5/8/10 (Happy Birthday Pops!)- The 2010 MO turkey season has been difficult to say the least. Work has severely limited the amount of time I would have normally spent in the MO woods chasing gobblers this spring. Add a little bit of bad luck on top of that and I was facing my first MO season without harvesting a bird in tens years....luckily that streak will continue!
This story actually started two weeks ago. I was determined to harvest a gobbler with my bow this spring and have dedicated every hunt until this morning to accomplishing that goal. On the first Saturday of the season I had a dominate bird work into the decoys and right as I touched off the shot he took a half turn and my arrow shot right through his breast plate, but didn't put him down. To say I was dejected would have been an understatement. Since then I've had several birds working, but just couldn't seal the deal.
With only two days left in the 2010 Mo season, my game plan changed a bit. I loaded up the Nelli this morning instead of the bow and planned to be aggressive if the opportunity presented itself. I arrived at our new urban honey hole around 5am and slipped into the far west fields and waited for the MO morning to come to life. It was cool, clear and windy this morning and it didn't take long for the darkness to fade into early morning light.
At 6:20am I heard the first gobble on the roost and I immediately set off in that direction. My plan was to sneak within 100yrds. or so of the roosted gobbler and setup. I cut about half the distance between me and the bird in short order and let out a few soft clucks on my new custom VECtor glass slate call. Immediately the gobbler cut me off with a double gobble. He still sounded like he was a good distance off, so continued to move in on his location. What I didn't realize was that the wind made the ol' tom sound further away than he really was. I had covered another 80yrds. and snuck into a shallow ditch that ran between two green fields. I thought the bird should have been within 100yrds of me at this point, but to my surprise he was A LOT closer! I let out a couple of light purrs and clucks and the tom fired up about 35-40yrds north of me. I had some how manged to sneak into his bedroom without him picking me off.
I continued to lightly purr and cluck on the VECtor slate and the ol' tom continued to cut off almost every call with a thunderous gobble. After a couple minutes I heard a hen cluck and then four birds pitched out of tree 40yrds west of the gobblers location. They were all hens and they glided past my ambush spot about 50yrds. into the field. The tom continued to hammer on the roost and I knew it wasn't going to be much longer before he pitched down and started to round up his ladies. After about 2-3 minutes I finally heard his wings flapping through the leaves as he left his roost. He must have really liked my calling, because he pitched down within 17 steps of my setup, instead of following the hens. He landed and immediately went into half strut and I immediately took him right out of it. I don't even think he had a chance to get the morning dew on his feet before the Nelli laid the smack down on him.
He is my biggest turkey to date 24lbs., 12" beard, and 1 1/2" hooks. After taking some pictures and getting the bird tagged I noticed a wound on his chest. This is the same gobbler I hit with my bow two weeks ago...so there was a bit of redemption after missing him the first time.