As our guide Jerry dropped us off an hour before daylight, we listened to him drive away. As he did, two birds gobbled, not 100 yards from where we stood. As daybreak approached it became evident that our five roosted birds had moved close to 250 yards to different roost trees during the night. I’ve never seen anything like it. Coyotes or something must have spooked them during the night.
We readied our gear and eased in tight, setting up within 30 yards of one of the roosted toms and sitting literally in between all of them. I did nothing more than make a soft tree call or two and sat at the ready.
When the turkeys again pitched down, of course, they went the opposite way of me and at least three actual hens roosted behind me. The girls were, for whatever reason, more vocal on this morning, so I felt free to ratchet it up a little, attempting to match their rate and pitch of calling. Like yesterday, once on the ground, as two of the longbeards steadily marched away from our setup, the one returned to check things out. This time it was a fatal mistake.
Thirty-eight steps from John Hafner the bird dropped to the Realtree hunter’s shot. It was still dark enough that I could see the fire blow from the end of his shotgun when he pulled the trigger.
We then chased another group of turkeys around the rest of the morning but where never able to pull them back our way, nor were we able to get ahead of them. Hafner, who was toting a .270 in the event we saw some hogs, offered it up in case I wanted to make the 120 yard poke (also legal in Texas), but I wasn’t ready to resort to that yet. In fact, I never did.
Hunting solo that evening, I attempted an ambush after I figured I had the birds patterned only to be totally wrong. Shortly before fly up, I did stumble upon a dozen turkeys loafing in a stand of tall grass and upon my approach, they flushed like quail in every direction. I was mad, but at the same time had to admit it was a cool sight.
The next morning, again setting tight to two roosted birds, I sat there helpless as they flew down and walked away from me and three other actual hens calling from behind me.
As a consolation prize though, we had a blast cruising the fields in search of hogs. I took two, including a 160 pound boar (pictured–better pics are on the way) with a shot from Hafner’s .270 at about 200 yards. I also killed what will be a good-eating 100-pound sow with a close range turkey load (try 8 yards close!) by walking up on it my final morning of hunting. But that’s a whole other story that I’ll share another time.
Note: Check out the first pic with me actually posing with the boar as a hunter should then note the difference a little backing away from it makes. Darn thing looks like Hogzilla. Keep that in mind the next time you’re trying to make that big buck or fish you shot look just that much bigger. Like your setup, positioning is EVERYTHING!