10 ½ inches long!
After getting back to the truck I was headed out and decided to check out a spot on a hardwood ridge where I have gotten on a lot of birds in the past. I slipped up the ridge to see if there were any turkey signs. When I got there all the leaves on the ridge looked like they had been turned upside down. There were a lot of big rocks on the ridge so I backed up between two of them and decided to do a little calling and wait a while. After I called a couple of times - I may have set there for about five minutes - I thought I heard a turkey drumming but I wasn’t sure until I looked up and there that big sucker was in full strut at 30 yards. I let him work his way on around the ridge headed toward my decoy. After he got to about 20 yards I decided to end the show and had my second bird of the year that quick.