I drove up north & met with good friends & competitive turkey callers, Allen Hevner & Jesse Riggle on Wednesday afternoon. We went out that evening & were fortunate to find a couple gobblers just before dark! The plan was to hike up the mountain & get relatively close to the one that gobbled the best the night before & try to get set up on him. We were able to get within 120 yards of him, set up & start calling to him. He gobbled sporadically & we hoped it would work out because we had a beautiful setup. We saw him pitch down, but for whatever reason, he didn't want to play. So we let him walk off, decided to jump in the truck & cover some ground at 7:30. We stopped & called in several places with no luck. But at a little after 8 o'clock, we struck a hen! She answered one of Allen's plain yelps with some cutting of her own & sounded like she was coming! So I jumped off the side of the road & stood beside a few saplings to hide as she continued to cutt & come our way. Pretty soon I caught movement. She was making a bee line for Allen & Jesse, but as soon as she hit an opening in plain view of me, she got nervous. I was standing in the wide open besied those saplings & I'm sure I stood out like a sore thumb. She ended up walking off, so we jumped back in the truck & kept covering ground. A few miles down the road, we jumped out again & as soon as we got out of the truck, a bird gobbled close! We stood there listening & pretty soon we could see two of them. They were moving fast towards a field & after we lost sight of them, we hurried to get ahead of them. They continued to gobble as we were moving, which is always a plus! But they were moving so quick, we had trouble keeping up with them. So we eased up to the edge of this field & spotted them way out in the middle maybe 150 yards away. It was a beautiful sight with the sun gleeming off their iridescent feathers! It looked as though they were both longbeards. But they acted like they were heading away from us, so we laid down in some pines right on the edge of the field & called to them before they got any farther away. They hammered right back & turned towards us! One of them strutted as they began to walk our way & he definitely had a full fan. Then all of a sudden, they started running in! Allen & Jesse made plans for a double as they closed the distance quick. Allen gave them a plain yelp, then a few more excited yelps...they both hammered! They continued to cut the distance quickly & gobbled a few more times. Allen gave them another plain yelp & they ate it up! As soon as they got in range, I heard Allen count..."1, 2, 3"...boom! I only heard one shot & saw one bird fall, & then I could hear the action on Jesse's gun working. Then a click...then the action working again. I thought his gun jammed, but apparently Jesse forgot to load it when we set up! But he was able to load a shell in the chamber as the other bird was getting out of there. He took a poke at it, but all for naught. Jesse couldn't believe he forgot to load it. With all that said, we still had a good hunt. There's nothing like hunting in the big woods of north-central Pennsylvania!
Sunrise: 5:52 a.m.
Temperature: 38 degrees
Barometer: 30.49 & rising
Location: north-central Pennsylvania (Cameron County)
# of gobbles heard: 60