I hunted the first five days of the third hunt and, during that time, I heard a grand total of one gobble! It came on the third morning, when a raucous hen came yakking, clucking and purring close behind my blind. She started east along the ridge. I called to her and she turned back towards me. At that moment a short, explosive gobble said, “Just where do you think you’re going, lady!” Surely he would follow her down the ridge, but he didn’t. Old “cluck and purr” went to the edge of the ridge and, with a loud cackle, flew down to the bottom where I’m sure she rendezvoused with the gobbler. I heard another hen yelping from the same place and thought when he’s finished with those two he’ll surely come up here looking for a third, but he didn’t.
One morning I was in what I call the “driveway blind” when a pair of Jakes came up the power line. They saw my decoys and immediately made a wide detour around them. This is not unusual. They fear being thumped by a long beard. One exception would be a large flock of Jakes who will sometimes challenge a long beard—the old “strength in numbers” rule.
This was my total action in the first week. I hunted three days of the second week and the last day heard three gobblers (two Jakes and a long beard) sound off from the roost three hundred yards away from the edge of a small marsh. They responded to my calls and the long beard was cutting the distance when old “cluck and purr” came along and took him away.
The next week I set up twice at the bottom of the ridge and guess what? They didn’t show! Late one afternoon I glanced out the kitchen window and a big Jake was strolling through the back yard. He disappeared behind the garage and I’m quite sure I could have snuck out and ambushed him, but that’s not turkey hunting.
All in all, there were very few turkeys around which was strange considering that last fall a flock of at least a hundred birds regularly crossed the property.
Skunked! Hey, I’m supposed to be an expert! Someone should have told the turkeys!