Gobbler luck turned around
The day of May 15 ended up much better than it started for my Michigan turkey hunt.
As I sat at the site in the gloom and dampness just above the Ingham County swamp that seemed an eternity to get to, the call from my cell phone went out to my wife: "What time did you tell (the babysitter) I would pick up the kids?"
"All day," she impatiently answered from her cell phone while driving to work.
I looked at the time on the cell phone clock -- 6:23 a.m.
"Well, I'm probably going to come back early and get them 'cause nuthin's happening here," I told her.
"What? After all that ... she's probably never going to baby-sit again," my wife bellowed. "I've gotta go."
It was around 6:40 a.m. Still no gobbles.
Then, I saw a white head bob up from just below the hill I was sitting on. That was a turkey head, no doubt about it, I said to myself. And not much longer afterward, I heard a gobble from above my left shoulder just off the ridge to the north. Soon, another one in the lowland below me.
Maybe things are turning around after all, I thought. I braced the shotgun with my left knee and waited from the open window in my blind. Five minutes passed ... then, 15 minutes ...
The whole time sporadic gobbling was continuing all around me but nothing closer than 100 yards.
I considered moving up to the ridge where I continued to hear a tom asserting his authority. Up to this point, I had been exclusively using my H.S. Strut slate call.
When moving, I always like to slip in a mouth call. It allows for faster mobility. So I reached into one of the hundred pockets in my new vest and pulled out my favorite, the H.S. Strut two-reeded cutter, from the mouth call case.
But while deciding if moving was the right thing to do, I tried a few yelps and soft clucks with the cutter. And then I went with a couple of "coo-coos" for lack of a better name for the call.
Up they came, three of them. As my heart pounded, I quickly aimed the Mossberg in the vicinity and waited for the one to come into my lane. Boom! Down he went and the other two scattered in opposite directions -- flapping wildly and making tracks like the ground was on fire.
I walked up and claimed my prize not believing the beard was as big as it was. Almost like a paint brush. A-hooooooooooo.
I finally got to owl hoot like Eddie Salter does in the H.S. Strut videos after he bags a bird.
Looked at the clock and it was 7:24 a.m.
In an hour, my luck turned from the pits to the heavens.