Sometimes they are the best.
Close but no cigar with my mentored youth on youth day.
Close but no cigar with my mentored senior on the opener.
Got it done in about 15 minutes by myself today.
Get two kids on the school bus. Drop the third off at daycare by 8:00am.
Decided to make a quick run to a honey hole to check for any gobbling before going to work, but on my way there I see another Strutter with his buddy all alone in a field I can hunt.
Pull up the road a ways and get everything organized, camo on, gun loaded........and make a big circle around the birds using the terrain to hide my trek.
I get into the woods about 50 yards, get to where I think I'll be above them, and then ease my way out the edge to set up to call. I'm glassing through the brush, mostly below me when suddenly a black ball puffs up straight out from me......full fan, white noggin'. I just froze and let him strut up over the top and onto a water diversion in the field.
I got out to the edge so I could shoot and got the gun pointed straight out. Did a few soft feeding calls.........nothing. Some more soft calls......nothing. Some soft feeding calls mixed with 1-2 note yelps........nothing.
Beginning to wonder if he made me out when he strutted over the top.......and suddenly I hear a "whooomph" off to my rigth. Here he comes strutting down the diversion and all I can see is his white cap and a few tips of his tail feathers. I knew I had a sea of grass to shoot through, but he was close enough.............the TSS swarm was sent his way and he flopped right there. A small harem of hens took off that I didn't even realize were there.
7/8" ivory white spurs
9" rotted beard with lots of broken strands
Not my prettiest or biggest, but those easy ice breakers are always nice.