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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Team 17 score 0
bird #1 score: 66.25
New team score: 66.25

Wednesday started out like you dream about prior to the season. Perfect mid-40 temps overnight, clear, with a warm sunny full day off work and hunting ahead of you. The only problem? We didn't hear a peep after daylight. Well, we did hear one faint gobble, but that was just the turkeys making it worse on us. That faint gobble occurred at 6:32 a.m. After that, it was all quiet on the western front, well, actually, the southern river valley front.

Fast forward to 4:45 p.m., almost 10 hours of hunting later, a different location, and a different hunting partner (now my Dad). Dad and I are sitting in an area we've killed birds before, but nothing seems to be stirring, not even a mouse. From about 4:45 to 5:20, Dad has been sleeping and I've been doing my best to stay awake. At 5:20, I break out my osage orange box call, a duplicate of one my dad has, and decide it's time to give Dad a little jolt. Between the time it took me to get it out of my vest, rosin it up, and start calling, Dad had already grabbed his and started calling on his version of that osage orange box.

We yelped and cutt back and forth for about 2 minutes, and then it came. About 200 yds out I heard that sweet, beautiful sound I'd been hunting almost 11 hours now to hear. Dad never heard it, and he kept yelping and cutting when the ol' boy sounded off for a second time. I finally caught Dad's eye and let him know we had one talking.

After repositioning ourselves around our trees, we got set-up for the work. I yelped and cut at him one more time and he gobbled for a 3rd time. He gobbled four more times on his own in the same area we first heard him, then on the 8th gobble I could tell it was gun-up, quiet "he's coming right for us!" time.

About 5:35 I hear some commotion out in front of me. Then I see it, this big, bald, red, white and blue head staring straight in my direction. He was using that long neck like a periscope. He came up and moved from my left front to my right front. He was behind some little trees and bushes, and I was having some trouble getting a clear view of him to see if he was a mature bird. I knew he was a big bodied bird, but I never saw his beard. Then he blew up in a strut, drummed, and I saw that his fan was full all the way around. He took four more steps into an opening and nearly 11 hours after I first stepped onto turkey hunting ground I was sitting on a blessing.

Final stats: 11 & 1/8 in beard; both spurs 1 and 1/8ths, and 21.5 lbs. My second of the season (first in Arkansas).
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