Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hunting the elusive, sharp-eyed wild turkey can challenge even the most seasoned sportsman. Mastering the hunt involves locating the bird's roosting sites, finding a promising spot where the odds are in your favor the Tom will be within hearing range and then setting up, in the dark, without being detected. And that's the easy part.
Sitting completely still is a major piece of the puzzle as the gobbler's vision is superb - spotting even the tiniest of movements for hundreds of yards away. But the most difficult job is enticing the bird to come to you.
Convincing him you are the hen of his dreams through box call, diaphragm or other vocal apparatus takes practice and sometimes a great deal of patience.
Nine-year-old James Hunter McClary seems to be an old pro at the game - even if it was his first Tom. He bagged a Jake during Youth Day but recently he had his sights on a gobbler. Hunter's dad Glen was his “guide” for the big boy hunt. After settling into position, Glen said he called the bird as his son looked on. But Mr. T was not budging from his courting stage in the middle of the field.
That's when the apprentice showed the expert how to get things done. Using only his mouth (no diaphragm or calling device) the boy clucked three times. The amorous invitation was too much for the king of the court. Hunter's harvest weighed in at 21 pounds with an 11 1/4” beard and 1” spurs. Not bad for your first gobbler.