It sounded like two jakes to the west and a long beard to the northeast of me. A couple of soft tree yelps were the only calls I made until I was sure they’d flown down. A little more insistent call brought a response, but not instantly, so I shut up.

My attention was focused on the northeast, when I glanced back at my decoy and there was a turkey all fanned out right next to it. Was it a jake? It was a small bird. Then it turned, so I could see its head, and it was a hen! She then jumped in the air and whacked my decoy with her wings. Thankfully, it didn’t fall over.

At that moment Mr. Big blasted out a gobble and I forgot about the hen. He came out in a small clearing one hundred yards away. I was sure he could see my decoy. The live “decoy” had wandered off. Tom continued going west until he hit the driveway and I was sure he’d come right down the track towards me, but he didn’t! Instead he continued right on across into the woods on the other side and disappeared. My calls were ignored! It was time for some drastic action. Excited cuts and yelps were chopped off by a double gobble! Then I saw him coming back through the woods at a pretty fast pace, so once again I shut up. He hit the drive fifty or sixty yards away and went into strut, and he strutted and strutted some more! At this moment, a call of nature hit me with a vengeance! Something had to give, so I called to him and, at last he came marching towards me. He’ll turn towards the decoy I thought, but he didn’t! No, he motored right on by! I peered out a small window in the side of the tent just as he went behind a large tree trunk. Quickly I slid my gun

barrel out and when he came into view the cross hairs settled on his wattles and I touched it off. Down he went, flopping wildly! There were enough feathers on the ground to make an Indian head dress. Yes, I made it to the cabin in time, barely! Much relieved, I came back out for some measuring and snapshots. Nineteen pounds with 7/8″ spurs, another two year old. The weird thing was he only had a stiff little 5’/2″ beard.

It had been a great hunt!

September 2010 Update
Pere Marquette Chapter - Fall 2010 Update