I have been scouting here in Kentucky, and it looks like we have a good crop of long beards to hunt. Out of four farms I have personally scouted, I heard or saw turkeys on each one.
I now want to share with you about our Florida hunt, which took place in mid-March. It didn’t take me long to get into trouble, as the owner quickly asked me to guide for two other hunters who needed help to get their “Grand Slams.” As I am always willing to help, I took the hunter from Minnesota who had been trying for two years to finish his slam to my “Honey Hole,” a place where I have taken several other hunters and helped them achieve their slam.
Not long into the game, I realized the gobblers were not after the hens yet. That created a problem, but after traveling 800 miles to hunt the show had to go on. I used the new “Voodoo Custom Call,” a box call if you will that my friend and owner of Voodoo Custom Calls, Cecil Adkins of Whitesburg, made for me to try. It worked to perfection.
Although I was unable to call in any gobblers, I knew using such a call and time were working in our favor. That evening, at 4:45, a giant long beard came in wide open. The hunter from Minnesota was shaking like a leaf, but he waited until the gobbler was within 20 yards and his slam was complete. He jumped, shouted, and was as happy as any person I ever saw. I was as happy as he was.
Then I got a message from a member of my hunting team, Rhett Rossi, who was hunting in Illinois. Rhett and me will tie up next week in Nebraska. Rhett asked me if the hens and gobblers were together in Florida yet, and I told him no. He had the same sad news, as they were not together in Illinois either.
The next morning brought a new day and a new person to guide. She was from California, and she sure had me out-classed. She broke out in a hunting outfit that had to cost $1,000 and a $5,000 over and under shotgun. Anyway, within an hour I called up five nice long beards. I waited for her to shoot … and waited. Remember, these are wild animals. They don’t stand around to have their pictures taken. As I looked at her, the sweat, the look of fear, and the agony of defeat were all over her face. In our world we call that “Buck Fever,” and the result is usually the same whether it is a buck or turkey you are staring down — not good. All the turkeys turned and walked away without her having pulled the trigger on any gobbler, even though they where all within 20 yards.
What fun we have on our hunts!