June 2, 2013

Don't get caught cold turkey

Memorial Day weekend’s cold and wet weather remains a topic of immense conversation. On a weekend where the Adirondacks usually sees that first major splurge in outdoor activity, from hiking and camping to fishing and boating, what we got was anything but a first taste of summer.

Yet, Saturday morning found me doing what I’ve done every morning that I’ve had free during the month of May: turkey hunting. After watching the weather the evening prior I wasn’t sure I would venture out, even my tags unfilled. But, my buddy emailed me and said he had just roosted five birds, including a pair of jakes. We had the turkeys right where we wanted them.

This particular location has been a good one for us in these conditions. Not only have I killed a couple of nice gobblers here in wet weather, there have also been a few squandered opportunities as well. This includes a hunt earlier this season when I had nine jakes and four hens in front of me. In trying to pull one of those jakes in my direction with my slate call I stirred up a gobbler still on the roost. I was ready for the big boy to fly down in front of me, perhaps giving me a shot, but he had other plans.

This big tom showed up on the edge of the field eyeballing the flock 150 yards out as if to say, “What are you doing with my hens?” Soon he was headed in their direction while I shifted positions in my blind. Unfortunately, what I thought was a doable 40-yard shot turned out to be more than 50 paces. About the only thing I did to that bird was ruin his rendezvous with the flock, at least for the time being.

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