Thursday, May 22, 2008

Two toms in one day

Entry #4

© By Othmar Vohringer

The following submission has been sent in by Marc Alberto from New York. You can read and see more of Marc at his blog NYBowhunter

The following submission has been sent in by Marc Alberto from New York. You can read and see more of Marc at his blog NYBowhunter

It was the second morning of New York's spring turkey season and I was hunting just south of the Adirondack Mountains with my college buddy, Kevin. We set up along the edge of a field that had recently been tilled and we knew birds were using a cut cornfield behind us. Our plan was to catch the birds moving across this field on their way to one of the other fields.

As day began to break only a faint gobble was heard way off in the distance; this was not looking to be a promising day. I had my full strut decoy and hen decoy about 20 yards in front of me so that any bird coming into the large field would see the decoys and hopefully come in and that was just what happened.

About an hour into the hunt I caught movement about 150 yards away on the opposite corner of the field. I saw two birds making their way in and one appeared to be a gobbler although it was hard to tell. As the bird came in closer I noticed the white head, but couldn't find a beard and never saw the bird strut or heard it gobble once. I then realized it was a Jake as the second bird was clearly a hen and smaller in size. I still do not know why the Jake came right into a full strut Tom decoy, but as he passed the decoy at 40 yards I sent a 3 1/2" round of copper plated number fours his way and bagged my first bird of the season. It just so happened that both my college buddy and his father had watched the whole thing from opposite ends of the field and it was a great start to our morning.

Now we had to get my buddy a bird. I moved about 100 yards away from where I shot my bird watching the same field as my buddy moved up into the hardwoods near the upper cut corn field. Not more than 15 minutes after I sat down and started to call I saw a hen in the open field. I quickly radioed Kevin, but heard no response. The hen walked across the field and almost into my lap. It was an incredible experience. Then I heard a gobble not more than 50 yards away and five minutes later there was a huge eastern longbeard strutting and drumming about 15 yards in front of me. I was tagged out for the day (you can only take one bird per day in NY) so I let the bird walk back out into the open field and then watched him for an hour strutting and gobbling his head off. I called my buddy on the radio repeatedly, but he must have shut it off cause he never answered. Having fun with the bird I called using a diaphragm and slate call at the same time and got the bird all fired up. About an hour later the bird started coming back my way. This time I didn't call and let him walk into the woods. No more than ten minutes later I heard him start gobbling and then BOOM! My buddy called me on the radio - got him!

Later that day we weighted the birds and my Jake came in at a whopping 12lbs with 1/4" spurs and a 1" beard while Kevin's bird that I had to kick off my feet as it tried to walk over me weighed 22lbs, sported a 9.5" beard and had 1 1/4" spurs. It was a hunt we'll both never forget.

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