Thursday, May 8, 2014

One very special morning...

Roux will have to forgive me.  I went hunting without him...

I had the distinct pleasure of hunting with two of my favorite people this Ohio turkey season. One was my good friend Roger, who has become something of a "project" for myself and my other partner and turkey hunting mentor, Tommy. For the last 4 years Tommy and I (as well as some other very accomplished turkey hunters) have struggled to put a bird in front of Roger. There have been many very close calls, and just about every kind of flukish thing you can imagine go wrong (thankfully no misses, however). 

The night before I roosted a turkey that I thought would be in a very huntable spot for the morning. The three of us were there and set up tight to the bird, which miraculously transformed into three birds with the coming sunrise. The birds flew down early, and soon I could see the trio of big jakes coming up the ridge into the decoys, directly in front of Roger. One bird slowed to go into strut, and when he raised his head slightly, Roger laid him out...official time 6:23 AM! Roger's curse is finally broken, with a very nice jake, sporting a nearly 6 in beard. Roger has not had a lot of good news in the last year, so that made this morning even more special.

This will be a favorite photo of mine for the rest of my life...

After photos and a little drive around, we decided to head to breakfast, and then try another spot to fill my last OH tag (I had shot my first bird the day prior, another good story for another day). We were back in the woods by 10:15, and struck a gobbler at 10:20. We quickly set up, and amazingly a group of longbeards marched out of the valley and towards the decoys. Tommy drove them crazy...5 longbeards gobbling simultaneously in your face is very loud and somewhat unnerving! They began to get nervous, and I picked the closest bird to me, rolling him with my 20 gauge and Heavyweight 7s. 10:43 AM. Two flash hunts in one morning. 

More photos, and a stop for celebratory beers followed. Still home before 1 PM!

Tommy and I. I can't say enough good about my friend, on so many levels. This is very special to me, to say the least.

Roger and I with our birds. I can't imagine a better morning. 

Thanks and congratulations to all. Now I can't wait to get back out, trying to "pay forward" the gift I was given for other friends!

Don't worry Roux, I still think Brown is Beautiful.

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