I hunted with a co-worker of mine at FLW Outdoors, Jason Sealock, who'd never before been turkey hunting. We got on a flock of birds my wife had actually been watching the week before while muzzleloader hunting for deer. She let the secret slip, but unfortunately, she had the flu last weekend and couldn't join us.
Shortly after daybreak, the birds flew down within range and I managed to get a clear shot at a small hen. I hoped at the time they would scatter when I shot and give Jason a chance to really "experience" fall turkey hunting and the sounds of a scattered flock of young turkeys.
The birds did scatter, but not as well as I'd hoped. We got to listen to plenty of hen and jake music, but they regrouped out of range. Rather than push the issue, I decided to glass them for a while and wait until they passed over a hillside and out of sight before moving on them. We watched them in wide-open hardwoods through my binoculars for the better part of an hour as they scratched around roughly 80 yards away. When they finally decided to move on, we tried maneuvering around them. As turkeys often do, however, they seemed to vanish and we lost the flock. Jason had a great time and he's ready to try it again, but unfortunatley he had to go home without a bird that trip around.
The next day, I was back after it to fill my second tag. I hunted until noon and finally found a flock of turkeys (most likely the same flock we'd gotten into the day before). I ran at them like a wild man and got a great scatter.
I found a good place to set up (and was flushing birds out of trees the whole way, further scattering them) and plopped down. I gave it maybe 10 minutes before letting loose with a few yelps and kee-kees. Turkeys immediatly began answering me. With my gun on my knee, I cranked up the calling and listened as a bird pitched off a limb in front of me and glided through the trees. I caught just a glimpse of his shadow, wings outstretched, going across the ground but didn't see him at first. He suddenly dropped through the trees and lit mere feet from the end of my boot. It was a young-of-the-year jake. It was the closest I've ever personally been to a live wild turkey.
Needless to say, he was even more startled at this camo blob making lost turkey calls than I was by him nearly landing on me. He turned to sprint away, but he wasn't quite as fast as a Winchester Supreme load of No. 4's.
I have included a photo of the hen we killed Satuday morning. It might have weighed a grand total of 8 pounds and was killed near Dawson Springs, Ky. Jason took the photo.
Great story Will and thanks for sharing. If anyone else out there has some pics or a cool story to share from this fall, send it to email@example.com and I'll post up here for the world to see.