My guide Lance picked me up at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation bright and early at five am.
I grabbed my borrowed Stoeger Industries M3500 Shotgun and Field & Stream Everyhunt Turkey Vest in Realtree Xtra...
Man, ya' gotta plug the companies that need plugging!
They's paying my bills!
Lance's plan was to try a pop-up blind he had sitting in a vein of pines at the mouth of a deep draw.
We entered and were immediately serenaded by massive gobbling...
Lance gave a few quick replies and out came the birds.
Then a coyote howled.
And one showed up not 20 yards before us.
Then another some 30 yards to our left.
The turkeys scattered and we decided it was time to move on.
We soon got onto a small flock two valleys over but they weren't interested in playing our reindeer games and quickly left.
And, yes, my video work blows.
But at least I'm out there trying folks!
We drove onto a plateau and paused long enough for me to get this pic.
I turned around and caught this flock coming out of a draw and onto the plain before us.
They didn't stay there long.
We hunted most of the day having little success.
We saw plenty of birds but were never able to get to within shotgun range.
Late afternoon found us on a ledge overlooking a cedar swamp.
Turkey after turkey came into an opening some 70 yards below us.
The flock grew and grew until I counted some 78 birds.
I counted 13 Toms in the bunch but, alas, we couldn't coax any to within shooting range.