It was early April and turkey season was opening on May 1st. The snow had finally melted away and it was finally time to start my spring scouting for turkey sign. With the landowner's permission I loaded my 4-wheeler into the back of my truck and headed up to the farm to just ride the many trails that went through the property. I was looking for tracks left in the damp areas of the logging roads by wandering birds.
It wasn't long before I started seeing plenty of tracks in areas freshly scratched clean of leaves where they've been feeding as they traveled around in search of food. I had done the same thing for 3 weekends in a row, each time seeing fresh sign so I was pumped up on getting my turkey early on in the season.
Opening day arrived and the alarm sounded off at 3:30 am and I rose with high enthusiasm and made my thermos of coffee to head up to the farm to get to my stand before daybreak. It had been a wet rainy spring so far and today was no exception with a light rain falling as I left my truck. I used my 4 wheeler to do my scouting but I don't use it during the season. I walked uphill on an old roadway to a grassy field set back from the main road and crossing the field I reached a spot I had picked out during my scouting. After setting out my decoys I went to the tree I had already picked out to sit next to just off the edge of the field. I had everything in readiness as I sat waiting for daylight to arrive.
The light rain continued until just after daybreak then slowed to a drizzle and I still hadn't heard a gobble anywhere. The weather quieted them down I thought to myself as I took my slate call from my pocket and made a few clucks and purrs with it. I did this every 10 minutes for almost an hour when all of a sudden from behind me a turkey gobbled. He was making his way along just inside the brush along the edge of a roadway leading to the small field I was in. It didn't take long before I caught sight of two Jakes as they stepped from the cover of the brush onto the field to my left at 25 yard's. I had my shotgun to my shoulder and ready but didn't want a Jake as I knew there was bigger ones in the area. They both took a couple steps further out from the edge when I seen another turkey appear. This one was a Tom with about a 7 inch beard. They all acted skittish of the decoys for some reason which I have yet to figure out and as the Tom stepped onto the field he immediately turned away and started walking away from me. I took aim for a head shot and squeezed the trigger only to see him and the Jakes flee towards the other side of the field and out of sight. How did I miss this Tom I thought to myself, but yet I did.
I sat for another hour as the light rain continued then decided to call it a morning as I was starting to get that damp feeling. Picking up my decoys and gathering my things I headed back to the truck to head home feeling a little disappointed on the outcome of the morning but I would be returning. The next morning with a heavier rain falling I was back up to that same field but set up in another spot. Only an hour after daybreak and again without anything answering my call's and the rain continuing I had enough even with my rain gear I was getting damp and started walking back down toward's the main road and home. I only had weekends to hunt because of my job and the next one there was again heavy rain so I elected not to go. I talked to the landowner and he said he had only seen a couple turkeys in the fields in the evenings as they fed before going to roost. During our turkey season you can only legally hunt until noon time so I wouldn't have time to hunt even if I had a short day.
The 3rd weekend the rain had stopped for a day after over a week of rain but was still predicted. I headed up to set up before daybreak in a corn piece across the road from the farm that I've heard em in before. I got my decoys set up and then settled in putting my ground blind around me for concealment. The wind was lightly blowing and shaking off any rain that was left on the leaves as by now they were all out and that made it harder to see in the woods. Sitting there in the dark wondering what the morning would bring and praying the rain would hold off, I got my calls ready.
Daybreak came uneventful and nothing sounded off anywhere so I let out with a few soft clucks and purrs from my slate call and heard a hen about 80 yard's down from me in the field. She was heading up the corn piece from my left and I couldn't see her from my vantage point. All of a sudden there she was clucking and walking straight at my position yet not seeing me. She walked up to within 10 foot of me as I sat motionless, she cocked her head from side to side trying to find the hen that was calling prior. Without finding what she was looking for she slowly walked off still clucking. I chuckled at the sight of it and sat smiling to think what a nice sight that was even if the rest of the morning went without seeing that elusive tom.
I kept calling for another 15 minute's with nothing sounding except for the crows that were all around as well as all the other birds. No rain was falling but was threatening with cloudy skies. Still pretty comfortable, I opened my thermos and poured a cup of coffee and sat back to enjoy it all the while listening to the sounds of the morning.
Another half hour had passed and I was looking down at my calls making sure no water got on the slate and not paying much attention really. As I glanced back at my decoys I was taken back a few breaths when right there in front of me and almost standing on top of one of my hen decoys was two, yes two toms, one in full strut and the other in a half strut. Which way they came from I didn't know as they never made a sound as they approached. It all happened so fast I was caught by surprise. I could see they were both good toms and had their concentration only on the decoys. I raised my Winchester 1300 and brought the sights down on the front tom and without squeezing off the shot waited another couple seconds till the second one came side by side with the first and giving me the shot of a lifetime I squeezed the trigger. "Pow" the shotgun sounded off and down went both toms.
Needless to say I was up in a flash and almost taking down my ground blind was on a dead run to the toms to make sure they were down and not getting away from me this time. As I stood there looking down at them both I was so elated that I got on my cell phone and immediately called my wife and long time friend Mark that hunted with me opening day to tell them the events of what happened making a long story long at that.
When I reported them in the results were the first was 18 pounds with a 10 inch beard and 3/4 inch spurs. The second weighed in at 19 pounds with a 10 1/4 inch beard and 1 inch spurs. Needless to say I'm very happy with the results. My spring season is over now but I have a memory that I'll never forget and can't wait until next year when I will be out there again chasing that elusive tom.