Today was my opening day as family obligations took me out of town on the opener. A few preseason scouting trips confirmed that a few birds were roosted in the usual spots so I got in extra early at 5am to set a blind on a flat. When the red birds began to sing I was expecting to hear my first gobble of the 2019 season, but was met with silence. As light began to filter through the trees, I heard two distant gobbles far off and most likely across a road. I was disappointed to say the least but committed to this spot since I was archery hunting.
After fly down time, I heard nothing for 30 minutes until untill a faint gobble far up the valley. I called aggressively with some loud cutts and yelps and he answered back, but was a long ways off. Barely within earshot. I went silent to see what he would do. About 15 minutes later he gobbled and was closer but still far off. I again called and he answered back. I went silent again. 10 minutes later he gobbled and was probably only 200 yards out. He was committed and coming fast. I let out a few soft yelps to let him know I was still there and went silent as he now knew where I was at.
I caught him dropping down into a creek bottom. If he continued, we would pop up at 30 yards. Up he came onto the flat and without hesitation walked right into my set up. At 20 yards the Ravin R26 sent an arrow to the wing butt and it was over quickly.
This guy came looking for love in all the wrong places and was probably the farthest I have ever called a gobbler in from. Most likely a 3 year old. Heavy in breast with a 10 inch beard and 1 1/4 and 1 1/8 inch spurs.
I support all hunters, regardless of weapon or technique!