Sometimes, you run across some strange things while in the turkey woods. And sometimes you encounter behavior of turkeys that can be even stranger. And once in a while, you run across stories that are just too strange and riddled with improbability and "who woulda thunk it" to be made up. And then all you can do is just smile, shrug your shoulders and shake your head....
This past May my brother out in UT (who helps a lot of people get started turkey hunting) called me up to share one of those shoulder-shrugging and head-shaking story. It goes like this.
A young fellow kept pestering my brother to help him fill his turkey tag this spring. My brother has a well-earned reputation for taking guys out and helping them get their first turkey, so that is nothing new. But my brother didn't see how he could do it this spring, so he showed the young fellow how to call on a box call, and gave him some pointers - things like the basic ABCs of locating, setting up on, and calling in the turkeys, getting off the beaten trail, putting some work into it, not getting discouraged too easily, and being persistent - and wished him luck. And he didn't think any more about it.
Then towards the end of the season the young fellow called my brother up, excited to tell him about the big tom turkey he'd just killed.
The conversation went something like this.
"Man, you ought to see this turkey! He's really big!"
"Oh yeah!? Where'd you kill him?"
"Old Joe Brown (name has been changed to protect the guilty) told me there was some turkeys up above XYZ. So I drove up there after work the other day looking around and hoping to see some. I didn't get a chance to change into camo or hunting boots or anything, but I had my gun with me and the box call you showed me how to use. I was driving up there in my truck looking around and had some Andy Griffith re-runs on while I was looking around."
"Really? On your laptop? While you were driving? What happened?"
(Now, this had my brother's attention, because XYZ was a place he hunted regularly, but up a lot higher, well off the beaten path, and especially off the road the young fellow was driving on. You know, the kind of place a serious turkey hunter would go to have a better chance of killing something. And he didn't know anyone else was aware of the turkeys that were in that drainage....)
"I had the windows down as I was easing along, and I saw a group of turkeys walking away about 75 yds off the road. So I stopped to get a better look at them right when the Andy Griffith theme song was playing at the part with the loud, drawn out, three note whistling was playing. And the turkeys heard it and turned around and started headed back towards my truck."
"No way!? Are you serious?!"
"Yeah, the hens called back and started walking towards me, and the two toms that were with them came along right behind them."
"You're pulling my leg, right?"
"Yeah, they started heading towards me, and stopped under a cedar about 40 or 50 yds away and just stood there with their heads up looking at the truck while Andy Griffith was whistling. And so I eased out of the truck, got my gun and box call off the back seat, stood at the back of the truck and called on that box call. When I did that, one of the big toms started strutting and walked out from under the tree where I could get a good shot, and I shot him! Man, that was a rush! And you oughta see his beard!"
.....a moment of Silence.....
"Dang. Well, heck, way to go man! Congratulations!! Wow. That's unreal...."
"Yeah, I'm stoked! Thanks for the pointers man! I can't wait for next season!"
And that's a true story.
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