Sunday morning, I got out to my blind at about 6:15 am to continue chasing my spring turkey. The past few days hunting have been very quiet. Sunday started off the same. I was ripping my slate call every 30 minutes or so to try and get the attention of a tom, but not having any luck.
All of a sudden at about 9 am, I heard a gobble. I could tell it was very close. My blind looks out on a section of the field with my decoys set up. Behind the decoys, about 30 yards, is very thick cover: trees, vegetation, and brush. The gobble was coming from inside the cover. I continued to call and the tom continued to gobble back for 30 minutes. Every call I made, he would respond almost immediately. I heard him moving around in the brush a few times, but could never get a good enough look at him to get a clear shot.
During that 30 minutes he must have gobbled at least 20 times. I was sure he was going to come walking in to check out the decoys any second. He never did. After this back and forth chess match, I heard the gobbles start to fade away as he got farther and farther from me. My heart sunk, knowing I would not get a shot at him. He still responded with a gobble to every call—even when he had to be over 200 yards away.
Eventually, I grabbed my shotgun and left the blind, hoping to flank him on the right side. I traveled about a half-mile around the hill he had retreated to in order to try and sneak up on him from the other side. I kept calling at regular intervals hoping to get him to respond. He never made another sound.
Overall, it was an exciting morning that unfortunately ended in disappointment. I am encouraged though, after several quiet mornings, that the toms are still in this area. I suspect that when I put my blind up, it made the turkeys skittish and cautious about going into the field. I am hoping that at some point this week that tom works up enough of a nerve to cross out into the open to find that mystery hen (my calls) who he seemed so interested in.
Any day with a tom gobbling is a good day turkey hunting. I have a few weeks left on my private land tag and I am hopeful he is going to slip up one of these days.