Wild turkey season in the north, begins in late April when the woods are still bare, brown and frost rimmed some mornings. For six weeks amorous toms fill the woods with their boastful gobbles to attract hens for mating. In the last week of the season, the woods are vibrant green with new vegetation, colorful flowers, hordes of insects. and those boastful tom are still gobbling their innards out though most hens are staying on their nests to incubate their eggs.
In the last week of the season I set up on a hardwood ridge to call in my second turkey of the season. It was a calm, still morning and I knew my call would really reach out there. It hardly ever goes this way, but when most of the hens are on the nest, lonely toms can’t be choosey and a turkey gobbled to my first call and came straight to me. It was a gobbling jake. I already had an adult tom so I thought I’d better take the jake and get on with some neglected yard work.
After I had tagged the jake and walked down off the ridge about three hundred yards away, I heard a booming gobble from the spot where I has shot the jake. So there I was with my tag on a short beard jake and a long spurred tom just showed up. He must have heard my call and started coming to it from a different direction and farther away than the jake. He didn’t gobble till he got there. Big toms are sneaky like that. Of course he nailed the brakes when I shot and collected my bird but a few minutes after it was quiet he kept coming to the spot where the call came from. That’s what it like in the last week of the season with little competition from real hens.
Patience kills turkeys. I wish I had more of it. If I had let the jake walk, I may have got the longbeard.
A day later I regretted my impatience again. I heard a booming gobble from a clearing where I keep a trail camera. So I went to check the camera and sure enough the bad boy in the picture above was there two days in a row, up to his ankles in violets, trying to gobble in some female company. You gotta love the last week of turkey season.