I had worked the ground southwest of the levees next to the river and had no success. It was time to move on to more familiar territory. The ground had been scouted and there was little else to do except to be on location when the time came. What a beautiful evening. Loading up at 6 PM with a ten minute drive to the wooded pasture, put me right on the site.
My wife and I had gone over to the pasture the evening before to feed the cattle our grass clippings. Three toms had come out of the Missouri River bottom west of the levee. They headed pretty much in a straight line toward the timber in the northeast side of the pasture. All I had to do was be at the right location and be on time. Being there well before 7 PM would give me plenty of time to set up the tent and the decoys.
The north end of the pasture has a small access lane the landowner uses. There is dense timber on both sides. It is about a quarter of a mile to the pasture. The lane is abundant with deer crossing from west to east, and in the past the area was plentiful with turkey. With a few small jakes and plenty of hens, I knew I was on the right spot, I hoped.
As I cleared the lane, well to the south of me were three toms. I could not tell if these were the ones I had seen yesterday. I slipped the truck, the decoys and the tent into the trees. There was little time to carry all that gear and set up. A fallen tree was located on the front edge of the timber. I hunkered down to wait and hoped this was the spot where they would move through.
It did not take long and here they came. A fourth one was lagging behind, but as they got closer, these were not the big toms seen the day before. There were no hens with them and they moved briskly heading for the timber. At one point out about 100 yards, they seemed to change direction. If they stayed on that line, they would bypass me and a shot would not be possible.
A couple of short yelps and a few clucks caused one of them to stick his head up in the air. In his mind he was saying, “Where are you my dear? I am coming for you.” That was all it took and they headed straight for me. The ones passing on my right side were not the big toms, but meat is meat. At 15 yards the biggest of the three was selected. Plunk! It was all over. The other birds took off flying and running into the timber. The total time invested was thirty minutes from when I arrived.
|Not the biggest bird I have plunked, but the young ones taste better.|
The turkey season is over in Iowa, and I finally got a bird on the last day and almost the last hour of the season. Once in a while we get lucky and really get it right.