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So, as many of you know, I didn't get out much this week due to my son having surgery Tuesday morning. He is fine now, the orthopedic surgeon needed to place both a pin and a screw in his elbow, and he ended up running a temp post op. This afternoon, his arm was finally cast and I can sleep just a little better now.

I started this morning heading to my usual spot in the "Swamp." I was running just a little late and daybreak was already upon me. Before I reached my spot, I heard gobbles and headed in their direction, set up in a totally different spot on the property and listened and waited. It was like music to my ears hearing 4, possibly 5 different birds gobbling independently, one after the other, and then sometimes in unison. I am really not sure if they were answering my calls or just gobbling their morning chatter, but it did seem like each time I called, I got an answer, followed by the rest of them chiming in. They seemed pretty close, but I know that they were farther than I had thought. Once they hit the ground, nothing, nada, zippo. I stayed in that spot until around 10:30 calling every 10-15 minutes and got no responses and saw nothing.

There are several other propertiesin the area that I can hunt, so I left the "Swamp" and did my usual drive around, as 4 birds have been seen in an un-huntable field several mornings in a row, however, this morning, the farmer was tilling that field. Just as I was about to call it a day, I notice 4 objects way up on top of a field next to property that I can hunt. I initially thought they were small deer, but after grabbing my binos, thought to myself, "HOLY S__T" It's the four gobblers and they're walking towards my field !!!

What do I do? How do I get up there undetected? OK, the only thing I can do is drive up along the property line, hedge row of a combination of brush, trees and rocks separating the fields, so I drive close to it and as I pass the gobblers, I look away so maybe they won't see my face. I get to where I can park and I am even with where they are in the other field, but if I stay low, I didn't think they would or could see me. Really quietly, I get out of the van, grab my gun, load it and walk, hunched over like a deer to the hedge row between the fields on my property, which now puts an additional 30 or so yards between myself and the property line where my van is parked. The birds are on the next property over. I quickly found a tree, set myself up and called. They ALL immediately answered. So I called again, and AGAIN they answered. I was thrilled. I was excited at the possibility that I just might actually have a chance at getting one of these boys.

My calling and their answering continued for about 10 minites when I finally saw them peek their heads up. I used several different types of calls; but yes, they answered to my using a diaphram call too !!! So, now I am up against the tree and I can see the FOUR TOMS standing on rocks separating two fields on the property next to where I am, a total of about 60 yards away. My heart was racing a million miles a minute. I just needed these birds to come another 20-25 yeards closer and it appeared that they were on their way, but when they looked to where the "hen" was and didn't see anything, I think they got discouraged because three of them continued up the rocks and into the top field of the property next to where I was, while only one remained on the rocks and looking in my direction. I was as still as a statue for what seemed like forever, but he too eventually decided to continued up the rocks and follow the others. They kept answering my callls, but they kept getting farther away until they were nothing more than a story for me to tell . . .

Within 5 minutes of hearing my last gobble, my cell phone alarm went off and at 11:55am, I found myself driving down the field with disappointment rather than the anticipatation I had just an hour or so earlier.

Did my vehicle deter them from coming closer to the call? Did I make the slightest movement without even realizing it? Or should I have grabbed the hen decoy as I was rushing to get out of my van and set up? Maybe all of the above, maybe none . . .

Tomorrow is another day to try with lessons having been learned today :)
 

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Good luck it is only a matter of time like GG said;)

Shoot Straight!
 

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Keep at it Robin, hope your son feels better[up]
 

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Great story Robin. Who knows for sure but from what you said I am thinking that a hen decoy might just have done the trick for you had you been able to get one out. As I said who knows but next time try to get one out if possible. Many times just the sight of that decoy will spur them on into coming a bit closer or even right up to her. I know you will score since you are at least hearing and seeing birds which is better than lots of the guys out here.
I know you were going out this morning so you may have already scored, if not, we have a few weeks of hunting left so hang in there and for you and everyone else, when you are tired and don"t want to get up in the morning, just remind yourself....you can't shoot one if you don't go amoung them!!! Good luck! :D
 
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