Brian had been scouting a local KC property we have permission to hunt for the last two weeks on his way into work, without spotting a single gobbler. We killed a couple birds off the property last year and had seen birds using it in the early spring, but nothing as of late. I got a call yesterday afternoon from Brian and he said he’d spotted a gobbler in the middle of three fields on the property, so I made plans to be late to work this morning.
I had the blind set up and was ready to rock by 5:30am, so I just sat back and waited for the first gobble of the morning; that never came. Last year the birds were pretty tight lipped on this particular farm also, so I just started softly calling every 15 minutes or so. I’d just finished an x-rated calling sequence on the VECtor slate when I spotted ol’ redhead coming through the timber 100yrds south of the setup. He popped into the field and as soon as he spotted the strutter decoy I could tell he wasn’t too excited to charge in and get a whopping. He stayed near the edge of the timber and continued to work closer to me, but when he was about 70yrds out he cut back into the timber and I lost sight of him. I figured I’d go for broke, so I fired off several excited yelps on a mouth call and followed it up with some very aggressive cutting on the VECtor slate. It took all of 3 seconds before I could see his red head charging towards the field.
He popped out of the timber at 50yrds and locked up; he was giving the strutter decoy a serious once over before he made another move. I jumped on the VECtor slate with several more loud cuts when I heard a drastic change in the tone of the call. I looked down and to my horror the entire slat had cracked from side to side. I hurriedly reached for VECtor #2, but by the time I got it sorted out the tom had turned and was headed back towards the timber again. I fired off a couple more excited yelps on the new VECtor glass slate and the bird swapped ends and was headed back into the setup.
My plan was shoot him with my bow, but when he finally got into 12yrds he was behind one of the closed windows in the blind, so no shot opportunity. I held at full draw for about 90 seconds waiting on him to take a few more steps, but he never did. He finally decided something wasn’t right and turned to walk away. I let down my draw and quickly swapped the Hoyt out for the Nelli. A quick kee-kee and his head popped up; just in time to catch a load of #6s in the beak.