The temperature is on the rise with summer just around the corner. It’s a hot 92 degrees as our Florida Spring Gobbler Season is close to coming to an end. The gobblers are already henned up, making them more difficult to harvest. It’s go time, time to play their game and get aggressive.
Our objective is to set up a scene using a DSD (David Smith Decoys) full strut gobbler decoy alongside a submissive hen in hopes of bringing in a mature dominant gobbler ready to stand his ground. My good friend JD and I are hidden behind a GhostBlind Runner, set up just outside a 500 acre orange grove, along side a cypress swamp. Turkeys tend to roost beside this swamp in the big cypress tress around the edge. We settle in around 3 p.m., certain not to spook any birds in the area.
The Thermacells are smoking and sweat is pouring down our face. We were very cautious not to call too much, so we let out a series of purrs and yelps, using our Straight Creek Call Diaphragms about every 15 minutes. After catching up on Twitter and Facebook with friends and fans, all of a sudden turkeys, who could not have been 20 yards behind us, sound off alarming others nearby of danger. Surely they did not see us due to the cover backing us. As JD and I sit here trying to figure out what alarmed them, out pops a coyote 70 yards from us.
With more than a few hours left of daylight, we decide to stay put. After a series of calls, a hen yelps back at us. I go back and forth with her yelping and clucking as she makes her way towards us. In my mind, I know if I can get in a yelping match with her, she will make her way towards us bringing a gobbler on her trail. She rounds the corner about 60 yards away and approaches the decoys. In her shadow is another hen curious on the situation. After they walk around the decoys, literally 5 feet from the GhostBlind for about 5 minutes, I see a black silhouette in my peripheral vision. I ease my head towards him just as he starts strutting and gobbling. He thinks for sure there is another gobbler taking over his territory.
My shotgun is resting on my knee with the butt of the gun just barely touching my shoulder. As he quickly approaches the gobbler decoy, I let out a cluck. He stops at less than 10 yards away, raises his head, and the Winchester Supreme #5 gives him a kiss of death. Since I don’t have the gun fully positioned upon my shoulder, I lower my cheek for my dominant eye to take aim. As I squeeze the trigger, the 12 guage 31/2 inch shotguns’ recoil pops me in the jaw much like a punch of a grown man. Yeah ouch, it is still worth it though! Tagging out on a game plan that works once again is exactly how we do it in the backwoods. Thank you Lord for yet another successful hunt.
Camouflage: Realtree AP Green
Turkey Call: Straight Creek Calls (Diaphragm)
Blind: GhostBlind “Runner”
Gun: Remington 870 Express 12 Gauge
Choke: Primos Jelly Head
Life: The Backwoods Life www.BackwoodsLife.com
Conditioning: Hunt Strong, LLC