I have thinking for the last few years that I might one day try turkey hunting the spring gobbler season on the MA that I have deer hunted for most of my life. Last year I applied for a quota for the first time and drew an area that I was unfamiliar with and had no one to hunt with but I went and pretty much as expected, it did not end with a bird, in fact never even heard one so it went down as my first year the way I believe the way many experience it.
This year I was able to draw my stomping grounds an area I know well and have been seeing some really nice gobblers during deer season over the years.
My brother and I set out Friday morning just before day-light opting to hunt about a mile apart. It was pretty windy with gusts up to 18 mph so we thought it would be a rough slow day.
I had earlier decided on a drop that lead to old dry pond where many mornings I had heard the birds drop down from roost in December. I set up just below the crest of the hill looking down hill where I could get a good view and clear shots out to about 40 yards and started my much to be improved on attempts at calling. I got a couple replies but apparently the deer found them repulsive and from near where the gobbles came from the started complaining loud and clear. From over 100 yards away I could hear them crash through the palmettos, Blowing and crashing brush. Then all went quiet except the wind. I continued to call for 1/2 hour as best I could with the cheap little box from Walmart that came in a kit with several other items including a Glass Slate type call. Them I decided to give the slate a try. I hit it twice and was rather surprised with a reply from the far side of the old pond maybe some 200 yards away.
I continued calling for about 5 minutes before I could actually tell he was getting closer. Every time I moved the striker, he responded and in just a few minutes was coming in on the ridge behind me, Not the at all what I was expecting or wanted as my back-drop was a group of small myrtle type shrubs.
I managed to turn myself around and called one last time. he was less than 40 ft away when he sounded off and I could see him moving in at me puffed up and wings dropped to ground, his blue head kind of snaked back.
As he came around my bush I new I was going to be busted. I reached down slowly for the shotgun and got my hand around hand grip then the excitement hit me and I quickly shoulders and shot at about 20 ft. He hit the dirt fluttering for a few seconds and stopped. I sat for a minute trying to take it all in, stood up and took 5 steps thinking yea I got my first turkey when he jumped up and started running through the young pines. NO this is not happening, I thought as I was able to pump another round into the chamber and make the final shot count. He was'nt the Big birds I hads seen in January, Rtaher small but legal. 14.6 # , Left spur 3/4" Right Spur 1/2" Beard 8.75 ". These are about avreage for what has been taken this year for that area but I will complain as it is the start. I realize I have much to learn and will hopefully get drawn for more permits for this area.
Congratulations on a fine first bird!!! Now you're hooked like the rest of us I bet? Thanks for sharing as I always love to hear a great hunting story and this was an excellent read brother. Well done!!!
NICE ! Now you have been exposed to "GOBBLIN" FEVER" you are infected for life. There is no cure only yearly doses of turkey hunting will keep you from going crazy. I know you are thrilled and the rest of us share your feelings. That first gobbler leaves a life long impression.
Congrats man, that is awesome!
Congratulations there is nothing like a tom coming in gobbling.
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