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Old 04-26-2011, 08:15 AM
Fork Horn
wvOHIOfan's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV/OH
Posts: 270

I found this gobbler at daylight but he was a good distance off and by the time I had hiked to his location he had flown down and was already on the ground. He was gobbling a lot as I made my way to much so that I didn't have to use any type of locator calls to keep tabs on his exact location. Knowing he was already on the ground, his frequent gobbling led me to believe that he may be alone and I was right. I got within 200 yards of him and had to set up there because the woods I was in was a big stand of mature Oaks.....just beautiful open hardwooods. I didn't want to risk getting any closer so I set out my decoy 15 yards to my left and slightly in front of me. I knew the decoy would play an important role because the woods were pretty open and I knew he'd be looking hard for the hen.

Once the decoy was in place, I backed up to a great big White Oak which more than broke my silhouette. With gloves and headnet on, I gave a soft series on lonely hen yelps and he cut me off. I called once more just so he could get a good fix on my location and again he cut me off with a big, full roll gobble. Then, I shut up.

Within 2 minutes I saw him crest the ridge at 120 yards. He was displaying as he slowly inched my way. He took his time and was really looking hard for the hen he had heard when walking from 120 yards to 60 yards. At 60 yards he spotted the hen decoy. Once he saw the decoy he fanned up and stayed that way as he closed in. Once he closed to 24 yards I let him have a load of Nitros and the hunt was over.

Although he never gobbled when in sight, he put on a beautiful show of displaying as he silently made his way to the decoy.

The only call I made after spotting him was a cluck to get him to raise his head just before firing. On the walk out I even found a bunch of Morels which I will fry up and eat with this gobbler's breast. It was a great hunt on a beautiful, spring, West Virginia morning.

Here are his stats:

20 pds 2 oz
Beard = 9.25
Right Spur = 1
Left Spur = 1

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