Last week we stopped at lunchtime during the first day of our Kansas hunting trip. Carl had just killed a long beard — a Jake — and I was fit to be tied.
After lunch I head back to my hot spot. I know turkeys are all around me, but this morning they have real live hens and I’m not about to leave them for a maybe.
At 5 p.m. the earth shakes. A long beard answers my call and is no more than 50 yards from me. (For you hunters, remember this: If you get a long beard to answer your calls between two and five in the evening he is probably coming in.) I get ready. I see his tail fanned to the max. I know he is the boss and for sure is a big Rio.
At 35 yards, I pull the trigger on my trusty 9200 Mossberg and my hunt for the day is over. One tag filled, finally, after hunting two states and having the tags in my pocket. Tomorrow morning I will return to my blind to finish my Kansas hunt.
Carl, who tagged out on the first day, is in the lodge. I forget him for a while. At lunch I go into the lodge, no Carl. Sandy has sent him into the woods to get another turkey on a landowner tag. My mind goes blank hoping he will not kill another Jake, but what the heck, it is Sandy’s ranch.
She has not heard any shots, so I hurry to his blind to get him for lunch. He has shot at six turkeys, but hit nothing. I am happy as I can be, as I think they were probably Jakes.
After lunch, I head back to my blind. I sit down, hit my call and there he stands, a big long beard looking right at my decoy. He is only 30 yards away. Game over. He never even hears the 9200 go off.
Back to the lodge, then to get Carl. I give Bill and Sandy my turkey after I take the tail, spurs, and beard.
I rounded up Carl. We will leave for Nebraska in the morning.