4/26/09 - Sunday morning started out gray and overcast with a major storm front scheduled to hit in the early A.M. Brad met me at the crib around 5am and he headed to the BS155 farm. We started out on the south end of the farm and our plan was to wait for the birds to gobble and move on them before they flew down from the roost. We heard a couple gobbles off to the south and a couple to the west, so we decided to go west and see what we could do. After reaching the west field the bird was still gobbling good, unfortunately he was on the neighbor's property. We could see him down in the bottom but he had 5 ladies with him and wasn't paying any mind to our calls. He eventually worked farther south so we decided to to cut our losses and try and strike another bird.
Brad had to leave by 9:30am for church, so I dropped him off and headed to the BS80 tract I got permission to hunt the other week. By the time I got to the farm the sun was out but the wind picked up to 25-30mph gusts. The property is bordered by the Lake City Ammunition Plant to the north and it's 8 foot security fence. As I was walking in I spotted a strutter and 2 hens to the south of the fence and knew if I could get into position the birds would have to pass me on one side or the other. I went straight into sneak mode and belly crawled into position. After getting set the 2 hens popped out and started feeding about 60yrds. in front of me and I knew it was only a matter of time before the big guy would make an appearance. The hens slowly worked past me and the big tom followed in tow, like he'd read the script. At 27 yards I let the boom-stick bark and the big guy didn't try to hold the face full of #5s I was dishing out.
I was jacked-up because of the my chip shot miss last Tuesday on a nice bird. Redemption was sweet and it got even sweeter once I rolled the bird over and noticed the 1 1/2" matching hooks this dude was sporting. This is by far the most mature bird I've killed 24lbs., 10 1/2" beard, and 1 1/2" spurs.
For the record the "Greatest Dad T-shirt" was in full effect again.