BBD! Again!

Adam's 2nd 2012 Gobbler (left) and family friend Butler's 1st 2012 Gobbler (right)

On Friday, April 20, Adam set out to fill another Virginia turkey tag.  This is his story:

I went back to where we hunted opening day  but instead of going up on the  ridge like we did last time, I followed an old road bed in the hollow near where we called in the last gobbler (no video). I walked up the road to a hump in the flatwoods where my dad and I had heard the birds for the first time before the season.  It was kind of  windy, so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hear the birds or not, unless they  just happened to be roosted in the exact same trees that I heard them in the  previous 2 or 3 times out.
Sure enough, just after daylight, the first bird gobbled.  Soon both birds started gobbling at each other on the side of the ridge.  I slipped up the road and set up in the hollow within about 80 yards of the  birds, hoping that they would pitch down in the hollow just like they did the first day.  Once it got close to fly down time, I gave a couple of soft calls and both birds answered right away, so I shut up and didn’t call anymore.  Then a hen started calling back to me from the roost about 50  yards away.  About 30 minutes after daylight, the gobblers went quiet so I knew they  were about to fly down.  Then I saw the hen fly off the side of the ridge  and land in the hollow just over the crest of the ridge from me. She starts calling, so I called back, and eventually the gobblers answered her.  They had flown down in  the hollow as I had hoped, but were also just over the crest of the ridge where I  couldn’t see them. After about 45 minutes of soft calling back and forth with the  hen and gobblers, I could tell the birds were not going to come in right away.  They would answer the calls but would not close the distance.  Eventually they  gobbled even farther away, so I decided to pick up and circle out about 100 yards  to my right to gain position on top of this small hill looking out across the flat toward the gobblers.
Adam's Gobbler's Spurs and Beard

Even though I never got any closer to the birds, I  knew the new set up would fool the gobblers into thinking that the hen was moving. They gobbled at the first call so I went silent for a few moments before calling again. This time when they answered, they had closed the distance and were only about 60-70 yards away.  I didn’t call any more but watched as the birds worked their way in silently across the flat. Neither bird was strutting or showing any indications that the breeding season was taking place. It looked as  if the birds were going to skirt right around me just out of range, so I gave one final soft call hoping that I could pull them in that final 10-15 yds.  After a few  moments, the lead gobbler finally went into a semi-strut indicating that he was the  dominant bird and turned right toward me.  At approximately 45 yds, the  cautious birds appeared to become alarmed indicating that they had possibly managed  to pick me out in the open timber.  I knew it was time to take the shot.  At 45 yds my  Mossberg 835 and the Federal Flite Control shells blew the bird onto his back  and he never flopped.  The hunt was over at 7:30 a.m.

Final Score: 19.5 lbs, 1 1/4” spurs, 9 3/4” beard.

– Adam

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