Crunching Leaves

The crunching sound of dry brittle leaves underfoot meant that the gobbler was close -- If he’d just pop up over the embankment…

Just one day earlier we were second guessing our decision to hunt this particular area since we’d spent all afternoon and evening trying to locate turkeys without any luck.

Now we sat overlooking the green field ahead of us, where our decoys rose above the 6 inch high green grass, in anticipation of a turkey approaching from the stand of cottonwood trees 200 yards ahead. I made a series of calls and much to our surprise a gobble erupted from down in the hollow behind us.

turkey decoys in place  spring turkey hunt

         Decoys in position out front                           Carson backed up against tree, decoy in foreground 

Quickly I motioned to Carson to spin around and face the other direction since we had backed ourselves up against a huge fallen cottonwood tree and couldn’t see behind us. We never imagined that a turkey would approach from where we had just walked minutes before. I let out another soft call -- which was immediately answered by a thunderous gobble. Anxiously we sat in silence. Moments later the still of the morning was interrupted by the crunching of dry fallen leaves from below. As soon as the crunching stopped, I grabbed a dead limb lying next to me and scratched the crispy leaf covered ground to mimic the sound of a turkey searching for food. The confidence boost seemed to work because the sound of the gobbler’s rustling footsteps began getting closer and closer.

Anticipating a shot at any second now, Carson raised his 20 gauge loaded with a 3” turkey load filled with 5 shot and waited. Up over the embankment the big red head of the long beard emerged -- the Weatherby bucked as Carson’s shoulder absorbed the blast – big bird down!

mature tom turkey long beard gobbler
  Big mature tom with the Weatherby


Days later I was out after a strutter for myself. I was so intent on filming my hunt that I completely blew my opportunity at a big mature tom. I did manage to get a bunch of pictures and some great video of strutting gobbling toms, but I ended up scaring them off before I could ever get off a shot. After a new setup and learning from my greedy mistakes earlier, I managed to shoot me a nice bird and even ended up with some great video and pics of it.

Mature turkey strutting gobblers
                         Got some good pics and video, but got busted before I could shoot














My son and daughter-in-law also got into the action and called themselves in a couple of gobblers. They ended up pulling off a nice double and were tagged out within minutes of setting up! All in all we had a very successful and memorable spring turkey hunt, can’t wait for the fall hunts!

 Rio Grande turkey  turkey double

     This long beard getting a little gray ☺               Dallas and Natalie called in and shot a turkey double