Reach Out and Touch Me

Just yesterday, a blanket of snow still covered most of the ground as confused green chutes wondered if it was time to be released from winter's coma. But ol' tom knows it's time to sing the song of spring—his excited gobbles began rumbling through this ravine more than a week ago. Today, I hope to add some thunder to the chorus.

As I lean against a familiar oak tree, I pop in a diaphragm call. Before I can release the soft tree yelp that I've obsessively perfected for the past 2 months, a gobbler sounds off … and he's not far. I position the call perfectly on the roof of my mouth and respond with a seductive whisper to let him know I'm in the neighborhood. While I'm tempted to respond to his hammering pleas, I shut my mouth. When the time is right, I remove my hat and mimic the beating wings of a fly down hen and cluck twice as I scrape the leaves to invite him into my bedroom. Seconds later, the unmistakable sound of a ground level gobble excites my ear drums. He's on his way.

I check my watch. It's just minutes into legal shooting light. I look through the eyepiece of my Weaver KASPA VZT turkey scope—plenty of light to see the shimmer of a silent strutter creeping through the brush. He hangs up at 60-ish yards. A chamber full of Winchester's Long Beard XR puts this otherwise too-far tom into fatal range for roasting. Turkey's on the dinner menu tonight!

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