I sat down next to a towering oak and within seconds the big bird materialized to my left not fifteen yards away.
This was my second location in Missouri of the first week of the 2015 turkey season. The opening day found me in the southeast Ozarks; my old stomping grounds and area of the beginning of my 37-year love affair with pursuing the large birds.
Gobblers were vocalizing at first light but not showing up for the finale, so I moved to a different spot in which I killed one in last year’s hunt. The rock-strewn hillside is difficult to negotiate but the Missouri tall pines here and there scent the warm spring air and beds of needles to disallow much understory, hence you can see forever.
It usually isn’t difficult to get a male bird to answer a plaintive call of sweet love from a hen, but getting Boss to come in close for a killing shot is another story.
Finally, I seemed to have gotten some deep interest of a lone Tom as the morning grew old. A trick or two in the book is prudent when they hang up and won’t come any closer, like moving closer to his ranting as they grow more distant, visualizing he was at the other end of his strutting lane.
But eventually I knew this bird wasn’t going to budge and to make matters worse, three hens and a jake came in behind me and made their way to the love-sick Gobbler.