Tom Time

You wait all year for Opening Days and the turkey opener for my southern New England turkey hunting crew. Although we were concerned about how we would fare this spring as compared to year's past due to two consecutive poor hatches, our fears quickly dissipated after one morning of scouting. Everyone heard birds and everyone got on birds at first light. Here, Tony Williams and John Kelley grab a quick breakfast sandwich after scoring early.
Adult gobblers seemed to be in great supply. Although some were certainly henned up, there were enough birds to sort through.
We tried working this gobbler for several hours and seemed to have him on a rope until he met up with a hen. He quit gobbling altogether and that was the end of the story.
Nice bird...we guessed it as a two-year-old.
Have you ever bought a fresh box of shells the day before turkey season, grabbed a handful the first morning of the hunt and tossed them in your turkey hunting vest? If you take a close look at the crimp on these shells, you might think twice about it. Buddy John Kelley loaded his gun and was fortunate to not need a second shot to finish it off--his gun jammed due to a poor crimp.
(from left) Dave Streb, Tony Williams, John Kelley and Mark Winke with their first day booty.
Williams hefts his bird at the checking station. It weighed 19 1/2 pounds with an 8 1/2-inch beard.
Check station workers weigh and measure all birds. We guessed that all the birds were at least three years old.
Pretty decent hooks, too.
Once kills are registered, tags are affixed to their legs.
John Kelley's bird was likely a four-year-old.
This gobbler tipped the scales at 21 1/2-pounds! A super first day of spring turkey season.

There are times when Opening Days just seem to have a way of working out. This was one of them.