Close but no cigar
Today was a seek and destroy mission. We setup where all the birds seemed to gather after fly down yesterday. We got in clean! We had 5 hens and a Jake roosted with 20 yards behind us! All but one of these birds pitched down right into the decoy set at 15 yards from us. The boss hen went about and strutted in and purred and clucked and pecked at my DSD for a good 15 mins before the group decided the statue girls were not a threat to them. Even with at least 5 gobblers ( couple jakes for sure) were roosted within 100 yards they did not come to investigate the racket these hens were making with my decoys. Just as we are about to move one of the hens came back and tried to make friends with the DSD. For over an hour she spent time purring and trying to make friends with the decoys. We finally had enough and spooked her off. We made a move to where we saw birds strutting yesterday but the skies unloaded and we headed for the truck.
On the drive around the property we spotted a Strutter following a hen out in the middle of the field. They were on a mission to get to the timber. So we made a plan to try and catch up to them. We made it to 100 yards and got a visual on the tom again. But he made it farther than we thought. So we had to circle around to try and get in front of him. WE DID! As we popped out of the ravine we spotted him again and he was still strutting and was about 70 yards. Here is where we screwed up. I thought we could pop the decoy up over the hill and then make some sweet calls and he’d scurry right in… WRONG. Apparently, either me popping the decoy up or more likely my come love me yelps were all wrong. He didn’t answer and he gave us the slip. I thought maybe he got spooked and just ducked in to some bushes so we tried to rabbit hunt him but he was either held too tight or totally buggered on us. We hard another gobble and made a move on it. Again all the calls I threw at this bird, he made no attempt to answer. We sat for 30 mins and he never showed. Back to the truck in the rain.
As we drove around again to head for home we spooked a Tom just to the side of the road. I thought there was potential to call at this bird as there is a berm from our parking spot where the bird was at that would shield our approach. Well, once again, got to a good spot to call. AGAIN, all the calls and the bird never answered. Now this bird was spooked so I’m not totally shocked he didn’t answer but still… always try to be optimistic. Good news is that as we were walking back to the truck I found a pretty solid shed antler. So we didn’t leave the woods completely empty handed.