“We called that big tom all the way across the field,” the young fellow said. “Then it stopped and strutted just out of range. It wouldn’t come any closer.”
It was opening day of the youth turkey hunt, and there was an excitement in the air as Travis told his story. He and his dad had gone to an area where they had seen a nice tom. They had watched him several times in the past few days.
In the darkness just before dawn, they set up and got ready. As the sky lightened, the birds began to chirp, and the sound of quiet tree talk could be heard from the turkeys in the flock. Then, off in the distance, they heard a gobble.
“He’s clear across the field,” the boy whispered.
“That’s OK,” his dad replied. “He’ll come when we call.”
Bill used a mouth call and softly yelped. Twice more he called before the turkey answered with a gobble. Minutes passed before they heard him gobble again.
The father and son got ready on the edge of the big meadow. The big gobbler sounded off once more. Bill waited a minute, then yelped once more. Instantly, there was another loud response as the old tom appeared.
He was a long ways away at the other end of the field in full strut. He stuck his neck out and thundered out a gobble that echoed across the meadow. The hunters were ready. Travis had his gun on his knee and waited. His dad called and that old tom made a bee-line straight toward them.
Travis’ heart pounded. That big tom was coming right at them. He was in love.
But when he was about 80 yards away from the waiting hunters, he stopped and hung up, going into a full strut once more. Every feather was fluffed, and he was all puffed out. His tail was fanned and his wings were down and cupped to put on a show for the hen that had lured him in. The old tom paced back-and-forth, spitting and strumming its wings, waiting for that lusty female to show.