On May 9, 2006 I went hunting with my good friend Dae Lederle in Williamsburg, Mo. The morning started off with a hard steady rain that kept the toms quiet. At about 730AM the rain letup and the birds began to gobble. We located a hot tom in a creek bottom and began to make our move. The tom was eagerly answering all our calls but before we could get set up a coyote sneaking through the area spooked him and we never heard from him again. For the rest of the morning we covered lots of ground trying to get another tom to shock gobble but nothing worked.
At 11:30 a.m. we crept back to where the coyote had spooked the gobbler and set up. Hunting ended at 1:00 so we decided to wait it out. At12:15 after a couple series of yelps on my box call, we got a response. It turned out to be two toms and they were hot. They gobbled at everything and covered ground quickly. At 12: 30 Dae and I shot and a pulled off our first ever double. It was one of our most memorable hunts.
Tale of the tape: Dennis' bird (left) weighed 20 pounds, had an 11 1/4-inch beard and 1.125-inch spurs (I'll let you convert it, I'm lousy at it.) Dae's tom tipped the scales at 20 pounds as well and had an 10 1/2-inch beard and 1-inch spurs.
I can promise you it is a day neither one of these guys will ever forget.