Back at the cabin I changed my clothes, had lunch and took a nap. It was eleven o’clock before I made it back to my blind. About 12:30 I was jarred awake by a loud chalk! It told me two things: it was a gobbler and he was close!

A word about this “chalk” sound. It is not an alarm call, but rather a questioning vocalization.

I’ve only heard it when a gobbler is staring at a decoy. Chalk? Chalk? Why are you standing there when the most beautiful Tom Turkey in the world is right here? Male turkeys all have an exaggerated opinion of themselves. Some ladies may think this also applies to human males.

There he was, not over twenty yards away, head ratcheted up, staring at my decoy which was wearing one of Greg Abbas’s feather vests. It looked like the real McCoy. He didn’t notice my gun barrel slide out the window. The cross hairs settled on his neck and I squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened! To say I was completely flummoxed would be an understatement!

Yes, the safety was off. Then I noticed that the slide on my pump gun was not quite closed.

How could anyone who’s been hunting over seventy years do something that dumb? I blame it on the wet pants.

Anyway, by this time he was getting more that a little suspicious and starting to go way. Boom!

It worked! Down he went, flopping like crazy. I watched him until he lay still and then started to unload my gun and adjust my gear. A movement caught my eye and glancing out the window, I saw him standing up! What? Impossible!

My finger was on the trigger, when just beyond the turkey was a dead one laying on the ground! Who could have believed it? It was a different bird! The cardinal sin of turkey hunting is killing more than one gobbler.

My “weird” Tom was a twenty pound two year old with a nine inch beard and 3/4″ spurs!

I hope his buddy is still around next year.


Of Wasted Days II
Turkey Tails: Did you ever