I got this guest post from my good friend, John Brown, an outdoor television show producer in South Carolina, whose company, BOSS Productions, is currently producing American Hunter and American Rifleman television programs. Here's an account of John's opening day hunt in the Palmetto State in his own words:
For the second year in a row, my friend Travis Sumner (pictured) and I struck pay dirt at straight up noon on opening day of the South Carolina season. After dealing with several henned up gobblers early in the morning, which slowly went silent over the next two hours, we decided to do some walking and calling.
After two more hours of this without a response it was time to head foranother property. As we drove from Saluda to Laurens County, we noticed a number of camo-clad turkey hunters walking into local diners or "C" stores in search of lunch, finished either for the day or until later in the afternoon.
On our first setup, overlooking a large highline, we scored. It took all of a half-hour of calling blindly to the wind before a turkey gobbled several hundred yards below us. The next time he gobbled he was at 80 yards and running (in full strut) to our B-Mobile Gobbler decoy.
As the bird tried to make his mind up about whether to thrash B Mobile or court the hen decoy we also had out, I ran a tremendous amount of video, collecting it for an episode of American Hunter Television.
As often is the case, in the end I had to wave my hand at the gobbler to get it to break out of strut. But when Travis pulled the trigger a strange thing happened, the gun fired twice in very rapid succession. While I'm hesitant to mention the maker, I will tell you that it was a semi-automatic that somehow went off a second time. Travis swears he only pulled the trigger one time.........however please remind your readers of being very careful with their weapons this spring.
In the end I would say that two things aided our hunt: First, don't give up on opening day, keep hunting. And second, I've noticed quite a bit of chatter on the internet from hunters saying that a strutting gobbler decoy scared a bird away. I only have one hard, fast rule about using B-Mobile or other gobbler decoys, and that is I only use them when an approaching turkey can make eye contact with it from a comfortable distance (the farther, the better).
Imagine being a gobbler coming to a yelping hen through the woods or down an old logging road only to come face-to-face with another gobbler that you 1) never heard gobble and 2) never heard drumming. Not good! Gobblers like to size the situation up at a safe distance in which a speedy escape can be made if needed.
Thanks John for sharing a great hunt. I know we have some more on the way from you here at The Strut Zone. To everyone else, if you'd like to share your hunt and photos, send them in and I'll do my best to get them up. You'll also be entered into our upcoming "Give Us The Bird Photo Contest" details finally coming next week!