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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
March 23, 2014 (Louisiana)
Opening day left me scratching my head. Nothing worked out like I had planned. So, I decided to take a chance this morning by setting up well before daylight where I thought the turkey I was hunting would be roosted along a creek that bordered a field. I had good reason to believe he would be there, but that is another story.

At 6:10, I sat down in the darkness that was only briefly lit by lightning in the distance. At 6:12, I heard what sounded like a gobble, but I wasn't sure that it wasn't a dog because it was so early. A few minutes later the distant sound of thunder made him do it again. This time I knew it was a gobble, but I wasn't sure where it was. It took two more claps of thunder for me to get a good course on him. Or maybe there was more than one.

The turkey was behind me. I decided to abandon my plan and go to the turkey that was gobbling. It was only 6:20, so I knew I could probably get close. I eased down an old road to the edge of the next field; he gobbled several more times as I made my way to him. I spooked a coyote that apparently had the same idea I had. He bolted across the field in the opposite direction of the turkey. I settled in under some privet hedge to see how things might play out. I thought I was as close as I needed to be. The next clap of thunder was met with a hard gobble no more than 75 yards away. I sat, and it began to rain, hard. With the rain, came lightning. Just beyond where the turkey was roosted, I saw a large bolt of lightning strike, close. I began to wonder if I should call it a day, but then I figured I had a better chance of killing the turkey than I did of getting struck by lightning, even in a lightning storm.

The storm passed quickly, and the next time I heard the turkey I could tell he was on the ground. I called to him. He did not answer. He gobbled a minute or so later, and I cut him off. He gobbled back, hard. Five minutes of silence was broken with a gobble to the left of where he last gobbled; I started scooting around the tree. I called, and he answered again. Then, all was silent for a few minutes. The next gobble was back to the right and sounded further away. I called; he answered again. I scooted back around the tree. Another few minutes passed, and he gobbled again, closer. I called, and he cut me off. I got my gun up and waited.

It was only a few minutes before I saw a turkey coming down the road, followed by two more. And finally, I saw a gobbler's brightly colored head behind a blown down tree that crossed the road. He strutted for a moment before continuing toward me. He must have been 50 yards, but the woods were still too dark to tell much about him. Three turkeys were standing in front of me in the edge of the woods, jakes. The bright head passed behind them and got into the field edge. I could only see a blob. When he emerged, I saw what I identified as a very large jake. The turkey dwarfed the other jakes when they all came into the open. I relaxed, but something didn't feel right about this "jake". At 20 yards, he let out a bellow of a gobble and strutted broadside to me for a minute or so, inching even closer. Then, he turned, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that he had a full fan. I cut my eyes hard to make certain. Once I was sure it was, indeed, a full fan, I raised my gun in one fluid motion and shot him at about 15 steps. It was 7:30 on the dot. He never even flopped.

Sure enough, he had beard rot. It looked like someone had cut that thing off at six inches. He had a full fan and ¾ inch spurs that were surprisingly sharp. I will take a two year old.
 

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Nothin like a 2 yr old to get your heart pumping, congrats
 
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