By Boyd Barnett
Sunday morning, Hunt Day 3 (last day)
With out new plan of action all set, Jim and I were ready and we set out even earlier to be there well before daylight. This time, we wouldn't have our cameraman as Scott had to head back the night before. I had my ReAction Cam mounted to the stablilizer of my bow and I was hoping to get the whole thing (hit or miss) on film! We heard the gobbles as they birds came off their roost, and the waiting game was on.
Shortly after 8:00am, our first sign of life was that same beautiful hen that we'd seen the first day. She came directly toward the blind again and fed right in front of us for at least 15 minutes. Then, she turned and walked down the road behind us and started calling to our gobbler like crazy. How lucky was that?! We had an actual hen calling to our tom, and he started to answer her back; surely, he would be running into the field soon.
Even though our hen called to the tom for a solid 20 minutes, he never came into the field. We could hear him gobble way off to the right, but we couldn't see him. If an actual hen couldn't make him budge, we were going to have to try something more drastic. By this time it was about 9:00am, so we decided to take a break to stretch as we had decided to go mobile and go after this bird.
All we had to do was wait. This big bird was feeding its way directly to us. Now, something weird happened as he made his way toward us; at some point, his beard fell off! Yep, as he got closer, we realized that it was, in fact, that huge hen that we'd spotted earlier. She was every bit of 20 lbs, and she got well within bow range again.
After she left the field, we struck out to walk down the road and around the back of the field in the hopes of getting close to our gobbler. We walked the entire way around the field and never saw anything else; Jim even tried calling several times, but was met with only silence. At around 11:00am we called it a day and headed back for one last breakfast before we departed.
Back at the lodge, we were happy to hear that Hilary Dyer of Waterfowl & Retriever was able to snag a bird and everyone came by to congratulate her. Way to go, Hilary!
Even though I didn't get a turkey (or at least a shot at one), I had a great time! Steve Maxell and all of the guides at Master Rack Lodge were great; they made it their personal mission to get us all a bird. When you don't get a turkey, they take it personally. You can tell they really love what they do, and they are some of the best. I would like to thank Jim for all he did. The fact I didn't get a bird wasn't from lack of trying, to be sure!
If you ever want to hunt for turkey (or deer) in Alabama, I highly recommend you take a look at Master Rack Lodge. I guarantee you won't regret it, and I personally can't wait to get back!