It was a strange year in the Colorado high country turkey woods. There was very little snow in the high country, so I expected the birds to arrive to their lek earlier than years past. So not true! I learn this year that the birds follow the green-up and not necessarily the snow melt. The birds were slow to reach their breeding grounds. The first gobbling I heard was April 28th…exactly 7 days later than 2017. I heard one gobbling tom while my brother in law Brandon was out from PA. Brandon was lucky enough to harvest this bird and his very first Merriam’s after a hard 4 days of hunting. He borrowed my circa 1937 Ithaca New Ithaca Double 16 bore…Brandon had never fired a double let alone double triggers. He almost didn’t get his bird because he forgot about the back trigger…and I was saying…Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Repeatedly…compounding the problem.
The following week I was back in the high country and never heard a peep nor saw any sign. A week later…I woke up on May 10th at 0300 am and thought about sleeping in…hell, I was wide awake so might as well give it another go. I hit the coffee maker (decaf–so not much help) and got my gear together and let the dogs out before driving the 20 miles to my favorite spot. I typically drive the logging roads looking for sign on the road and the first 3 spots were void. I drove to my turn around spot and decided to hit the Tacoma’s horn to get a shock-gobble. I’ve used this technique for years and it’s very effective.
Sure enough! Two toms below the logging road. I was stoked…it’s on. I pulled a hundred yards down the road and parked, grabbed my gear, and silently worked about 50 yards above where I thought they were roosted. I had a helluva a time finding a place to hide and set out my jake and hen decoys.
A couple soft purrs on my box call and soon he was slapping my the jake decoy silly and it was all over by 5:50 am. Man I love turkey hunting. I can hardly wait for next season. I used my circa 1927 Ithaca NID short 10 bore with RST shot-shells 2&7/8″ 1 and 1/4 ounce of 7&1/2 shot…walloped him!