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Turkey Tales Archive

Tom Foolery
By Scott Cummings

Last Spring I witnessed something too special for words; my daughter Danielle harvested her first hunting trophy - a 25 lb. Eastern Turkey. We ventured up to the York Farm outside Corunna, Indiana the first Saturday of April. Saddled with guns, backpacks, seating, camera equipment, and a blind we set out into the chill of morn and nestled into our spot by 6:15 a.m. Craving the chance to film this special event, I knew my hands would be full helping Dani get positioned and calling in a bird. Hearing this would be Danielle's first woods encounter, Drew Bauers, a friend of the landowner, offered to sit and call us in a bird.

Hearing gobbles and clucks throughout the misty foliage, it wasn't an hour before a fat male strutted his way out into the field to bounce a Jake off his hen honey. Drew worked his Morris Code on the slate call, drawing our trophy to within five yards of our blind before Danielle made her move. With plumose tail bristled, the dominant Tom rounded the Jake and beckoned his mistress. Setting the camera down, I helped Dani rest an old American Arms single-shot youth 20-gauge on the rim of our window flap. “Shoot, shoot, girl,” I whispered. Dead silence was interrupted with the 'click' of hammer touching pin. No longer distracted, the bearded giant turned and stared right into our tent.
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James Stockdale

I have been turkey hunting all year long & missed 2 turkeys. I went hunting with a friend to a WMA land. We walked approximately a mile & on our way back to the vehicle we noticed a group of hens out in a field & a gobbler on the right. I shot my first turkey with 3 beards 11, 10 & 9 inches in length. The shot was 75 yards from our vehicle. I averaged up the score and it qualified as being one of the largest ever killed in TN.

Thanks, James
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Brad Warren

My wife, Kristen, went with me the opening day of spring season after asking her to join me in an activity with which she was not too thrilled. We got a late start and arrived just after sunrise. As we walked to a spot that I thought might be good, having never personally seen any on this property, I attempted to strike a call and began hen calls to no avail. We went ahead and placed the decoys in an open area surrounded by heavy cover and a creek bed. I continued my calls from the base of an oak tree with Kristen seated next to me. I began to think that there is no way I am going to see a turkey. I don't even know if I can call very well. After 20 minutes, I hear gobbles in the distance. They respond to every call I make. I can tell they are getting closer... and quickly. Eight toms emerge on the far side of the clearing in full fan. My decoys are between me and the gobblers, but they don't acknowledge them at all. They begin making a B-line straight for me as I make my calls, stretching out their necks in unison to gobble a response to every one of my hen cutting calls. I don't have time to judge their beard, spurs, much less size before they are within 20 feet of me. I pick a bigger bird with a clear shot and place a shot in his neck as he immediately drops. The others jump back but don't scatter, seeming confused why their comrade suddenly dropped from a mere 'bang'. I think to myself, "I CAN TAKE ANOTHER SHOT!" I cycle another shell and draw a bead on another and 'click'... the shell miss fed (likely due to my loading). I sit and contemplate as I begin cutting and the turkeys still respond. Can I draw them back? I look at Kristen and she is teary-eyed. She was overwhelmed by the beauty of these birds displaying their full dress and coming so close and the shot was unexpected and shocking. Seeing the bird flap with involuntary muscle reflex made her feel remorse for the bird. I picked it up, slung it over my shoulder, and headed back to the truck. Kristen followed me with a feeling of, "Wife, I got dinner now. Let's go eat." She snapped a picture and then asked, "Can we go call 'em in again?"

It was an awesome opening day.
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Alex Breen Jr.
Deep River, CT

It was the Spring 2010 season. My mission was to take a gobbler on public land in NJ, CT, and NY.

NJ would be the first state up and I would have two days to hunt. The first day, not even a peep or sighting of any bird. The second day started with a misty rain but with birds gobbling. I set up on a logging road with hopes that a tom would take the path of least resistance but to no avail, he had hens with him. At 9:00AM I decided to move to a field edge. I set a decoy out and softly called. To my surprise a boss hen came running out attempting to challenge her foam counterpart. She was followed by another hen and then a nice longbeard. He managed to stay out of range and reluctantly followed the hens across the field and right passed my truck on the opposite side of the road. I stuck with my plan and called a little more agressively. I finally got a response. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted two toms coming out of the old logging road. As they worked toward the decoy one was harvested.

Off to NY. I hunted for three days without being able to pull a gobbler into range. No bird but a nice trip none the less.
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